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Showing posts from August, 2010

From getting here to there and almost everywhere: boats, bikes, and Baan

Class is only held from Monday through Thursday during the program; this allows us to schedule our own activities during the weekends. On Friday, I got up extra early in the morning to go on a canal cruise along the Amstel River. In fact, the etymology of "Amsterdam" was indicative of the city's origin: a dam in the Amstel River. Accordingly, we saw first-hand the dams that control the water levels. Fun fact: most of the populated parts of Amsterdam are actually below sea level; the dams play a pivotal role in the preservation and safety of the city and its people. We also visited the Van Gogh Museum later on in the afternoon, but it wasn't nearly as exciting as the cruise along the water canals (and I couldn't really get any good footage inside of the museum as no cameras were permitted).

The highlight of my weekend was, without a doubt, the cycling. I haven't ridden a bike since 1999; that's over a decade ago! The Bicycle Hotel allowed students to ride …

And yet another exploration begins: planes, trains, and Amsterdam rains

After having studied abroad in Rome and Istanbul this past summer, I decided to continue my European travels and venture into the Netherlands. I'm actually here to study about "Dutch Designs: Research and Information Systems Development," which is an exploration seminar offered by the University of Washington Information School (I recently got accepted into their program). What I like about this program is [1] as a recipient of the Gilman International Scholarship, I don't have to pay a dime out of my own money since flight/program expenses are covered from my award, and [2] the course that I am taking in the Netherlands will waive one of my core curriculum requirements for my major. All in all, it's a win-win situation and I'm very excited to learn as much as I can.

When I first arrived in the Netherlands, what impressed me right off of the bat was their public transportation system. I was easily able to find my way through the city by utilizing their train a…