August 2018, Blog by Janis Gaye Jordan.

If you’ve ever tried to create a Tinder profile (or other dating apps), then you would understand my thoughts on an intial profile—er, I mean blog. Do I want you to know I’m funny? That I’m smart? That I’m serious and reserved? Why this trip is the greatest thing for me? How you, too, can feel inspired to travel? …. Let’s just start like all best dates—er, blogs, start, shall we?
With a simple:

Hi there!

My name is Janis—like Janis Joplin. Or, I guess, Janis from Friends. If you ran into me, you’d probably see me exploring Pike Place, drinking coffee, watching dog videos, or nose-deep into some book or, more likely, homework.

I’m big into dim sum, pho, and sushi—like any time of the day. Oh, and French fries. Oh, and Theo Chocolate. But don’t worry about my health—I do enjoy working out and staying fit as much as I can.
I’m a senior at UWB, and currently searching for PhD programs to transfer into. I’m currently in Educational Studies with a minor in Philosophy. I’m also a transfer student, a non-traditional student, and I probably care a little too much about my grades.
I have one cat, a rescue, named Oliver (yes, like Olive and Company and yes, like Oliver Twist).

Anyways, enough about me.

Amsterdam is going to be amazing, without a doubt. You know that “I’m so happy and this is so unbelievable I could cry” feeling? That’s where I’m at.  I’m currently sitting in the airport, waiting to take-off, and it just now hit me that I’m actually going on this trip.
The program is through the UW, specifically the iSchool in Seattle. The goal is to study all of the innovative technologies that Amsterdam utilizes and how it affects the city. We’ll be exploring what makes a museum innovative, what is the relationship between a city and its public informaitons. So basically, we’ll be taking a ton of time to explore a variety of museums, libraries, courthouses, and archives to see what the Netherlands has been doing and how it’s helped.

It’s perfect for my program, because in Educational Studies looks at education reform and what makes students succeed. Perhaps more public knowledge and easier access could help our US education. So that’s something I’ll be personally exploring while examining these sites. How does public information and an approach of innovation help better our education?
Also with my minor, there are many questions that get asked in Philosophy like What makes a better society? This program will examine that, and even though it may not give a direct answer, it will try to show how important public information is while examining the society itself. It’s a very practical approach to a very deep question.

When I came across this trip, it was at my transfer orientation in some winter quarter. I kind of brushed it aside, until the beginning of Spring Quarter when I was casually browsing, and this program popped up a good option for Educational Studies.
(Besides, my favorite books are A Fault in Our Stars by John Green or Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas, which both have the Netherlands as an impacting plot point, if not the central location. Of course, when I saw this program, I couldn’t not want to go )

And honestly, I didn’t think this was something I could ever attain. Between credits, and transfers and all sorts of things-that-just-come-up, I just assumed I was not ready or just not enough to be chosen to study abroad. You know how worry and whatever gets in the way of what you want?

Since I’m graduating in a few months, I figured this would be my last chance to at least try the application process.
I was talking to my boyfriend about this, worries and all, and he encouraged to give it that try, and another one of my friends also encouraged me the day of the deadline, when I was again, toying with the all of the stress about it. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have even applied.

Even after I applied, got accepted, received funding, went to orientation—after all of these confirmations I was STILL really afraid sometime was going to come and ruin this trip, like a hospital visit or an emergency, or just anything. But here I am, at the airport, with only one, 2 hour delay that slightly interfered with my trip.

So, as an encouragement to anyone who LOVES the idea of Study Abroad, but hesitant of whether they should or should not even try, I totally understand how you feel.  It can be scary, and there can be a lot of uncertainties (and as someone who has faced a lot bad outcomes of uncertainties, I really get it). But it doesn’t hurt to take the first step and just try the application. That’s all it took for me, and I’m still in a grateful disbelief that it was all it took. Get help from your friends if you need to, and talk to an advisor, because there are people here who want to see you succeed!

Anyways, I just got called to board, so I better get going!
Until next time, dear friends 😊