Greetings to everyone!
My name is Kyle Mayes. I am a “küchenchef”. I am blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Amsterdam and Berlin and to share it with each and every one of you. I have always wanted to visit Amsterdam ever since I was a little boy. I think it’s the coolest thing to keep bank vaults under the water and their canal system is amazing. It has 165 canals stretching over 60 miles. I am very excited to see all that Amsterdam has to offer and it’s only two weeks away!
While I was doing a little research, I found out that Germany has taken in more refugees than any other country and it’s impact is unmistakable at the Tempelhof airport in Berlin. Some of the hangars have been converted into a huge makeshift refugee shelter late last year. Families and refugees who have had their status as “asylum seekers”, are confirmed that they are being moved to better accommodation around the city.
There have been many discussions between the Young European Federalist and the Parliamentary Group of Europa concerning the “Refugee Crisis”. Most European countries had to take measures like the temporary border control due to the disproportionate amount of refugees coming to Europe. The authorities believe the current system was made for a different time and today, it has become inhuman. The situation in the small island of Lampedusa, Italy is well known. The island has become the entry point for refugees, also known as “boat people”. They have been arriving on this island for more than a decade. What makes the present time different is the number of arrivals each day. There has been no improvement in Europe’s asylum system even though European polls indicate that a majority of Europe citizens are open to help refugees.
I believe this trip will be more than a humbling experience. I want to thank the West Georgia Technical College Staff and the student government association for supporting us as we embark upon this adventurous journey and learn all we can about the Netherlands, the great architecture, and how the German government deals with the refugee crisis. CAN’T WAIT TO TASTE THE FOOD!!!!
It’s a good thing I started getting my stuff together early! I discovered that I’ve already sent most of my “nice” clothes to our new place (2 hours away). So have to go out and buy a couple of pairs of dress pants. Also, I’ve been digging for my travel adapter for 3 days and have NO clue where the thing is…probably right under my nose. I got another from Target today for $6.99. It has two plug in positions so maybe I can share if someone does not have one. Not sure how everyone else is coming along with packing but I’ve got a list for each day and what I plan to wear for each day. I check the day off the list as I pack.
Almost done with the book we were given to read, “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank. I’ve read this book many times before but not in the last 3 or 4 years. Every time I re-read a book, I discover something new. I would suggest if you have never read the book to read it. The musings of a 13-year-old girl are quite interesting. I am amazed every time I read this book; how insightful Anne was for being such a young child going through the Holocaust. She would have been an amazing author had she been given the chance to live her life into old age. I am excited to visit the Anne Frank house. Bummer that we will not be able to take pictures. I hope we can at least take a picture of the outside.
I’ve made sure to start taking something for allergies every day as I know, unfortunately from experience, the pollen really gets me badly in Germany. I also having been taking Airbourne to try to boost my immune system. My daily vitamins help out too. I know some think taking vitamins is a waste of money but I can tell the difference when I do not take them for a couple of days. I am doing everything I can to not have ANY sick days on this trip.
I am looking forward to blogging while we are gone in order for everyone reading to enjoy our experience right along with us!
I am Rachael, I am soon to be 45, married, have 5 children, and work part time. I am currently enrolled in the Health Information Technology program. I’ve had the opportunity in my life to travel to many different places but not in the scope of a college student. I am looking forward to getting to know my fellow travelers. I am excited to travel to Amsterdam and Germany for the history, art, architecture, people, and of course the new foods I will get to eat! I think as much as I will enjoy this trip, I am going to enjoy watching the reactions of the other students as much as anything else!
“Studying abroad, regardless of the length of the program, grows our students personally and academically. As an international student during my undergraduate and graduate studies, the trips in which I participated in Europe allowed me to experience the importance of authentic learning and taught me to appreciate the diverse cultures. I strongly believe and have witnessed during the last 3 study abroad trips that study abroad experiences impact lives in ways that cannot be done on college campuses. Our students are exposed to other cultures, ideas, languages, and academia and described the trip as “one of a lifetime” with more appreciation for a different culture and better understanding of the history and perspectives of the people.” Dr. Nihal Gunay.
“The study abroad committee identifies specific programs and courses to connect with offerings at the college of contact in the country WGTC plans to visit. Students taking those courses have opportunity to complete an application packet and interview with the study abroad committee. Selected students attend several study abroad meetings throughout the term and have a specific project/assignment within their course aligned with study abroad objectives. Following the trip, students prepare classroom presentations for multiple courses and community events.” Mrs. Babs Russell.
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