Introduction week for me was exciting.  I finally got out of my old routine and began something entirely new.  Intro week allowed me to feel like “part of the team” from the very beginning.  I knew I wouldn’t walk in the front door on the third of September feeling lost and confused.  Instead I felt confident and knew exactly where I had to go and when.  To be honest, the first two days of that introduction week were overwhelming.  Schedules, modules, meeting faculty, room numbers, procedures, seminars, rules and regulations, power points, tours, student cards, Gmail, HvA mail, intranet……the list goes on.  I felt as if I would be extremely lost without a clue, but once we moved into the third, fourth and fifth days, all that changed.  Suddenly the repetition of our meetings gave me the familiarity of not only the information being given, but of the building and my classmates as well.


I immediately liked all of my classmates.  I finally had a “family” of expats in very similar situations as myself.  I didn’t feel alone.  The people of the faculty were all very friendly and vulnerable (admitting their faults and sharing their stories) and made me feel welcome from the start. I truly enjoyed the scavenger hunt given by the older students.  Although I have lived in Holland for 3 years and felt I knew enough about my surroundings, this interactive team play really helped me see more than just the surface of this school.  I learned useful tips (where to grab a nice lunch/cheap drink, repair my bike, use the library and become acquainted with the AMC) and got more comfortable with my classmates.  All of my fears and anxiety went out the front door within the first few days of intro week thanks to friendly faces, eager staff, and interesting activities that were both helpful and fun.  Finally, the group activity on the last day summed up a stressful week for us with a relaxing fun-filled day, accommodated by good food and great company.


If I had to change something about introduction week it would be the first moments of the first day.  That was quite intimidating stepping into a large auditorium, scared and confused and immediately having to process a bunch of information without preparation.  I would have liked to be eased into that situation the way the entire week eased us into this program.  Other than that (suggestive) criticism, I have no complaints.  My favorite part of the week, of course, was the group presentations.  This guided us all to lose our inhibitions with the support of each other and was very entertaining.  Overall, I felt fully satisfied with the structure and content of the week and it gave me the confidence I needed to walk into the unknown depths of the ESP.

Emily Holloway