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Off-Campus Study

Notes from Abroad: Molly in the Netherlands

Molly Major ’19 is a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biology who is studying in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

My time abroad has been so remarkable this far, and I can’t wait to experience the next 4 months of it! Thank you ISEP for granting the Airfare reward and allowing me to have more savings to spend visiting and experiencing other cultures! I am studying in the Netherlands in the city of Nijmegen at Radboud University. So far I have encountered some interesting and tough experiences, but also some that have been absolutely amazing. The first weeks is when I experienced the most trouble, first from trying to navigate my way from the airport to my school after 20 hours of traveling and extreme jet lag, then of course getting lost every single day for the first week I was here because I didn’t know the lay of the land. After a week, I was totally fine though! I’ve learned about so many different cultures since I’ve been here, and learned a little bit of 3 different languages. I’ve grown to love biking and believe it is the absolute best form of transportation (for the environment, our health and its fun!). My classes here are a lot different then they are at Lake Forest. First, Radboud divides their semesters into quarters, so each class is only 7 weeks long and I have 2 final exam periods. They also give 2-3 weeks to take exams so there is so much more time to study than I’m used to! Since I’ve been here I have made friends with students from over 15 different countries, each with different cultures and values. It’s been very eye-opening and helpful to fulfill my main goal of going abroad which was to culture myself. Although this isn’t the first time that I’ve been abroad, this is the first time I’ve ever lived abroad and experienced more than just a vacation. I would recommend taking that opportunity to anyone. With vacations you see what’s been advertised as fun or worthwhile on the internet, but when you live here you get to decide for yourself what the best part of the country is. You can study countries and research as much as you want, but you’ll never understand a culture until you can be completely submerged and live in it. Studying abroad has been the greatest experience of my life, and I can’t wait for the adventure to continue!