Erin O'neil - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Office Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday 12:00-1:00 pm
Program of Study at WLU: Environmental Studies and Geography with a minor in Women and Gender Studies
Country and School visited: Universiteit van Amsterdam in The Netherlands
Favourite things about your experience abroad: Everyone bikes everywhere! Rain or shine, itís a great way to get around the city. Also, I got to travel all over the country and Europe, and I became great friends with so many cool people from all over the world. I canít leave out the amazing cheese and poffertjes and stroopwafels.
What did you gain from this experience? I learned how to really put myself out there in new social situations, and to always take advantage of great opportunities, like a 13 euro flight to Budapest!
What advice would you give to a potential exchange student? Do as much as possible! Itís a once in a lifetime opportunity, so make the most of it. Also, if you get homesick, try not to let it get you down. Give your friends and family a call (or a skype-call) and remind yourself of all the great things about being on exchange, and youíll feel better in no time!
What was something new you tried while abroad? I went walking on the frozen canals in Amsterdam. Itís very rare that winter is cold enough for them to freeze enough to support people, but they did in 2012!
How did you find the change (if there was one) in the schooling system and classes? Class was much more discussion and debate oriented and I had many more group work assignments than I usually have at Laurier. It was a positive and refreshing change of pace for me.