International Internship

images (6)After being recommended by an advisor, I was selected to participate in a writing internship abroad. The International Studies department had the daunting task of choosing between my writings and those of another qualified candidate. My responsibility will be to assist the honors department by writing and observing their experience and interactions with students from the Netherlands. The goal is to understand other cultures from the perspective of the natives. I am really excited for the opportunity to encourage other students to pursue diversity as well as international travel.

So far the main challenge has been international communication via Skype because of the six-hour time difference. For the first Skype session Valencia students conducted ethnographic interviews with students from the Netherlands. In their first time meeting they touched the surface and compared/ contrast their cultures. The goal of this first meeting was to acknowledge and dismiss any bias or stereotypical opinions of students from another culture. But rather see their differences from the others perspective. The students discussed:

Movies specifically Frozen

American music specifically Taylor Swift

American and Dutch celebrities

Holidays and traditions

Compared college lifestyles

Downtown Amsterdam compared to the shops on Park Ave (their shop are actually cheaper than the mall prices)

Riding bikes in Amsterdam

Life goals and college majors

Valencia students discussed the struggle of Florida’s humidity

As we continue to build international relations I look forward to learn more about Dutch culture and hope this project will enhance their view of Americans. So far they think we “… all drive cars and eat fast food,” it’s a start.

Going Dutch

  • NETHERLANDS-Amsterdam-country-overview-pic.21The Netherlands is light not bright- a world of grey, greens and browns.
  • Vincent van Gogh was born in Holland.
  • The Dutch are clean, thrifty, well spoken, and able to get along well with others.
  • 495 people per square kilometers, the Netherlands is Europe’s most densely populated country.
  • The term ‘going Dutch’ was so the Dutch could sit back and enjoy their coffee in peace. Without worrying about who was going to pick up the bill.
  • The Dutch ‘think with their pockets.’
  • Remembrance Day- 2 minutes of dead silence in remembrance of the two world wars- everyone and everything stops.
  • To assure their neighbors and them that they have nothing to hide the Dutch build houses with big windows and do not draw their curtains at night.
  • Holland is the province of the Netherlands.
  • ‘First give my bike back!’ this joke referrers to the fact that the Germans confiscated all bicycles during WWII.
  • Nearly half the nation’s babies are born at home and few Dutch mothers use anesthetic or painkillers during the delivery.
  • The Dutch work fewer hours per year than anyone else in the Western world.
  • For the Dutch, no meal is complete without meat.
  • The jolliest holiday is the King’s birthday (Koningsdag).
  • On holidays people on social security get an allowance to help them recover from the stress of being unemployed.
  • The most significant Dutch novel was written about coffee.
  • The Netherlands coffee is served black, strong, and usually with a biscuit. Their coffee is strong enough to double the rate of your pulse.