Wow, so I really ended up failing at this blog thing. After awhile you feel like no one is reading so it is kind of pointless but then again I think I’ll enjoy reading these someday. So here it goes.

School has been going … weird. This “module” (they break each semester up into 2 modules) I don’t have any class. Like I had 2 or 3 at the beginning then they are just having us work on a project independently. So basically I feel like I am doing nothing but at the same time I am doing a lot. It is hard to explain. It just doesn’t feel like school when you aren’t going to class seeing other students and stuff like that. Luckily the project is pretty interesting and will actually end up being quite beneficial.

The other odd thing you may be thinking is, “Why are you still talking about school, it’s June” well my school doesn’t end until late June. Granted they didn’t start class until the first of February but still that was only about 1 week after OU.

On to another topic. I only have about a month and a half of time left in Europe. I have really mixed feelings about the whole situation. I have been talking to other friends who have studied abroad about what they think the “perfect” amount of time abroad is. Basically I haven’t reached a conclusion yet but I’m thinking it is about 5 months. Of course this is different for everybody and in every situation but for me that’s what I think. At 4 months I would not have been ready at all but here getting into the fifth month it feels about right. I’m not saying I want to leave right now, I’m just saying if I had scheduled my flight for about right now I wouldn’t be thinking it is the biggest mistake ever.

After awhile you begin to feel detached from your “real life” back home and that can be a scary feeling. You wonder how things will be different when you get back, how they will be the same. You wonder if you yourself are really different or still the same. Our study abroad person at OU Jack Hobson put it really well:

Before you leave to study abroad you are a plant and you are in a pot, your pot is your home. Then you go to study in another country and you get uprooted and taken out of your pot. While out of your pot you grow, in all different directions, sometimes a little sometimes a lot. When you get back home you and everyone else will try to put you back into your pot. The problem is, sometimes you don’t fit anymore. There will be struggles and fights to get you back into that same pot you used to fit in and sometimes you get right back in but sometimes you just have to get a different pot.

To me that sounds pretty perfect. I guess I am scared that I’m not going to know where I fit in when I get back. What am I going to do, I have been gone for so long and guess what? The world moved on without me.

So I leave you with that and I hope to write more.

Now, for the top five things I like better about Europe than America πŸ˜‰

1. Traveling
2. Biking
3. Trains
4. Proximity
5. Bubbly Water

It is so interesting how you can travel to all these different countries in such a short time. They are so close to each other and relatively small (as compared to the size of America) that you could be in a couple of different countries in one day if you wanted to. I have not fully taken advantage of this opportunity yet but I plan to when I get some more free time.

One of my favorite things to do these days, especially since the weather is brightening up. If you saw me on the streets I probably look like a little kid. Maybe that’s how everyone here can tell who the Americans are, we either look like we are going to fall on our faces or have a huge grin.

Something that no one here finds great joy in, I love to ride the trains. It’s nice to just sit back and watch the scenery go by. You don’t have to worry about traffic or stoplights, bad drivers or drunk drivers, rain or snow; just enjoy the ride πŸ™‚ It is a bit more expensive than I thought it would be though.

This applies both to the countries and the set up of towns themselves. Cities are set up so that you can do all your general shopping in one area. Groceries, drug store, clothing etc just walk to one place and get it all done. Not only that it makes for a very nice Saturday of strolling around.

Bubbly water
Now in America I found this stuff quite disgusting. Maybe it is different here or maybe it just grew on me; I don’t know. Nevertheless, I really love this stuff and that is going to be quite bad when I go back to Oklahoma because not only can we not buy it in the big liter bottles like here but it is also very expensive.

Thanks for reading, hope to be posting more often.

Top Five Things I Miss about America

I must start by saying, my obvious first big miss is family and friends. I do not miss them in a sad way like I wish I were back home, but in a grateful way. Sometimes you need space and time away from people to realize how much they really mean to you. It is a wonderful feeling to know there are people in this world who love you and miss you as much as you do them.

That being said…

1. Prices
2. Shopping
3. OU
4. Going to the Movies/Out to Dinner
5. Ability to do Whatever I Want (?)

Things are so cheap in America. We really take for granted the prices we have. Did you know the concept of free refills is purely an American concept. You will pay over 2 US dollars for every small drink you drink. So gulp big Americans! That is a privilege, but maybe gulp diet we are still definitely the fat ones ;)Also, gas prices, never will I complain again.

Highly correlated to prices, I didn’t even know if it deserved it’s own category but I decided it did because also in relation to shopping is transportation. Man, it is hard to carry a package of water on a bike. Initially though the category was created for clothing and accessory shopping… of course πŸ™‚ Favorite stores I miss have got to be Ross and TJMAxx. Yes, I am one cheap shopper.

University of Oklahoma
The challenge… I crave the challenge. There are many difficult things in the Neths but school is not one of them. In no way do I mean to seem pompous or rude, school at OU and Price is just structured very differently and God knows I love an academic competition. On top of just the academics is the atmosphere. Here there is no college campus, there is just one building with all the classrooms. I like the feeling of walking around the campus from building to building bustling about all the backpacks. Even just sitting in the big couches at the Union or Price, feeling totally at home among your fellows with glowing laptop screens.

Dinner and Movies
A traditional American weekend event I believe. It was something I did not think I would really miss but I do. It is much cheaper to do this in America and for some reason it just feels different, like more of an event. Since it can be up to $16.50 USD to see a movie here it sure should feel like an event but it doesn’t. By the way that is what it cost to go see Alice in Wonderland in 3D. So yes, when I get back lets go to Alfredo’s get some good cheap Mexican food then off to Warren!

I wasn’t sure how to title this but I put it under control or ability. What I am trying to say is, in Oklahoma if I want to do something I know how I can do it or find out how to do it. Here there are so many unknowns. It is exciting, don’t get me wrong, but it can be frustrating at times when you feel lost. I’m not the kind of person that really likes to be helped or ask for help so there can be a definite struggle with that sometimes.

Don’t worry Europeans, look forward to Flop Five… top five things I like better here than in America.

So, I am on “spring break” with snow and ice.

Although here there are two “spring breaks” one early and one late. So really a late winter and an early summer break.

I went to northern Germany for break; with a friend.

Currently just hanging out and shopping of course πŸ™‚

Tip of the day: Don’t forget in Europe… you must bring your own grocery bags… or buy them at the store (don’t do that all the time, duh) In Germany you must weigh your own produce and print a price sticker.

Hello Everyone!

I am new to OU blog abroad so just to give you a quick update..

This semester I am at NHL in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. The school is one of our partner schools and I am here studying International Business. It seems to have a fairly good selection for business students going abroad but it is not necessary to be in that field. For instance, there is another girl from OU here this semester and she is a Psych major. Basically she is taking classes that will hopefully transfer as gen ed.

Since I am a marketing major I’m not sure how many of my classes will count towards degree requirements, most will probably end up being upper division business electives. Although choosing a school and course where credits will transfer is important, I don’t recommend it being your central focus. Pick a school where you are interested in the culture, the lifestyle and the world around you. It won’t matter if all your credits transfer but that you took advantage of your abroad experience.

Ok that is probably long enough for now πŸ™‚ but I will post often with tips and what’s going on in school/life.

Hope you enjoy!


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