I know I'm overzealous with this blog right now and I'm sure my posts will become less frequent as time goes on and school starts, but until then, here is my 2nd day:
We had a very basic orientation today which covered the basics behind how the program works in terms of academics (grades etc), living arrangements, travel (within the Netherlands and internationally), safety, money and other general living tips.
It seems as if the DLC (Dutch Language and Culture) class we take in these first 3 weeks is going to be much more intensive than everyone thought. There is reading and homework and we have classes for 5 hours a day! That's like high school all over again. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up the language quickly.
After that we went to the city center to explore, shop for necessities and get our discounted train pass.
I ended up buying a new, local phone on t-mobile to connect with my local friends. It's a pay-as-you-go phone and was a huge hassle setting up (I'm sure the people at the electronics store think we Americans are rather dumb) but now it's working fine and at the least I won't get stranded anywhere with no way of contacting anyone.
My dorm/housing is about a 25 minute walk from the university which is kind of a hassle in the cold but we pass a park with a pond in the middle. On our way to campus today the other boys living in my dorm and I cautiously decided to cross the iced-over pond hoping that it wouldn't collapse on us. On the way back in the afternoon though there were tons of people on it ice skating, playing hockey, and messing around on the ice. It looked really fun and I think we're going to rent ice skates this weekend or sometime soon and go out for the day.
My roommate and I just went grocery shopping and I think we're cooking dinner for a few of the others tonight before we drink and head out on the town. As much as it pains me, I think cooking for oneself is the way to go as restaurants are really expensive here.
Hopefully tonight will be fun and I'll get to meet some locals (which I haven't yet).