Another wonderful week has just been signed off on, with 37 Australian students energised and ready to get into another week of learning.
Academically, our classes have been wonderful, with knowledgeable positive psychology pioneers as lecturers and tutors- how can you go wrong? We have been introduced to a style of learning (problem-based learning) that would be appreciatively implemented in Australian University's country wide assisting in both interpersonal and academic growth.
Culturally, we have seen incredible sights. When Australia was not even on a map yet, the Dutch were fighting off the French and constructing architecture that would stand the test of time and welcome us to the city in 2018. Some beauties included Hell's Gates, established 1229, a Dominican Church turned bookstore, the street aptly named purgatory as it homes both the Protestant and Catholic churches, and the walls and cannons used to protect the city many (many) years ago. Following the historical city tour we were indulged in a delicious lunch, with a spread of salads, baguettes, sweets, quiche and all you can drink tea! The week drew to an end with more classes and a day off on Friday, which saw many sleep ins, shopping days and the adventuring to other cities before our Amsterdam weekend.
Our weekend in Amsterdam began with a slumberous bus trip. Upon arrival, the bus crept awake with anticipation and enthralment that we would be in the very city that is the personification of eclecticism, where draw cards range from legalised prostitution and decriminalised marijuana to being the home to the Van Gogh museum and Anne Frank house. Our city tours had us amazed and craving stroop-waffel, frites with mayonnaise and the experience of the night-life. The humbling experience of the Anne Frank brought silence upon the group, as we were posed with a quote "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world". The night was young and it was ours, which had some people party so hard they missed the buffet breakfast (not me, I can't imagine having my priorities in that fashion- food is always first) of waffles, salmon and poached eggs, omelettes cooked to order and fresh pastries with honey you could yourself collect from the honeycomb.
Highly satisfied with our efforts at the buffet, we travelled to the district that is home to museums including the Van Gogh, Rijks and Stedelijk museums. Close-by the I AMSTERDAM sign (of course, only after we had our typical tourist shots) some students participated in the breaking of the world record-worlds longest conga line on ice! Not an expected experience but a memorable one!
A short bus trip took us to the final destination for the weekend, the Zaanse Schans Open Air Museum, where we were educated in the art of clog-making and the process undertaken to create cheese! All I can say about this experience is that I will have some happy cheese recipients marking my Australian return. Back on the bus we traipsed for our afternoon naps.
Thank you to everyone involved in the running and organising of the weekend.
Looking forward to what this next week brings!
"I believe this program provides a great opportunity to see how sustainability principles and theories are being put into practice. Every place is important, with its own culture and resources. Minnesota is a unique place. It is the birthplace of the mighty Mississippi River, and home to prairies, woods, lakes, and abundant wind, sun, and productive soils. We are creating a low-carbon future here in Minnesota with our state policy and our renewable energy implementation. Students will get to see many renewable energy technologies up close. We are also home to unique people, including the Native Americans who were here long before the first Europeans settled in the state. Students will get to see how all of these ingredients mix together to create sustainable stew. I believe students will be inspired by their visit to Minnesota and will leave with many ideas about how they can create change in whatever place they call home."
"I really loved the opportunity to learn more about development in context, especially working with a university who is so passionate about improving the lived experience of the people who live in their wider community. The field trips to both local organisations, and weekends away (like Iguazu Falls!) really rounded out for an exciting and full experience of what Argentina has to offer!"
"The overall quality of curriculum, faculty and facilities at the University of Oxford were well beyond my expectations. I also made some special friends from around the world who inspired me to challenge myself during the Summer School and has added another layer to my university studies"