A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Studying abroad at Leiden University does not only mean taking courses in The Netherlands, but also taking part in fascinating university programs. So, after I found the “International Field Course on Water and Water Management in The Philippines” of the Anthropology Department Leiden, I applied immediately and well: Here I am – Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in The Philippines – why others are enjoying the Semester Break right now with fun activities like skiing, snowboarding, pleasure vacations or travelling, nerd Thomas is taking part in an academic course! Okey, okey, I am quite – there might be worse things than being in the Philippines.
Anyways, while being in Holland as a German, you are often just seen as the expat – the foreigner who is trying to integrate, but fails. Here, in a course where 12 students are from Uni Leiden and 12 from a Philippines University, you are one of the “Nederlanders”. And when we made Dutch dinner and prepared Stroopwaffels and Goude-Cheese, it was the first time when I actually felt like: “that’s home”. Quite funny that you have to go to the other side of the world to start seeing Holland as something like a home.
However, its not that easy… When the Course Coordinator introduces us, he makes it quite clear that there are 11 Dutch, and 1 German… There you are, trying to integrate and everybody sees you as “The GERMAN”. Oh well, I’m trying, and if the dutchies don’t accept me, I might just stay here since It’s more Fun in The Philippines.