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!
University of California San Diego/ United States of America
"The highlight for me was the fact that I got to experience life within a new country, allowing me to enrich my appreciation for a diverse and beautiful culture. Studying PR and Events was also a major highlight for me, as the knowledge and skills I gained were insightful, relevant and definitely valuable to my future professional endeavours."
"I thought that the Creative Writing Summer Program was incredibly beneficial because it forced us to write in a restricted time frame and on topics I might not ever be able to undertake in Australia".