For our first full day of this program, we spent the afternoon learning about biking in Amsterdam. The city is incredibly organized, and so bikers have their own lanes, signs, and streetlights to follow. As learning how to bike in the city would be disastrous, our program coordinators actually brought us to the countryside where learning is a lot easier. Living in the city, I will get to bike to class everyday!
The weather is similar to Ohio’s this time of year, pretty chilly and windy. Holland is also very flat, and in the country it definitely feels like I’m still at home! Though, instead of corn and soy beans, all of the fields here become tulips in the Spring. Today, to get the feel for biking on Amsterdam roads, we biked to the beach and everyone got hot chocolate at a small beachside restaurant before we biked back to the hostel we’re staying in. There are 25 students on this program, and everyone is so nice! Staying in the hostel has helped us all get to know each other; it’s really nice, because we are all able to bond over our interests in gender studies and traveling.
Today we also got letters from our homestay hosts, though we don’t meet them until Friday. I’m going to be living with a host mom, named Anne, in the north end of the city, and I’ll get to take a short ferry ride every day to get to the city center. We head to Amsterdam on Thursday.