A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Coming from southern Germany and having lived in The Hague for half a year, I really started to get annoyed with this ever flat land. Indeed, I was trying to get to the Alps and see some mountain again. Hence, my 6-week long semester break turned out to be perfect to go skiing and live my outdoor fascination. Just how?
I found a nice job as a skiing instructor and animation teamer and was really looking forward to a few weeks of “nothing”. No Facebook; No emails; No speaking Dutch or English. However, I soon found out that this wish was not going to become reality.
Eventually, people from Holland also need to see some mountains from time to time…
As soon as they figured out that I study in Den Haag, they wanted to communicate and speak in Dutch, of course. So, my hope about a relaxing, German speaking January, drifted away. However, it also had a good side -> my Dutch improved significantly!
My knowledge about people from the Netherlands also helped me in a different way: My colleagues were stunned and could just not grasp that the dutch guests were asking for a glas of milk for dinner. It was not even on the menu – hilarious. So, it turned out that I learned a lot about Dutch culture, since it stood in direct contrast to the German side.
Additionally, during my semester break in the Alps, I got some great links and connections to people who are living in The Netherlands. I met a couple that lives less than 1km from my apartment in The Hague who told me some great insider tips about the city and got an offer for a cabriolet tour in Maastricht. Therefore, it was worth all the pain and I had an amazing time with my new friends from holland. A great experience – for a German to meet the Dutch in Austria!