It’s a Wednesday afternoon and my summer is coming to and end. Soon enough I will be embarking on what, from my where I live in London is only an hours flight, but nonetheless a journey like none I have taken before. Yes, thats right its only a one hour flight home, but I have little if any intention on returning home for my time abroad in the Netherlands. I am full of excitement and anticipation, only microscopic anxieties trouble me at present.
One such anxiety is the problem of the language barrier. In the Netherlands they speak Dutch, although thankfully my courses will be taught in English, but it does concern me that with no knowledge what so ever of the Dutch language at present I may be seen as an outsider, or even worst as a ‘tourist’. This (being a tourist) I learnt in my field trip with the University of Manchester to Amsterdam, is something that seems to cause irritation to the locals. Of course I can relate being a Londoner, tourists don’t seem to no the unwritten social rules of the city and seem to what are already busy places busier. So with this in mind I hope the language barrier is not a problem. This being said I am fully aware of the Dutch’s ability to speak impeccable English, to the point where it is probably better than mine.
People always say ‘expect the unexpected’ and Oscar Wilde once said to do so “shows a thoroughly modern intellect”. Im guessing that means I’m not on Oscar Wilde’s level. As in terms of what really to expect, I haven’t the foggiest. I am of course enthralled by this though the opportunity to face challenges never faced before, to do things I’ve never done before, but also to carry on doing things I love. Not trying to sound like a simpleton, but I do love riding bikes and can’t wait for it to my mode of transport (I know typical geographer taking about transport Zzzz) and I am also very excited to continue studying at a level, that personally I had never been thought to be possible. At present university has also been two of the greatest years of my life and the chance to enhance and prolong the experience is something I am relishing in.
My mum said to me, jokingly, ‘I hope you’re not going to miss me too much’, and without sounding like a malevolent, spoilt brat I can honestly say that I really do not think I will. Of course I will miss my family and friends, but the point that I’m making is that my enthusiasm for the coming year has been my seatbelt of safety, blocking out any doubt in my mind. I can truly say I cannot wait for the next year!!!