The Netherlands: the beginning.

Hey people.

I just realised that I haven’t really told the story of how did I end up being here, in Holland. I did write a post mentioning a small amount of the whole thing, but it’s not enough. I guess it’s because the whole thing was not decently planned in the first place. I mean, I know I’ve always wanted to study abroad, but to actually be offered the chance to do so, and to decide in a fairly short amount of time was quite overwhelming. But now that I have passed a whole study year, I think it’s only fair that I tell you the whole story.

When I was graduating from highschool in year 2009, I haven’t had a solid plan. I was already thinking of applying to study abroad, but at that moment it was not financially possible. I only had one Indonesian university in mind, and that is the University of Indonesia (UI for short). The reason is simple: my parents and older brother all went there, so I reckon I should, too. I aimed for the Communication major, and just like everyone else, studied my ass off for the entrance tests. I failed twice.

I was about to give up when I heard about another program called the D3. It’s a program lower than S1 (bachelor’s degree) and focuses more on the practical study than the theory. In the Netherlands, it’s probably equivalent to the concept of Hogeschool. I did the entrance test, and got in. Badum tisssh.

Several months in studying in UI, my father got himself a new job. As blessed as I am, and it’s nothing I’ve ever heard before, but the company has a sort of an ‘allocation’ for one of the employee’s children, to be used in educational purposes, specifically – and this is the best part – to go study abroad. They are literally giving away munnies for the employee’s child to study in a foreign land. To me, it sounds like: “Hey. If one of your kids want to, like, travel abroad to study or whatnot, for free, just let us know.”

Sweet lord of heaven indeed.

But it wasn’t too peachy for me at that moment. I was already in college – I was not sure if ditching school after one year is the best thing to do. It felt like a waste to sort of ‘throw’ it away. I also wasn’t sure that I was going to like the study I would be applying. Besides, at that time, I was in a relationship that I actually did like, so as stupid as it might sounds now, it did made me reconsider going abroad over and over again.

So, there I was. Given a chance of a lifetime, yet still not sure about the whole thing. I did not have much time to think it over – I had to decide in less than a month. I didn’t know what to choose. The thought of being away from my family terrifies me. Heck, at one time, I even don’t want to leave just because of my cats! I wasn’t sure of myself – could I really make it? I was too afraid of it all.

Long story short, I did what I had to do; I gave up what I have to let go; and I hold on what I had to while I still got the chance.

And here I am, not regretting a single bit of my decision.

Another thing was that I was able to choose the country of destination (sort of). My options were the countries where I have relatives, because of the worried mother. It all went down to Canada or the Netherlands. I chose the latter because I figured it’ll be better to stick with the relatives I knew more, since I was about to live with them. I didn’t think much about the culture of the country and the whatnots – although I must say, my friends were terrified by the thought of me living in Holland. I don’t know what’s the fuss is all about! The country is great (so far), the people are nice (well, the people I know, cause why would you befriend meanies), and all those negative stories and stereotypes about the Netherlands – when you’re doing what you’ve wanted to do all along, those little things? They do not matter anymore.

So more or less, that is the story of how I ended up here. To the formspring person: I will – take my words – write another blog post about my city, Rotterdam. (Well, not really my city; I live in another city, a smaller one, but still under Rotterdam, but it’s different – ahh just let me explain it in some other time.)

Oki people, I hope you like my little story. I’ve also been travelling a bit since I got here – I’ve been to France, Belgium and Norway. I did a photo post about France and Belgium, and am working on the story on the Norway one. If you don’t have me on Facebook, there are some random pictures on my Flickr since I got here. K, I think that’s enough of the shameless self-promotion. I’ll see you guys soon. :)

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