Goedendag everyone (Good day in Dutch)!
4:00AM came early this day in Norway; but fortunately, I was not far from the airport .. only a 5 minute taxi ride. My flight was scheduled for 6:05AM, so I planned to leave plenty of time to get there.
Today my plans included visiting several schools in and around the first class city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. As we approached the Schipol airport (by the way, random trivia fact for you: this is the fourth largest airport in the world!), one can see the many fields and canals that make up western Holland. Holland is a very small country, the size of just Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Known for many things over the centuries, including windmills and wooden shoes, Holland is also quite well known for its Tulip production.
Fields and fields of tulips can be seen splashed across the countryside; its truly a beautiful sight to see! I would also be somewhat misrepresenting the current state of Holland if I were to continue leading you to believe they still operate many of the country’s windmills, and are running around in their wooden shoes; in most cases, neither still happen with any frequency. Wooden windmills of the past have been replaced with much more modern and efficient models, producing much of the country’s energy. The wooden shoes, while still readily available in street shops and major retailers, are only worn by some farmers tending to their fields. Of course, still without luggage, I had the option of purchasing a pair of wooden shoes for the weekend and my return journey to Boston. I will admit, I tried a pair on (really, just for the experience, and to be able to say I did, but alas, opted for the more comfortable and modern rubber soled shoe).
From Schipol I traveled to Amstelveen, just outside Amsterdam proper, to the International School there. Terrific students from approximately 20 nationalities are enrolled at the school, making for a wonderfully diverse and interesting experience. From there, I called a taxi which took me approximately 25 minutes to The Hague where I visited the American School of The Hague. I reconnected with a wonderful young woman I had met earlier in the year, Andrea Koris, who was here on campus to visit earlier this spring and interviewed with me at that time. She has some familiarity with the College … her father, David, is an alumnus of the College, and older sister, Caitlin, a current student here. Andrea said she was still thinking hard about her college options, but felt comfortable knowing she had already made some decisions about where she would feel most comfortable, and what the right environment for her would be. She continues to hold Holy Cross in high regard, and is looking forward to submitting her application this fall for consideration. My visit with Andrea and her counselor lasted approximately 90 minutes, and she was back to class, and the remainder of her daily activities.
So, ok kids … get out your globes … its time to recap. We started in Boston and traveled to London. From London we traveled to Milan, Trieste, and then Duino, Italy. From Trieste, Italy, we took a three-hopper: Rome – Amsterdam – Bergen, Norway. Once in Bergen, we traveled by taxi, fast boat, bus, and car, 7 hours to the United World College in Flekke, Norway: amazing! From Bergen we went back to Amsterdam for Friday and the weekend. SO, for those keeping score at home, in four days that would make for 5 countries, 10 cities … 7 flights, 7 taxi rides, 4 tube rides, 4 trips via car, 2 trips via boat, 2 via bus, and 1 via train; WHEW! SO …
Flight fare $$: let’s not discuss that …
Lost luggage $$: more than I care to think about
Students and contacts: PRICELESS.
As I left The Hague, I was inspired and excited by the students and counselors I had met throughout the week. This was certainly the most exciting and interesting trip I’ve made in my Admissions Career!
Doei, from The Hague, for now.
James T. Richardson
Associate Director of Admission