Spreek je Nederlands?

Grace Keller
May 26, 2018

We have to keep in mind that the first word in the phrase “study abroad” is indeed “study”. After my trip to Croatia earlier this month, I made the decision to take a break from traveling and focus my efforts into finishing strong in school. Throughout my stay in Amsterdam, I’ve been attending a Dutch course every Tuesday evening. While this is true, I did not really take my lessons seriously until about a week ago when I was studying for the Dutch final exam. In the United States, I realize that the education system does not put a great emphasis on learning any language other than English. It’s often very handicapping in the United States to not understand English and a simple language barrier can cause extremely negative social interactions. I will leave Europe with a lasting apperciation for the European emphasis on learning foreign languages through education and experience. Every European I’ve met has had an understanding and appreciation for more than one language. While I was locking myself in my room for the past week trying to memorize how to tell directions and talk about the weather in Dutch, I was able to go out only a few times to take photos and interact with the culture I was so desperately trying to learn in isolation. During my short journeys I would feel nervous trying out my Dutch in real conversation, but my efforts were often rewarded with smiles and laughter. I think the people I spoke broken Dutch to really appreciated my efforts to try and understand and use their language and acknowledged the difficulty I was facing in doing so. Even though my Dutch course definitely did cause me some stress, I think the experience has given me a more indepth understanding of Dutch culture and improved my interactions with Dutch natives.

Grace Keller

<p>Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, I've spent my entire life in an environment heavily connected to the entertainment industry. As a student at Cornell University studying the connections between visual perception and media communication and design, I strive to be able to understand and implement effective design in media management. Fashion, art, architecture, music, food, and people are among the many subjects I hope to capture during my travels</p>

2018 Spring
Home University:
Cornell University
Los Angeles, CA
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