Tyler Boyle | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Post 4

Tyler Boyle | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Post 4

Featured Image: Sinterklaas has arrived by horse now in Amsterdam As I am writing this, Americans have just celebrated Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful, eat disgustingly large amounts of food and spend time with loved ones on a break from school and work.  I, on the other hand, have had a midterm exam last Wednesday; had a final exam last Thursday, on Thanksgiving itself; have a research presentation due tomorrow; another presentation Thursday; and a 5,000-word paper, yet to be…

Read More Read More

Tyler Boyle | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Post 3

Tyler Boyle | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Post 3

Featured Image: A canal that lines the Jordaan area, along with residential house boats where various families live Two months down.  Two and a half months to go. I’m currently writing this on my “fall break”, while sitting on a train, heading from London to Exeter, where my friend, Maria, is studying for the year.  And I cannot believe where the time has gone.  Again, as with any post, here are the updates from last time: My homestay mom, Dagmar, has…

Read More Read More

Tyler Boyle | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Post 2

Tyler Boyle | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Post 2

Featured image: Local graffiti artists fill the streets of Jordaan, a hipster, local neighborhood in the West of Amsterdam, with works of art.  This particular photo was taken on Haarlemmerstraat, across the street from a local tattoo parlor. Well, I am a month and a half in, with three months to go, and I can successfully say: I’m thriving!  Here are a few quick updates in case you were wondering how my adjustment has gone in the past two weeks: I…

Read More Read More

Tyler Boyle | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Post 1

Tyler Boyle | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Post 1

Featured image: A canal in the heart of the city center. Studying abroad is something that has been on my radar since I was in the sixth grade when I attended my first college visit.  I remember walking into the hallway where international relations and study abroad opportunities was centered at the University of Kentucky.  There, I saw a bright green sign with the country flags of where all their students were currently studying; I can’t remember exactly how many countries…

Read More Read More

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 5

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 5

In the Netherlands, December 5th is a much more important date than the 25th. That’s because the 5th is Sinterklaasdag (Sinterklaas Day), which is more widely celebrated here than Christmas. According to lore, Sinterklaas is a royal-looking elderly fellow with a huge white beard, dressed in red and white. He carries a large staff and rides around on horseback, always leaving Spain and arriving in the Netherlands in early November. The traditional story is he freed a Moroccan slave named…

Read More Read More

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 4

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 4

“It’s almost over!” calls out one of my classmates when we’re greeted by a posted reminder of an election viewing event on the IES abroad bulletin board. I said the same thing to a British friend of my roommate when she asked if I was stressed about the coming election. And to the Dutch R.A. in my building the day before. And my Dutch sociology professor earlier this week. The phrase seems to rest on the tip of the tongue,…

Read More Read More

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 3

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 3

Well, I’ve just finished my first batch of midterms here at UvA. After summer it’s always hard to get back into an academic mindset, and though it’s been almost two months now, I feel as if I’ve only just gotten back to it. I’ve been noticing that when I’m not surrounded by the trappings of college all the time, it’s a lot easier to forget about how important my schoolwork should be. When the library isn’t a four-and-a-half minute, sweat-panted…

Read More Read More

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 2

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 2

If you were to ask a Dutch person what the most traditionally Dutch dish is, they’ll most likely say stamppot, a farmers’ meal consisting of potatoes and kale or cabbage cooked into a mash, with sliced kielbasa mixed in. The most Dutch you could get is if you used Onux brand sausage, hailed as the most popular throughout the Netherlands (imagine Kraft for meats). However, unless you’re out looking for traditionally Dutch cooking, you won’t encounter stamppot. What you will…

Read More Read More

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 1

Caleb Zachary | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Post 1

My first impression of the Dutch was much as I had been told it would be—most are friendly, outgoing and English-speaking. During the last two orientation weeks at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) I bought a bike, practiced the guttural G sound that comes up so often in Dutch and otherwise tried to assimilate. And yet, the Dutch have an innate ability to spot a foreigner no matter the situation. One of my academic advisors here speculated that perhaps she…

Read More Read More