I decided to start this blog because I figure it will work as an electronic journal, just in case something should happen to my other journal during the course of my trip (which is very likely, considering my luck with life). I think that it will also give my friends and family a chance to hear all about my travels in Europe during my year abroad, and will help me develop my writing skills, seeing as this is very important to me.
Anyways, I am really excited to go to Leuven. I will be flying into Newark, NJ this Saturday, the 26th, and I will fly to Leuven on the 27th at night. We will arrive in Leuven on the 28th in the morning. We're going to settle in for three days, and then we will depart for Paris and northern France for 8 days. I am sooo excited for the France trip! I am doing a presentation on Sacre Coeur and Montemartre, which looks so interesting. Montemartre is an old bohemian village surrounding sacred heart, that is home to many vagrant artists. The Moulin Rouge is there...can't wait to see that! Montemartre is the only village left in Paris, which I find fascinating. During my trip, I will get to see things such as the Musee D'Orsay, The Eiffel Tower ( of course), the Louvre, etc. I absolutely love art. One of the things that excites me most about this whole trip next year is the history that I will be exposed to while abroad. I don't really care for the minute details of history, such as dates, etc., but history overall fascinates me to no end. I think it will be awesome to stand inside of old castles and walk down old cobblestone streets, etc.
After our France trip, we will be taking an intensive Dutch class ( they speak Dutch in Flanders, which is the region we'll be living in), for 5 days in a row, 5 hours per day. I am not looking forward to this AT ALL. I love languages, but not that much. I also heard that everybody speaks English very well in Leuven. However, I feel obligated to at least attempt to pick up some Dutch, as this is part of the whole immersion experience, and will most likely prove very valuable to me. After this intensive, we have a week off. I may try to see a city in Germany or go to London during this time. I hope to see most of Belgium, France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Netherlands ( paid trip there in Nov.!), and also maybe some Germany and Spain by time I return for Christmas. Exciting!! Now for the packing... ( ughhh)