Decisions, decisions, decisions

Hi! Today, I’d like to share something about my decision to do a language course in D.C.. I often get the question why I want to improve my English since it’s not that bad (or so I’m told). Also, why did I choose to go to school in my vacation?! Was I insane when I decided to do a language course, don’t I always say that we don’t get enough vacation time? And why then Washington D.C., isn’t New York City much more exciting? Today, I’d like to share with you why I chose to go on my own and why D.C. seemed like the perfect fit for me.

I’ve been always interested in learning new languages since the only languages I speak are Dutch and English. I’ve had French and German in high school and in my first year at the university, I thought it would be fun to try Italian. Since my French and German aren’t that good (read, pretty bad), I wanted to learn the most beautiful language on earth, in my opinion: Italiano. After about seven weeks, I decided that Italian wasn’t for me, at leat not at the time being. It turned out that if you want to learn a new language, such as Italian, you should really put an effort into it. I already knew this, of course, however, at the time it seemed a good idea to do four courses in one block, really what was I thinking?

The idea of learning a new language seemed thus really cool to me. So last year around this time, I decided to do some research and soon I decided that this was what I wanted: spend some weeks abroad to learn a new language! The choice for EF Education First was an easy one, they have language schools all over the world and I liked the vibe that the brochure gave me. Besides, some people I know went away with EF, and they had the time of their lives! I mean, who doesn’t want to have such an amazing time whilst learning something?

Initially, I really wanted to learn Italian in Rome, French in Paris, or Spanish in Barcelona. Then, I realized that learning a new language (given my small amount of knowledge of French, a little Italian, and no knowledge whatsoever of Spanish) wouldn’t be possible in three weeks, but improving my English would be. Thus, the decision for an English language course was made. The question that followed was where to do this course? London, Brighton, Singapore, Auckland, Sidney, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Malta, Vancouver, Montreal, and New York all came to mind. Since going to the United States is something that I’ve always wanted to do, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and New York were left. Los Angeles and Hawaii didn’t make the cut since New York really longed to me, how cool would that be? Going to the Big Apple for three weeks! When I looked up the location of the language school, it turned out that it was located about an hour from Manhattan. Hmm, that seemed like a long trip to just go downtown New York and I decided to look to options close to NYC. In that way, it still would be possible to do at least a mini-roadtrip to NYC. My mom then showed me that there was also a language school in Washington D.C.. Why didn’t I think of that before? I’m interested in politics and how cool would it be to see the White House and the Abraham Lincoln memorial statue?! I decided to do some more research and it didn’t take long to make the decision: I would do my English language course in Washington D.C.!

Washington D.C. is beside the capitol of the United States and the political center of the United States, also quite close located to NYC, which would keep the option for a mini-roadtrip open! Many people told me that Washington D.C. had a relaxed vibe, that the city wasn’t too big, and that the people there were very nice and open. I have to see for myself in two weeks if that’s true of course, but I was intrigued. Not long after that, I booked the trip to D.C.. My very first vacation abroad all alone, exciting but also kind of scary. However, I felt like, if I could do this on my own, it would be another personal victory. I felt also kind of badass to go on my own to the States, I mean, not every twenty-year-old wants to go all alone to the States (also my friends found it very cool, so that gave me that extra bit of confidence that really pushed me over the edge to go).

Once the course was paid for, the next step was to go look for a flight to D.C.. I also had to get my student visa approved at the United States Consulate in Amsterdam, which was quite a happening. I’d be happy to share this with you next time!

Stay tuned!

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