My 4-month stay at ISH started quite interesting and will always remain unforgettable. So much happened in the first couple of days, it makes me feel I’ve been living here for months: but it’s been only three weeks so far.
The first person I met when I arrived was my fellow Dutch housemate. He is now one of my very good friends. It felt so great to be welcomed by someone who already knew the cultural differences between DC and our small country back home. My friend could tell me everything I wanted to know. I felt welcome right away, and I had no difficulties adjusting at all. I call ISH home.
What I most certainly like about living at ISH is the people. From Dutch friends previously living at the house I already knew that I would meet new friends for life. The fact this already happened in the first two weeks makes me probably the happiest person alive. Literally all people living at the house are wonderful and interesting.
I cherish my mornings at the breakfast table. I read the Washington Post and The New York Times and I discuss some politics, (international) news, or cultural backgrounds with housemates joining me at the table. I already learned a lot about other countries, and I’m happy most people are interested in The Netherlands too. Back home my breakfast lasts approximately fifteen minutes. At ISH about an hour.
Before I leave for work, I usually grab a muffin to-go. The food at ISH is very good. It is so good, that the need for exercise is HIGH. Thank God my work provides a fantastic gym, where I work out before I go upstairs for basically the rest of the day. I’m an intern at the Dutch news and our days are usually long and hectic. I love my work, so I don’t mind the pressure.
At the end of the day, I walk back home to ISH to join my friends for a delicious dinner. We ask each other politely how our days at work or the university were, and we again discuss all kinds of issues. People usually ask me what’s in the news and why the Netherlands are interested in some typical American stories.
So that’s basically what my days at ISH look like. In the weekends however, I either stay at home enjoying the comfort of the Great Hall or the TV Room, or I take a small trip to somewhere. Last weekend I visited Philadelphia for example, together with a Mexican, Finnish and German friend. It was an unforgettable experience.
I can’t wait to foresee what will happen in the nearby future. Time flies! I try to enjoy every single minute of my stay here in DC. Therefore, this weekend is gonna be Museum Weekend! I haven’t been to a museum since I’m here, so I guess the time has come. Any advice?