Coming Home

It has been a good while since I have blogged. I have been putting it off for some time. Not because I don’t want to do it, but because I have been quite busy. Between the last week of classes to two consecutive weeks of finals, It has been intense.

I am writing this as I have already taken a nine and a half hour flight back and am currently in Chicago waiting to get on my last connecting flight back home to Minneapolis.

I don’t even know where to start. Finals were exhausting, and the emotions going into leaving didn’t help my studying patterns. I felt good about my last three exams, and it was a bittersweet ending to my time in Amsterdam. My suite and I had one last final potluck with other apartments to say goodbye. In celebration of our last night, my roommates put their mattresses in my room and had a sleepover. I am so thankful to the lovely people I have met.

Leaving this morning was extremely challenging, and I’m pretty sure I am a bit dehydrated from all the tears (I blame the lack of sleep and finals stress on the tears too). Walking from my apartment to the train station was an unforgettable experience. It was still dark out, and I did my best to take it all in, and breathe. I actually ran into a couple people that I had met in the airport and got to say a final goodbye.

On my flight to Chicago I met some really amazing people. It reminded me now travel doesn’t have to be a long and sad process. I ended up sitting next to a Dutch man who was visiting his girlfriend from Arkansas and we pretty much talked the entire flight. He even gave me some Drop (black licorice) flavored Mentos to try. He helped me practice my dutch, and we talked about cultural similarities and differences. It was really fun.

While in Chicago, I met a dad and his eight year old daughter and talked with them for about two hours out of my four hour layover. All my hesitations about coming home were starting to subside. Now that I am in the traveling process I am getting less and less nervous about losing the person I have become while abroad. Talking to all these people and laughing has made the whole traveling process much easier, and I can’t wait to finally come home.



I thought blogging would be a good way to give people insight into my study abroad experience, but truthfully it was very challenging to even give even a glimpse of my experience. It is much easier (although somehow still a challenge) to talk about it in person.

So, if you have any specific questions, or truly want to know more about my experience while in Amsterdam, feel free to contact me (you can get my information through the Off Campus Studies Office).


Tot ziens,



Christmas Market Gallery

On December 1-3 I took a tour of three different Christmas Markets in three different countries. I began my tour of in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. From there, we traveled to the markets in Trier, Germany, and finally to the famous Cave Christmas markets in Valkenburg, Netherlands. Below is a brief photo gallery of my experience. Thank you to all the friends and lovely people I met along the way that made it so fantastic*! (*and to all the yummy glühwein)

Luxembourg Christmarket at Night

Sofie and I taking a “cute couple pic” while drinking hot cocoa and glühwein in Luxembourg

Lights while walking around Luxembourg

Views while on a morning adventure in Luxembourg before heading to Germany 1/3

Views while on a morning adventure in Luxembourg before heading to Germany 2/3

Views while on a morning adventure in Luxembourg before heading to Germany 3/3

Mandatory group pic (b/c friends) at our first Christmas Market in Luxembourg

Christmas Market in Trier, Germany (feat. subway)

Drinking Eierpunsch from an average Dutch person’s perspective (aka I’m short)

Courtyard of the Cathedral of Trier

Santa Baby 😉

Morning adventure in Trier, Germany

Valkenburg Cave Markets


When you give a student a day off lecture…

Unlike some of my friends studying at the Vrije Universiteit, my course schedule has lecture five days a week, meeting multiple times a day. I recently experienced the two gruesome weeks of finals followed by the next period’s courses with no break in between. While this sounds like a whole lot of “not so much fun”, throughout this process I have learned that I thoroughly enjoy my holiday breaks. I have also learned that sometimes, it is about the little things.

Keith Haring, Stedelijk Museum

This past Monday I had a day off of lecture *gasp*. I took this opportunity and, in my opinion, lived it to the fullest. I slept in until 11:00am (plus I was sick so I really needed the sleep) and took my time enjoying a slow morning. I got dressed, bundled up and biked to Museumplein to visit the Stedelijk Museum by myself.  

It was sunny for the first time in three days and while the wind was brisk, the sun made up for it. Once I found a parking spot for my bike Makda, I made my way into the museum. It was lovely to pace through the museum on my own timeline. The Stedelijk Museum had a Keith Haring exhibit, and I sat on a beanbag chair enjoying it for I don’t know how long. When I was ready I made my way to the “family room” where anyone was welcome to draw on anything in the room. I gladly took part. When I was ready, I made my way back to Makda and biked home.

The Cactus Blossoms

In the common space of our apartment (realistically, it’s just our kitchen) I was surprisingly productive before heading out with a group of friends to go see The Cactus Blossoms, a band from Minneapolis, Minnesota (my home!!). As we walked into the venue, we laughed noticing that we definitely brought the age demographic down by quite a few years. We all had a great time. Afterwards, some people from our group got fries (classic) before we biked home is the frigid wind. I made some tea to warm up once I got home, and reflected on my amazing day before setting my alarm for lecture the next morning.