Hi everyone!

Sorry for the long delay in blog posts, I've been really busy getting settled in. I think I've adjusted well to Leiden, I know my way around the city pretty well (at least the inner city), and I can successfully find my way to and from my source of food, a supermarket called Hoogvliet. 

This past week was mainly orientation for my program, Central College Abroad. This included a couple walking tours around Leiden, meeting with some of our professors (and having drinks with them!), and learning about Dutch history and the geography of the Netherlands. I've made a few friends in my program, as well as a few other international students in the city. I've gotten along very well with Carla, an exchange student from Mexico City who is living in The Hague, and we've hung out a few times. The Hague (Den Haag) is only a 12-15 minute train ride from Leiden, so on Sunday I met her there and we traveled together to the Ikea in Delft. We've also booked our plane tickets and hostel for a little trip to London in a couple weeks :)

Leiden is a very beautiful town. I've always loved old buildings, and there are rows upon rows of them here. The canals are also very pretty, but it's very dangerous to go in them, because of all the bikes and trash that fall in them throughout the year (I wasn't planning on jumping in anyways :P). I love that I can walk almost everywhere, my longest walk is to the train station and it takes about 20 minutes. I'm considering getting a bike, we'll see.

Since I am taking two classes at Leiden University, I will be attending their exchange student orientation for the next three days. This means that I will have to miss a field trip today to Amsterdam with my program, but I'm okay with it since there is plenty of time in the future for me to visit Amsterdam on my own. I feel like going to orientation at Leiden U will be more beneficial to me at this point, since I don't really know anything about the college yet.

It sounds like I've been having a lot of fun over here, but it's been really hard too. I've always been a very independent person, but travelling to a foreign country by myself has made me feel very alone at some points. I cried my first two nights here, especially during Skype calls with my boyfriend. It's hard knowing that he's so far away, but it's harder to see how much he is struggling with my absence too. But he will be here in 46 days, and we are both very much looking forward to it :)

 

That's all for now folks, talk to you later!

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