Meeting some American college students!

07:54

Hello everyone,


How are you doing? I'm doing pretty well. I just wanted to start of by saying that I'am incredibly late with posting this, but I had some technical difficulties, which resulted in me rebooting my laptop. And yes guys, I lost everything on my computer. But that's not what this post is about. This post is going to be about meeting some American college students which resulted in a fun little trip to Amsterdam! Soooo without any further ado, here is what happened!

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I got an email from our former class mentor where you could volunteer to 'hang out' with American students. We decided to volunteer, I was curious about the American culture and I also wanted to meet new people! In that email we received, the professors mentioned a list of things we were discussing with the American students, things like: juvenile law, international policies and last but not least, we discussed the program of the academy of social work from our college. The day before our meeting a friend and I decided to research all the questions, so we were prepared.  

When we met the students, everyone was handed a microphone and we had to introduce ourselves. While a girl from the dutch 'side' was introducing herself she got asked where she 'originally' came from. And she answered. And then another girl told a bit about herself but she did not tell where she was from. And the same American student asked her the same question. But she was Dutch. I felt kind of funny, because your race does not define you as a person. Yes, it is a part of you but you are so much more than your race. I felt like I was being labeled. They were probably just curious, but as I have said before, I felt pretty strange.    

After the short introduction, we had to get to know each other. The professors did that with a questionnaire. We had to find someone with glasses, someone whose name started with the same letter as yours etc. This was a pretty fun icebreaker! After that we had some lunch which was provided by our school. Then we were divided in to groups where we discussed those subjects (juvenile law, international policies and the program of the academy of social work). We got to know a lot of things from the American students, for example about their school tuition and their criminal 'justice' system. Especially the youth 'justice' system. I put 'justice' under quotation marks because in my eyes the punishments are way too harsh. We were told that as a teen/ younger person you could be sentenced as an adult. In the Netherlands that´s not possible. We have a certain program, called HALT- straf, where teens from 12 till 18 years are being counseled. Oh and in the Netherlands, if you are younger than 12 years you can't be prosecuted. That's way better than being sentenced as an adult. Teens are basically children, and if they are being sentenced as an adult, they are losing a ginormous part of their life. They just need counseling throughout that whole process and they need to be thought that there are different ways of doing things. But that's just my opinion. ;)

After the discussion we got the chance to go to the Humanity House with the American students. This is a museum where you could get a glimpse of how the refugees seek for asylum and their whole journey to a safe country. I have never been there, but I have wanted to go there since forever! Especially since it's a hot topic these days. If you are in The Hague I would recommend to do this! It's an interactive museum where you can walk through, you can look through things, you are basically a refugee. Yeah... I am not doing a very good job here, trying to explain this. But I found a video where it's explained. Unfortunately they did not have an English version, hopefully you can get a general impression of what I am on about. 


This room was filled with maps. Those maps consisted  of forms with important data of refugees whom entered the country. It is easier to find family members that way. 
International Humanitarian Law. The rights you have during a war and the duties you have during a war. 
The whole room consisted of quotes from people who have been to war (like, Anne Frank) and there were also quotes about peace. 

Words versus Weapons.








After that we had some drinks (I drank some hot cocoa where I picked out all of the mini marshmallows, because of the gelatin) and my friend and I walked back to the train station with the students because they were going to their hostel. My friend and I were not ready to say goodbye yet, so we decided to go with them to Amsterdam and have some dinner. We chatted all the way to the restaurant and during our dinner with the students. The time was flying by. It was already nine o'clock and we had to find the station and go to The Hague. So when
we wanted to pay for our dinner, we were surprised by the teacher and students. They said that they had such a lovely time with us that they payed for us. We were baffled because we just wanted to have a good time and get to know them better. We said that it was not necessary. But they were very persistent. So that was really sweet of them!

I ate some delicious lasagna and drank some ginger beer. The ginger beer tasted pretty sour though, not what I am usually used to.     
After our dinner a couple of students walked with us to the train station, but before they send us off we had some delicious ice cream! I had a scoop of Nutella ice cream and a scoop of Rafaello ice cream.  The Nutella one tasted just like a regular chocolate ice cream. I expected more of a hazelnutty flavour. But you guys, the Rafaello one was a-FREAKING-mazing. You could taste the shredded coconut and the yummy sweet filling, there were some pieces of biscuit in them too. 
The store is called: Ice bakery by Nutella.  

It was an amazing day! If you ever get the chance to travel with your school, do it! It is a once in a lifetime experience. I was told that my school could not provide this because it's too expensive.   
Thank you for reading guys, I hope you enjoyed this post. Until next time! 

      

At the end of the night we took a picture with each other. For privacy reasons I blurred everyone else out. Oh and the girl with the pink hair and the guy with the red jacket (on the left side, behind the girl with the pink hair) photobombed us! Which was pretty funny :)

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