Here I am, at home [in the Netherlands] behind my desk, writing a new blog for ISH, my home in the United States; my dream that I have left behind and am ready to continue. This is the house where I can develop myself again, where my vision towards the world has been broadened and where I created new goals; the house where I will continue to build up my network worldwide. This is the house where I have found people who understand that traveling or living abroad is an investment in ourselves.
There are moments that I absolutely cannot forget. One is when Neena (longtime ISH resident) told the newcomers, including me at that time, that there are different types of people living at ISH – the ones you don’t hear from once they leave, and the ones who experience ISH and living in DC as a dream and wake up when they are home and move on with their ‘normal’ lives. And last but not least, the ones who are kind of stuck to ISH. I recognize myself in this last one and not just because I’m back at ISH in about two weeks, but also the contact that I have, even today, with a lot of people from the house, through mail, Skype or by visiting each other. Last summer I was in London and Milan, where I planned a trip with people from the house. It was so weird that it didn’t feel like we had not seen each other for a while. We just continued our conversations right from where we stopped them in DC. I’ve also welcomed people from ISH to my city. I think it’s very nice to see that the contact hasn’t stopped, as long as we put the time and effort into it. I have always said I do not believe in good byes, but in a ‘see you later’ and that’s certainly proven true now, since a lot of us keep in touch with housemates.
I look forward to being back home; my home where people from around the world come together. Where it doesn’t matter where you’re from, or what your political affiliation or your sexual orientation is. The differences in cultural background, or the language you speak or what you believe are just a positive difference for others to learn from. We do also have a lot in common, since we are all students or interns, and with these things, it becomes this great world in the house itself.
I’ve missed learning something new every day, discovering new places, and sitting down with people in the dining hall where you have interesting conversations.
Sometimes it will be hard not to compare my stay this coming year with my stay in the house last year. I will make comparisons with my first stay. The first experience is always the best, as the fact that the sequel of a movie is not as good as the first, but I’m happy to meet new residents and seeing old ISH friends who I already know; new contacts with new experiences. What will be different this time is that I won’t be an intern, but a student. I probably won’t be going to happy hours as much as last year or arrange different trips, but I do not mind that. It will be nice to experience the student life in the US. I’ve actually missed learning new things and sitting behind textbooks again, it’s weird I know, but it’s really true. I will probably regret this when the finals are close.
The idea that I will study Law in an international environment with people from every corner of the world makes this stay even more exciting. I reminded myself that studying in the US was one of my new year’s resolutions and now I am happy to have fulfilled this goal. It took a lot of effort; a lot of paperwork, a lot of interviews, essays and papers to write and to be where I am today. I had to prove to others and myself and had to ask several times whether I really wanted to do this or not. I’ve been able to answer this question and now I am counting down the days.
I want to thank everyone for their support and especially my mother who first came up with the idea about following an internship in the US and who has always supported me in every decision I had to make. She also supports my study of towards a Master of International Law in DC.