Getting Oriented.

by racheliliadis

I have a feeling that all of the days are going to be so long, but go by super quickly. Today was all about getting to know maastricht and the Center for European Studies. I woke up this morning, went for a run, ate breakfast, and met the group for a tour of the city and orientation. We basically just walked around and familiarized ourselves with the area.

Maastricht is gorgeous. The vibe here is just so wonderful! Today I saw lovers outside of balconies, people outside of cafes smoking and enjoying a glass of wine, and beautiful scenery and architecture. It’s so great because it is not as overwhelming as a Paris or Milan, but it still has cultural importance and a great social scene. We toured part of the school today, and it was so great! We got an introduction, and then we enjoyed pastries and coffee. Everything is so different here, but I’m loving every minute.

After touring the city and the central station, we went to a American cemetery to honor WWII veterans. It was peaceful to learn about and walk through the memorial, and it really made me realize what an opportunity I have to be able to be in the places people sacrificed their lives for my freedom. We spent a couple hours there, and then headed back to the guest house (our dorms) for dinner.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m at summer camp going through the lines at the cafeteria, but it is a new and refreshing feeling. Dinner was great, and then we went back to our rooms to rest before going out for the night. I’m quickly finding out how huge the party scene is here in maastricht. I went out with a few friends tonight to go bar hopping (which isn’t normally my thing), but I want to get acquainted to the culture. They took the students around tonight to go on a bar crawl, but that was totally not my vibe so I decided to stay behind.

So far, I know I’m still in the honeymoon phase of this journey, but I love it! It is a lot to get acclimated to, but I’m ready.