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Stacey's Favorites:

Stacey● "The day you're perfect is the day you earn the right to judge others."
~ Mom

● "Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart!"
~ Confucius

 

Stacey's Links:

Nijmegen BannerDepartment of English
Pride Alliance
National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Sigma Tau Delta
Study Abroad

 
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Stacey in the Netherlands >>

 

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Stacey


StaceyWho she is...
Senior
Hometown, State: Plattsburgh, NY
High School: Seton Catholic Central
Major / Minor: English/Psychology
Activities: Women's Rugby, NSCS-National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Pride Alliance, Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society)

What she does...
 

Great DaneDecember 13, 2005

It's hard for me to believe that I have only one week left here in Nijmegen. I think part of me thought this experience would never end, or hoped it wouldn't at least. I'm at a loss for words, because nothing I say can truly encompass all that I feel and have encountered here.

Stacey in front of The Leaning Tower of PisaI'm amazed at myself for following through with this, for biting the bullet and jumping head first into something so unfamiliar and daring. I realize that studying abroad might not seem like 'a big deal,' but in fact, it's life-altering. I've done things here that I only used to dream about. I've traveled throughout The Netherlands, and also visited England, Germany and Italy. I've seen first-hand landscapes and city views that look like paintings or photographs from magazines. I came here alone, and am leaving with handfuls of new friends from around the world. I'm returning to America with stories, history, politics and a more worldly view. I now have beautiful memories, friendships, greater confidence and a more positive outlook on life and what I'm capable of.

I'm realizing that everything I've gotten from this experience is only what I've allowed myself to. Had I been closed off to new people, unwilling to try new foods, too stubborn to ride a bike, or too scared to believe in myself, I wouldn't have grown at all, or been able to walk away with this incredible feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. Perhaps if I had been all those things, it would be easier for me to leave. It's a bitter sweet ending because the pain in leaving is only a result of the countless joys and laughs I've had along the way.

I've truly been living out a dream here... and I'm sad to have to wake up so soon.


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Great Dane
October 17, 2005

Stacey's studentsI teach English writing and conversational skills to Dutch students at HAN (Hogeschool van Arnhem & Nijmegen). As of right now the students are working on several writing projects, one of which is an essay on their impressions of America. In addition to this, they will each write an essay that focuses on some aspect of Dutch culture to be included in a compilation titled A Guidebook to the Netherlands for Stacey.

To make things fair, I agreed to write a short essay that in contrast would offer my impressions of the Netherlands. Once finished, I had the class read my work and offer suggestions for improvement. Here's the finished product:
"What do you mean they don't have peanut butter in the Netherlands?" I worried how, as a peanut butter addict, I could survive 5 months without it. I vowed that I would pack my own jar just to survive...

ClogsBefore arriving in the Netherlands I had painted in my head images of windmills, young children in bonnets and clogs, endless gardens of tulips, and fields of green with roaming cows and sheep. I pictured history - buildings and architecture that would tell stories from hundreds of years ago, cobblestone roads, beautiful canals, and countless rows of bicycles. I wondered how, once I had a bike of my own, I would recognize it from all the others.

ParadeIn America, the Netherlands has a strong reputation for being highly liberal and left sided politically. I found this particularly interesting and was curious to experience it first hand. I assumed the Dutch to be down-to-earth, friendly, carefree and open. I had expectations of being in a neutral place that is tolerant and accepting. I envisioned rainbow flags and same-sex couples holding hands and being openly affectionate around every corner. I had heard stories of coffee shops that offer customers menus listing the different kinds of marijuana and their level of effect. Someone even recommended I try space cakes. I was also well warned about the red-light district and informed of the presence of prostitutes who sit in windows.

CanalNow that I'm here some of these impressions and expectations ring true, while others remain ridiculously false. My first trip to the Edah clarified that peanut butter is in fact in ample supply. I think I met the love of my life in this market - Nutella. Its satiny smoothness tickles my tongue with sweetness. There has to be some addictive agent in that chocolately bliss because I can't go a day without it! It's taken only a month of being here for me to become a full-blown coffee drinker. I prefer espresso with chocolate, but I'll settle for a hazelnut cappuccino or coffee with extra crème and sugar. I've yet to see anyone wearing bonnets, but the hairstyles are especially unique and individualistic. I can always distinguish my bike from the others (I don't always remember where I left it though). The fashion doesn't include wooden clogs, but rather trendy belts, designer jeans and functional yet stylish shoes. I've made several visits to Kronkel café, but haven't gotten spacey with any hash-filled cakes.

Stacey's UniversityI'm still not entirely clear on what the difference is between a University and Hogeschool, but I'm trying. Dutch students are highly motivated, and I find it incredible that they are able to decide early on what their career paths will be. I also admire their knowledge of and interest in the history and politics of not only their own country but neighboring ones as well. I'm excited to be learning Dutch, but it's very difficult because the professor sounds like he's consistently gagging or has a potato lodged in his throat.

I have to say that choosing to study here in the Netherlands was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I feel very privileged to have this opportunity to live in such a beautiful place and to experience such a wonderful and free-spirited culture. Ik hou van Nederland!


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Great DaneSeptember 29, 2005

When I'm not at my job, in the classroom or on the rugby pitch, I'm in the company of friends and family. My interests include: my nieces, rugby, writing, music, parties, art & photography, and most recently, traveling...

Why Study Abroad? Better yet... why not?
For the past three years at UAlbany the idea of studying abroad had been a dream, but now in my final year, I've made it a reality.

Rugby HuddleI spent so much time telling myself I couldn't afford it and making up excuses for why I shouldn't even bother looking into it. All it took were the words of a special someone: "Why not? Why can't you do it?" With their encouragement and guidance I was able to muster up the courage to simply inquire about the possibility. Once in the office, I was able to select from programs that were less costly; from those, and after some research, I selected the one that sounded right for me.

TulipsHere I am six months later in Nijmegen, Netherlands and I'm having the time of my life! I've been here a month and a half and it already feels like home. I've joined a student group called ISN, which has allowed me to meet people and get involved in activities. I am enrolled in several courses: American Studies, Dutch, and Sexuality Studies. In addition to these I am a Teacher's Assistant - I help teach English: specifically reading and writing skills. I also have several of my own students that I assist with their speaking and conversational skills.

Stacey with friendI have to say this is one of the best decisions I've ever made. It's only the beginning, and already I feel like a better person. I have an added sense of confidence, independence, and I'm learning so much about the world, cultures, and myself. I'm now starting to look at life with the mentality that there isn't anything I can't do...

 
 
 


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