It’s Tulip Time!

Posted May 1st, 2014 by Rachel in Leiden, the Netherlands

It’s Easter weekend, and the tulips are in full bloom! Over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve been to the tulip fields four times. Each time the fields were a little more brighter and fuller until on Easter Sunday, they came out full-force. While today the tulip is a symbol of the Netherlands,…

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Top 8 Reasons Why You Should Study in Leiden

Posted April 21st, 2014 by Rachel in Leiden, the Netherlands

1. You’ll Get to Meet People from All Corners of the Globe Since Leiden is home to two major universities, there are opportunities left and right to join international organizations. I would highly recommend becoming involved in ISN (International Student Network). They offer free clubs that anyone can join. My favorite is the Board Game…

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Saturdays at the Market

Posted March 31st, 2014 by Rachel in Leiden, the Netherlands

One of my favorite things to do on Saturday in Leiden is go to the market, which is set up on both sides of one of the major canals in Leiden. I always bring my backpack along because when I see all the vendors with fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, and bread, I know that…

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Sheep Sightings and Shrimping in Texel

Posted March 11th, 2014 by Rachel in Leiden, the Netherlands

The one optional trip that Central offers is a three-day excursion to the northern island of Texel. Steef said that the only reason it’s optional and not required is because our only means of transportation is the bike. He said that in the past, students who had never biked before would come and think that…

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The Scoop on Dutch Intensive

Posted February 21st, 2014 by Rachel in Leiden, the Netherlands

Now that we’re done with our 11 day intensive Dutch class, I thought I’d give the scoop on what to expect from this required class. To start off, our Dutch teacher, Rene, was quite the character. Almost every class period he would make a comment about how strange he found the lifestyle of us Americans….

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OWL- Orientation Weekend Leiden

Posted February 7th, 2014 by Rachel in Leiden, the Netherlands

Once we arrived in Leiden, our orientation got off to a rockin’ start by going out for traditional pancakes. However, these aren’t the pancakes that you probably have in mind. A Dutch pancake is thin, about 16 inches wide, and can be made with a combination of ingredients, including ham, pineapple, bacon, cheese, powered sugar,…

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First Impressions of Leiden

Posted January 28th, 2014 by Rachel in Leiden, the Netherlands

I’ve been in Leiden for four days now, so I thought I’d share some of my first impressions of the city. Bikes Rule the Town The first thing I learned while hauling my luggage from the train station to the Central Office was the difference between sidewalks and bike lanes. In the hierarchy of the…

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Meet Rachel!

Posted January 9th, 2014 by Rachel in Leiden, the Netherlands

Hello! I’m Rachel Mairose, your Leiden blogger for this semester! I attend school at Briar Cliff University in Iowa, but I hail from Kimball, South Dakota (it’s almost exactly in the middle of the state). My hometown, even with its paltry population of around 800, is famous for its homemade popcorn balls. I grew up…

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Mmm.. Lekker!

Posted December 16th, 2013 by Samantha in Leiden, the Netherlands

Here it is, the much anticipated Dutch food post! Amazingly, it is already my last week here in Leiden. There are so many things I’ll miss, but the food is a big one. Here and now I’ll take a break from studying for finals to share with you the foods that I have fallen deeply…

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Typisch Nederlands

Posted December 3rd, 2013 by Samantha in Leiden, the Netherlands

Apologies for my absence lately! November has been another month of crazy travel and adventure. A week and a half ago was our excursion to Belgium, organized by Central.   We spent two nights in Brussels, but we spent the greater part of our last day in Bruges (side note–before this trip I watched the…

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