#1 Post: Before departure, my expectations
September 3, 2014
Today It’s Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 and that means only 5 days left until my 6-month internship at the Dutch embassy in Washington DC.
I can tell you that I am very excited and can’t wait for the moment I will stand with my bags at the airport. This is what I’ve dreamed about: working and living for a time abroad. This is what I have always wanted to do. At the beginning of my studies, I always said that I did not want to continue as an apple near the tree. I want to see the world and with the world discovering myself, grow, and get a broader view and look on life. I already know about myself: that I am very sociable and easy going, which will make my stay in the United States only more enjoyable. Still, it’s different than here in the Netherlands. The culture is not comparable to our small country, even though it still is a Western- and developed country.
I expect a pleasant and fun time at the embassy, as well as the International Student House, where I will stay the next 6 months. I will meet many people, develop my English language skills, travel a lot, and get homesick. But most of all, knowing that I am not willing to return to the Netherlands as the end is in sight. But we are still a long way and I am busy packing and jumping on my case currently.
#2 Post: The trip and arrival
September 9, 2014
First I want to thank everyone for the kind messages, phone calls, visits, gifts, etc…. I really appreciate this enormously. It feels good to know that there are many people around you who care about you and believe in you. The people I have heard nothing from: you are on the blacklist! : )
During my flight from Copenhagen to Washington, DC, I was sitting next to a lawyer. What a small world! Given that we are both within the legal working world, we had much to discuss. The LinkedIn profiles were exchanged and I had already increased my business network on the flight.
From the air, Washington seemed really like the Netherlands: flat with some hills. With the words of my fellow traveler, “Well, welcome to Washington DC!” It was a fact. I’m in America. The first thing I noticed was the gate agent with a headscarf who was working at the airport. Nice to see that the United States is open to other faiths and it is not obstructed. I noticed that everyone who worked at the airport did not look like Americans. The American–in my imagination blonde hair and blue eyes–is more than what I had imagined: a mix of nationalities, which has led to the fact that I have felt more at home.
In the car on the way to the International Student House, I had no culture shock. So little that I spontaneously started typing my blog. It seemed as if I had been here before. I watched from inside the van as we entered the center city. A lot around me with the crowds and the traffic and the people not as bad as I thought. The suits and formal clothes that everybody was wearing clearly to see.
When I arrived at the International Student House, I was left in my room without a tour, which I found odd. It turned out that this is done so I would make contact with fellow housemates (smart idea). I landed around 3 o’clock in the afternoon and arrived at 6 o’clock arrived to the house, so it was time to go to dinner. During dinner, I used my social skills and started meeting and making friends. Of the accents that I could hear, six Dutch were revealed. Friends were therefore quickly made and I soon had an American from Florida give me a tour of the house.
Soon I will have breakfast and then go with some others to research the city and also see where the embassy is located so I can easily find the location tomorrow when I start my internship.
This for now. Have a good afternoon to you in the Netherlands while I’m still enjoying my morning