Where has the time gone…

Hello my name is Yvonne, I’m from Townsville Australia and I am an anthropology student  at James Cook University.  However, I am spending a semester here in Utrecht the Netherlands, to study mostly Dutch culture.  As my first post disappeared I don’t think I’ll rehash the past because its gone, it was not a pleasant start and I’d rather forget it.  I apologize here for my slackness in not posting sooner as well.  The thing is, time is a funny thing, it feels like I’ve been here forever and at the same time like no time at all.  Here we are already in the last week of our first block.  Today was the last class of my European Film subject and I had to participate in a 30 minute talk and presentation of the 1930 Weimar Cinema film ‘The Blue Angel’.  Considering that my group was made up of two Russian students and myself, I think we did very well.  With my apparently broad Aussie accent and their mostly good English we managed to actually get through the presentation, and by all accounts it was enjoyable and understandable.  While we are told that most people speak English here, and indeed they do, there are still language barriers mostly pertaining to cultural differences and the way things are done, concepts etc.  It is extremely frustrating at times but I’m learning a lot about Dutch culture, sadly not much about speaking Dutch and I have not met many Dutch people either.  I live in an area that is predominantly Middle Eastern, and my room mate is from Texas.   My other subject is Dutch Modern Day Society, and it has been a great subject.  We have a wonderful teacher, who works us hard … lots of readings and in the tutorials we have to be well prepared to discuss at length all the study questions that she has set.  I wouldn’t say it is harder than at home but it is definitely more intense and lots more preparation to be done before class.  I like that we only do two subjects at a time here, especially  knowing now the work load.  So we get a week off at the end of this week but it isn’t really a week off for me as I have a 2500 word paper due at the end of that week for European Film and it is not the kind of essay I am used to, so will be spending most of my time researching I think.  I also have an essay due for Dutch Society as well.  I don’t feel to disappointed that I won’t get to spend that week out and about sightseeing, for two reasons, first being the weather is not to my liking and second being lack of budget due to a lot of unexpected costs I had not factored into the equation ! Don’t get me wrong it sounds a bit negative but I’m actually getting a lot personally out of this experience, its good just to be here participating in everyday life in Utrecht.

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