Make The Connection

March 11, 2019 | By Adrian Burr ’19

Alix Templeman’s time in Amsterdam helped her expand her OWU women’s and gender studies minor into a second major. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree after graduation from Ohio Wesleyan. (Photo courtesy of Alix Templeman)

Adventure in Amsterdam

Ohio Wesleyan Student Savors Semester Abroad

Name: Alix Templeman ’19
Hometown: Stirling, New Jersey
Majors: Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies
Experience: IES Abroad Amsterdam: Social Science & the Humanities

Templeman studied abroad during fall semester and shares how The OWU Connection experience has changed her life.

“One of the goals I set was to know Amsterdam well enough that I didn’t have to rely on my phone's GPS! I achieved this by essentially letting myself get lost a lot. I would figure out landmarks, and as long as I knew which direction I needed to go in, I always found a way home! Eventually I learned so many different routes to get all over the city, including which public transport went where!”

What classes did you take? How did the study abroad setting enhance your class experience?

“I took four classes total: Gender & Sexuality in the context of Amsterdam, Social Trends, Problems & Policies, Dialogues on Difference, and a studio art class. I really loved my Dialogues class because we talked a lot about the differences between the states and the Netherlands, and it helped put a lot of things into perspective. It also helped me gain skills to have difficult conversations about race, gender, and social issues. The class size was super small because it was through the IES program, and I loved it because it allowed for more intimate conversation.”

What did a typical day look like while studying abroad?

“For me, I only had class three days a week. All of my classes were 3-4 hours long, so on days I had class that class would take up a good chunk of my day. When class was over, I’d leave some time to relax, maybe bike around and run some errands, then get together with my friends to do homework. On days when I didn’t have class, I would take time to explore the city, go shopping, visit to museums, and other activities!”

Alix Templeman ’19 enjoys a stroopwafel – a traditional Netherlands treat made of two thin waffles sandwiched together with caramel filling. She spent fall semester studying in Amsterdam. (Photo courtesy of Alix Templeman)

What most surprised you while on your trip?

“I was so surprised that bikes pretty much dominate Amsterdam! Cars exist, but are way less common. .... Biking was a primary mode of transportation for me next after the public transport (which was super clean and convenient!) and it definitely took me a bit to get used to the way traffic worked there.”

Do you have a favorite memory?

“My favorite memory is when my friends and I took a train out to this national park in the Netherlands and accidentally hiked a total of 12 miles. We were trying to get to this lake and it looked way closer on the map than it actually was. Regardless, we saw some really awesome terrain that was so unique it didn’t feel like we were in the Netherlands. It was truly breathtaking.”

What advice would you give other students looking to study abroad?

“JUST DO IT! And if it seems like it’s impossible to do, I swear it is possible. You can work with OWU and your program to figure out funds and all that. And I know it seems scary to be so far away from home and your support system, but going abroad really helps you explore who you are as a person, what your needs are, and what your goals are.

“I learned a lot about myself, how to be on my own, and how to fend for myself in a foreign country. By the end of my trip, I had another home on this planet, and I look forward to the day I get to return to Amsterdam. You make some lifelong memories that are irreplaceable.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“After graduation, I plan to take a gap year … then apply for grad school Ph.D. programs in psychology and WGS and (hopefully) be able to enroll for fall 2020.”

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