Monday, August 10, 2015

The Welcome Days

I've been with my host family for two days now and I just love it here! I'll write a post about arriving at my host family later. In this post I want to tell you something about the Welcome Days.

Last picture with my family!

On Wednesday August 5 my exchange year finally started! I drove together with my parents and sister to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. There I had to check in to my flight and shortly after that it was already time to say goodbye to my family. I found it really hard to say goodbye and the hardest thing was to walk away from them knowing I won't be seeing them for a long time. That was also the moment I realized that I was really starting my exchange year.

I flew together with 8 other exchange students from the Netherlands. First we had to fly to London where we had to wait for 4 hours until our next flight departed: to JFK Airport in New York! All the flights went well and I amused myself by watching some movies. When we arrived at JFK we had to wait for around 1,5 hours to go through customs. But we survived and when we walked into the arrival hall there were already some EF people waiting for us with big signs!

When we arrived at Hofstra University (where the Welcome Days are located), we got something to eat and they gave us the keys to our rooms. We slept in dorm rooms in buildings on the campus. I had a room at the 11th floor and far away I could even see the skyline of NY! I had a roommate from Norway who was really nice, and she happened to have the same name as me which was pretty funny.

Of course I had to take a picture with a school bus.

On the first day of the Welcome Days we stayed on the campus. We were divided into groups and I was in group nine. With our groups we did all kinds of activities and games during that day. They were about Culture Shock, Cultural Values and Problem Solving. I also had my first American breakfast on that day, which consisted of waffles, sausages and a bagel. I met a nice girl from Germany who was in my group and we became good friends! In the evening there was an ambassador panel, in which EF ambassadors answered all kind of questions about their exchange years. The whole day was very informative and helpful.

Friends <3
On the second day we had to wake up very early because we were going to visit NEW YORK CITY! We drove there in the typical yellow schoolbuses which was awesome! The campus of Hofstra University is located on Long Island so it was around 1,5 hours driving to the city. Everyone was so excited and we took a lot of pictures in New York. We just walked through the city to visit the most famous sights like Times Square, Broadway, Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center and Central Park. It was an amazing day and I can definitely say that New York is my favorite city.

When we got back at campus we had to pack all our stuff and check out. The evening ended with a dance party were we all learned the 'EF Dance'. It was a lot of fun!
After that I could go to sleep until 3:30 because my bus left at 4 am. Everyone was asleep in the bus but weirdly enough I couldn't sleep anymore, so I just watched the skyline from New York out of the window. We arrived at Newark Airport where we checked in, and at 9 am my flight to Atlanta left. In the next blogpost I'll tell you something about arriving at my host family and my first days here!

1 comment:

  1. That sounds all so awesome! I'm really looking forward to read more from your exchange year. Wish you an amazing one :)