Doing Business in Europe Summer School in The Netherlands – One week into the Hanze Summer School program, I have gained tremendous insight into the Dutch people and the operating style of their wonderful city of Groningen.
Upon leaving for the airport, I was overthinking and trying to set expectations for some comfort. Then meeting the group I was going to stay with for these three weeks changed those anxious thoughts into real joy and excitement. I can confidently say that everyone who joined this program has been incredible. Learning cultural nuances from the Africans, Americans and especially the Ukrainian. I can already see lasting friendships being built, even the Americans.
In this first week, I have seen the bustling city center completely designed around functionality, it is really astonishing to see such a well preserved and contrastingly modern city. I also noticed the beautiful people of this city, no one seems to have ill intentions so far. Jamie and I got coffee from a stranger at 6:30am before any cafes were open. I asked, he gave, I offered five euro but “No,” he said, “have a nice day.” I really value this quality in the people here, they want you to have a good life, and likewise you should to them.
Experiencing different sides of Europe has been equally as powerful of an experience. My new friend Pavlo Herman, a Ukrainian student that came here after travelling for nearly a week to escape the war, wanted to have us experience some authentic Ukrainian food. We biked for awhile before coming to a small kitchen, we found out they only did catering after arriving. But they made an exception for us because we were so excited to try their food. Once we ordered, the nice woman came out with two different drinks for us to try. Because in Ukraine, “you eat, you must drink” as she said. We ordered almost one of everything, the ladies loved us, and we loved their food. Everything was amazing, and Pavlo said that the things we ate are not typical restaurant food, but more so if you went to grandma’s house for dinner.
This was just one example of the diversity you can see from being in Europe, I seldom think about living anywhere else now. Just this country has amazed me. I can’t even fathom what else there is that I can see, touch, and experience.