Reports from Abroad – Week of Nov. 21

Study Abroad Advising:
If you are interested in learning more about study abroad opportunities, stop by the honors college seminar room to meet with Joseph Rasich, Study Abroad Specialist. He will be available every other Thursday from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

New Web Address for Study Abroad:
The URL for WMU’s study abroad application system, Broncos Abroad, has changed from broncosabroad.international.wmich.edu to broncosabroad.wmich.edu. If you have pages referencing the old URL, please update them as soon as possible: broncosabroad.wmich.edu/

Student Study Abroad Scholarship Testimonials
The Netherlands by Nicole Thompson

Studying abroad in the Netherlands was truly a life-changing experience. Not only was I able to learn more about other cultures, but it was also an excellent opportunity for self-discovery and reflection. The trip prepared me to start the fall semester with a fresh perspective and outlook on the topics I have spent the past three years studying!

The Nursing Leadership and Clinical Management course I took at Universiteit Utrecht allowed me to meet nursing students from the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan, Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany and Singapore, just to name a few.

The Dutch way of teaching classes is largely discussion and project based. No question is off limits or too personal for the Dutch. In one of our class sessions, our professor asked each student to share their top ten values. Then the professor asked us to rank each value in the order we would be most willing to lose it. I will never forget what my friend Yeji from South Korea shared with the class. Her top two values were family and health. She shared that she would be most willing to lose her family first and then her health. She said that although her family was the most important value to her personally, she would rather lose her family first, so as to not be a burden to them if she lost her health first. Wow. I felt like I learned so much more about other cultures from this discussion-based class than I ever would be able to learn from a lecture-based class or a textbook.

Throughout my time in the Netherlands, it was my personal goal to go out and experience something new in the country every day. I was able to participate in so many unique activities and I had an absolute blast! I visited the city of Gouda and made Gouda cheese. I kayaked on the canals of Utrecht and traveled by boat on the canals of Amsterdam. I attended an outdoor EuroPride concert, celebrating freedom of marriage in Europe and hearing the stories of the LGBT+ community in this part of the world. In a pub, I talked to a group of English gentlemen and heard one groom’s story of proposing to his wife in New York City. I saw “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt in person at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I ate ice cream next to a windmill in Kinderdijk and bought a sketch of tulips there from an elderly man. I became thoroughly addicted to cappuccinos and sampled numerous types of cheese. I biked 10 miles in Ameland with my friend Geerte, traveled to Den Haag with my friend Annie, and met so many other people along the way.

When you sign up for a study abroad experience, no one warns you just how much the trip will affect your mindset and daily way of life. I have gained a deeper appreciation for traveling and experiencing the cultures of different people. I have come to appreciate and adopt the Dutch commitment to sustainability and the production of a bettered community. I will carry the memories I have gained from my study abroad experience with me throughout the rest of my life and my nursing career. Thank you to the Lee Honors College for the funding and allowing me to participate in this study abroad opportunity!

international-nursing-students-working-on-a-class-group-project
International nursing students with Nicole Thompson in class working on a project.

europride-concert-amsterdam
EuroPride concert in Amsterdam

 

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