Exchange

Back to Minnesota

Hi guys!

I have some very exciting news to share with you!

Ever since I left Minnesota, I’ve wanted to go back. Even when I was still in St. Clair, I was telling my friends that my biggest dream was to come back during the spring and maybe even attend prom with my friends, who are now high school seniors.

Because I just moved out, I wasn’t sure if I was able to go back so soon. Obviously, flying to America is not very cheap, and since my spring break is in April, that does not give me a whole lot of time so save up for this trip, especially since the whole college, living on my own thing gets kind of expensive sometimes. I had been looking at ticket prices, but when I saw the prices I realized going back in April wasn’t going to be possible.

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This was at my American High School. It had the names of all the exchange students.

That was until my friend told me about IcelandAir. Now, I’m not actually going to fly to Minnesota with IcelandAir, but it’s that friend that made me think, maybe flying to Minneapolis doesn’t have to be as expensive as I thought.

That turned out to be true. I did look at IcelandAir flights, they were cheap, but not the cheapest I could find. When I realized flying from Amsterdam is waaaaay more expensive then flying from Dusseldorf (Germany), I decided to look up some flights from Dusseldorf. I ended up finding a very “cheap” flight, from Dusseldorf, with a layover in…. you guessed it, Amsterdam, to Minneapolis.

Even though I’m very excited to go back, this adventure is still a long ways away. My countdown app tells me it’s still 195 days away, and I know, those will be 195 very long days.

Video: Evilien

During my exchange year in America, me and some friends had the crazy idea to produce our own little horror movie. Since I was going to be the antagonist in the movie and one of my friends always joked around by calling me ‘Evilien’, we decided that Evilien would be the name of our little short film.

It didn’t turn out all that scary, but it is funny and we had a blast filming it, so I thought I would share it as a little extra, enjoy!

I do recommend checking out Tyler Dardis’ youtube channel because he is an awesome filmmaker!

10x Packing tips for Exchange Students

You’re almost leaving for your exchange year, and you still haven’t started packing. What are you going to take with you and how is everything ever going to fit into your suitcase?

No worries, you’ll be fine! Here are 10 tips that will help you pack for your exchange.

1. Carry on luggage

Carry on luggage (usually) doesn’t have a weight limit, so it’s the perfect opportunity to fit some extra stuff. Just be careful not to put your liquids into your carry on luggage, but you can fit a loooooot of clothing in there.

2. Are you going to wear it?

If you never wear it in your home country, you’re not going to wear it in your host country. On the other hand, if you do wear it in your home country, you are going to wear it in your host country, so be sure to bring those items with you (so you don’t have to ask your mum to send it later on… 😉 )

3. Dress code

Depending on where you’re going, your school might have a dress code. My school did not allow us to wear shorts shorter than the knee, so I knew not to bring too many of those. Make sure to check if your school has a dress code before you start packing, this can save you a lot of room in your suitcase!

The dress code is usually listed on your school’s website, but you could always just contact your school or ask your host family!

4. Buy stuff there

You can buy a lot of stuff in your host country. Unless you have an introduction of any kind, you won’t have to pack shampoos, lotions, etc. If you do have some kind of introduction, just bring some travel sized products and that will be enough to get you through the introduction.

5. Think ahead

Are you going to be involved in any sports in your host country? Are you going to a cold area, or will you only be wearing shorts and tanks? Just keep things like that in mind while you’re packing and you might be able to leave some things out.

6. TSA locks

It’s always a good idea to lock your suitcase, but the airport staff might want to go through it. If you want to prevent them from breaking open your suitcase, you should buy a TSA lock, because a they will be able to open these!

7. Souvenirs 

Your host family decided to host because they are excited to learn something about your country, so it’s always a good idea to bring a little gift. A fun gift could be a book about your home country! Anything that represents your country will make them very happy.

8. Leave some empty space

No matter where you’re going, you are going to buy stuff once you get there. You will want to adjust to what people wear in your host country and by leaving some empty space in your suitcase, you will be able to fit in some of the stuff you buy.

9. Room decoration

After packing your clothes, you probably won’t have much room left in your suitcase, but it’s still a good idea to take something that will remind you of home. If you really don’t have any room left, you could just print some pictures to hang up in your room at your host family’s house.

10. Don’t stress

It’s okay if you can’t bring that one cute top, there’ll be plenty other cute tops to buy in your host country. You’re probably going to forget something in the stress of leaving for your exchange year, but that’s okay, you can buy almost anything once you get to your host country.

I know packing sounds impossible, but it’s really not all that hard and I’m sure you’ll be fine! Just have fun preparing for your exchange year, it will really be the time of your life!

 

 

Video: South Dakota

So, this is my last post for this series about my trip to South Dakota. I had a blast the entire trip, and I put a ton of pictures together in a little (again poorly made) video. (Me and iMovie really don’t get along). So, enjoy!

South Dakota (Part 3)

Hi guys !

This will be the written last post in my South Dakota series, as the next post will be a video about our trip to South Dakota. In this part, we will travel past South Dakota, to see Devils Tower in Wyoming!

Day 5

On day 5 we went to Wyoming to see Devils Tower. We weren’t going to go at first, but as we didn’t know what else to do this day we planned this little day trip to Wyoming, and I’m glad we did! It was about an hour drive from Belle Fourche to Devils tower, and it was so worth it! I think Devils Tower was one of the prettiest things we saw on our trip.
We were lucky that it was June, because they ask climbers not to climb the tower in June, because the Indians don’t like people climbing it. This way, we had a perfect view of the tower without climbers!

We did a short trail around the tower and we had lunch at a little picnic spot near Devils Tower. After lunch we started our trip back to South Dakota. We decided to head straight to Wall, so it was a long drive there. We took a quick look at the badlands and then we went to our hotel.

That night we drove back to a lookout spot in the badlands to watch the sunset, and it was gorgeous. There were a lot of goats that live in the badlands and they all came out so we could see them.

Day 6

This was our last day in South Dakota. We spent a big part of the day in the badlands and drove through pretty much the entire area, which was awesome. We did some short trails while we were there, but it was too hot to do a lot of walking.

The badlands were so gorgeous and it was so awesome to see the difference between the badlands and the area surrounding the badlands because there is such a difference. I would definitely recommend the area. Just don’t forget your sunscreen…

As I said, this is my last written post in the South Dakota series, the next post will be a short video with a ton of pictures. I really hope you enjoyed seeing my pictures and reading what we did in South Dakota. It was so gorgeous out there and I would totally go back if I had the chance.

South Dakota (Part 2)

As I told you in my last post, this post will include the most exciting thing we did in South Dakota.

Donkeys.

Day 3

At about 10 in the morning we drove to Custer State park, to drive through the Wildlife Loop. We were fully prepared, we went to a little supermarket to buy carrots.

Sadly, we went too late. Most animals were already out in the woods where we couldn’t see them. We did see a lot of buffalo though, which was really awesome.

After seeing the buffalo, we finally saw what we (I) came for. The Donkeys! I don’t think I need to give any further explanation, just look at the pictures.

After the Wildlife Loop, we went to Needles highway, which was gorgeous. We stopped at a lot of amazing viewpoints and drove through there very tiny tunnels. The one thing we didn’t see, was the Needles Eye…

After not seeing the Needles Eye, we decided to go see Mount Rushmore. I spend most of my time trying to figure out which state was the first one to be admitted to the Union, but seeing the actual sculpture was very impressive.

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After hanging out at Mount Rushmore for a little bit we went to Keystone for supper. After Keystone, we decided to do the Iron Mountain road, and as Iron Mountain Highway would go right into the Wildlife loop, we decided to go see the donkeys one more time.

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Iron Mountain road gives you a great view of Mount Rusmore!

Day 4

New day, new chances. So, off we went, determined to see the Needles Eye. It was a little bit of a search, but in the end it turned out to be right in front of our faces.

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After seeing the Needles Eye we went on a little hike, which was gorgeous, just like everything in the black hills, and after that we went to bear country.

I was very excited to go to bear country, but to be honest, it was a bit of a disappointment. Not all animals were there and the park was very small. The baby bears were adorable though.

After Bear Country we did some shopping in Rapid City, and we continued our trip to Belle Fourche. In the next post, we’ll travel past South Dakota, so stay tuned for that.

South Dakota (Part 1)

When traveling to the US, South Dakota is usually not the first place people want to go and see. When my parents came to visit, we did decide to go to South Dakota for 7 days, because it was a short drive and because my host family could not stop talking about how much they liked it there. In this blog post, I’ll tell you about the first 2 days!

Day 1

So, off we went. The ride to Rapid City was not too bad. On our way there, we stopped to see Sioux Falls. It wasn’t too special or anything, but it was a nice place to stop for some air and I got a chance to take the first pictures of the trip.

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After a quick stop in Sioux Falls we continued our trip, and after another quick stop in Wall, we drove to Rapid City, where we had a hotel already booked.

Day 2

We knew it would be way too hot to do much, so we decided to drive to the more northern part of the Black Hills. Here we took a scenic byway, and we drove through the little town of ‘Deadwood’.

As you can see, my parents made me cross the wild wild river, which was a bit scary at first, but at least we got to see the pretty waterfall!

After deciding it was really too hot to do anything else, we drove all the way down to the southern part of the black hills, because we had an hotel booked in Custer. On our way to Custer, we realized we were so close to Crazy Horse Memorial, that we decided to stop there for a little bit.

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The top picture shows what the monument looks like now, and the bottom pictures shows what it is supposed to look like once it’s finally finished. Besides just the memorial, they are also planning on building an entire college for the Indians.

We just relaxed the rest of the day, and that night, we went to see a rodeo! It was very hard to take good pictures, but I tried.

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After the rodeo we just went back to the hotel, because we had some very exciting plans for the next day, which you’ll see in my next post.

 

 

Video: Exchange year

After my last post I decided that I do like blogging and that I should actually keep posting, even though I’m not sure what I’m going to talk about now that I’m home.

Anyways, I did put together a little video about my exchange year.

There’s not much to it, but I hope you enjoy 🙂

Ik ben er nog hoor!

Hallo allemaal, long time no see. 

Ik heb de afgelopen 25 jaar al niks meer gepost hier, dus ik vond dat het wel weer tijd werd voor een update, want er is veel gebeurt sinds de laatste keer dat ik hier heb geschreven. Ik zal alles een beetje kort houden want anders wordt het wel heel erg lang.

EF Mankato

Eind januari organiseerde EF een skitrip naar Mankato voor alle studenten uit Minnesota en Iowa. Eigenlijk zou ik niet gaan, omdat ik dacht dat ik skiën niet leuk vond en omdat Mankato niet echt een trip voor me is- ik woon ongeveer 20 minuten van Mankato vandaan en kom er bijna elke week-, maar ik heb later besloten toch maar wel te gaan, maar dan niet te gaan skiën. En dat was een hele goede keuze! Ik heb een onwijs leuk weekend  gehad en een paar hele leuke mensen ontmoet, en wat groepsgenootjes uit New York weer gezien.

Field Trip

Iets minder dan een maand na de skitrip in Mankato, ben ik alsnog gaan skiën, maar deze keer met school. Gelukkig was ik het na al die jaren nog niet verleerd. Ik kwam er achter dat het eigenlijk toch stiekem wel heel erg leuk was.

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Into the woods

In Amerika doen de meeste scholen ook aan theater. Mijn school had in de herfst een toneelstuk, the miracle worker, en nu voor de lente hadden ze een musical op de planning staan. Ik was eigenlijk niet van plan auditie te doen, maar een van mijn vriendinnen heeft me toch weten over te halen. Achteraf ben ik heel blij dat ze dat gedaan heeft!

We zijn nu bezig met de voorbereidingen voor ‘Into the woods’, en ik speel de rol van Rapunzel. Het is een beetje een raar verhaal, maar het is wel heel erg leuk om te doen en ik heb er ook heel erg veel plezier in!

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Nou dat was het wel weer zo’n beetje. Natuurlijk zijn er nog veel meer leuke dingen, maar daar komt later nog wel een keer een blogpost over!

Kerstboom & Iowa

Zodra Thanksgiving voorbij is beginnen de Amerikanen aan de voorbereidingen voor kerst. De huizen en tuinen zijn hier al volledig omgetoverd. Kerst betekent ook een kerstboom, dus de zaterdag na Thanksgiving zijn we naar New Ulm gereden om een kerstboom om te hakken.

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Zoals je op de foto kan zien is de eerste sneeuw hier ook al gevallen, en het wordt ook al goed koud, maar ik moet zeggen dat ik de Nederlandse regen voorlopig nog niet mis!

Nadat we onze kerstboom hadden uitgekozen zijn we nog even de stad in gegaan om Lunch te hebben, New Ulm is echt een onwijs leuk stadje en ik zou het totaal geen straf vinden om daar nog eens doorheen te rijden!

Verder bestond mijn weekend uit het bezoeken van een echte Amerikaanse Winery, zaterdag in New Ulm, en zondag nog een keer, in Iowa. Voor mij en mijn gastzusje was het niet heel interessant, maar het is wel een stukje Minnesota dat leuk is om gezien te hebben- ze zijn hier blijkbaar heel goed in wijn maken. En ze hadden er lekkere pizza.

Verder hebben we in Iowa niet echt veel gedaan, behalve lunch hebben met een oude vriendin van mijn gastgezin, bij pizza ranch, een Pizza buffet! ( Dat is natuurlijk de perfecte plek voor mij :p )

Al met al was het een heel erg fijn lang weekend. Maandag is de echte grote sneeuwval begonnen, ik ben benieuwd hoe erg het gaat zijn dit jaar, want van wat ik heb gehoord kan het goed sneeuwen in Minnesota.