So as I'm sure all of you know by now Japan got struck by a massive earthquake a couple weeks ago. This was a huge tragedy and my heart goes out to all of the people in Japan. With all that has followed from the tsunami to the nuclear problems AFS did not feel like it was still safe for us to go right now. They offered to switch me to the semester program starting in August but it is my dream to go on exchange for a year. That is why I decided to switch to another year long program starting this fall.
I decided to go to the Netherlands and although I am disappointed about Japan I am very excited to be going there. It seems like a really cool place and I have always wanted to go spend time in Europe. From what I have read the Netherlands has great public transportation so it is easy to get from place to place even in a small town. It is also common to bike or walk places which will be very different from what I'm used to. Another plus is the cooler temperatures especially in the summer. I won't miss the 100 degree days of North Carolina.
I have already started learning Dutch through a Rosetta Stone program. It is challenging but seems to be easier than Japanese. It is definitely nice not to have all of the characters to worry about. I am hoping to be able to complete the program before I leave so I will have an idea of the language.