One of our sisters, Lindsay Jondahl has been studying abroad for the spring semester all the way in Belgium. We are so excited for her return to the good ole’ USA so what better way to welcome back this patriotic sister than by hearing all about her experience? Read what this sassy lady has to say and how amazing it is to be a part of a completely different culture.
Name: Lindsay Jondahl
Hometown: Chantilly, VA
Favorite Tri Delta Moment: Becoming a big sister to my wonderful little Cynthia. She is my best friend and I love her to death!
Where are you studying abroad/ for what program?
I am studying abroad in Antwerp, Belgium for the JMU College of Business COB 300 program. The University of Antwerp has an excellent Business school. Antwerp is known as a center of trade in Europe due to the famous Port of Antwerp. Belgium is centrally located in Europe and I have been able to travel everywhere.
How different are the classes and daily schedule abroad than at JMU?
The classes are very different than typical JMU classes. Our instructors speak Flemish as their first language and English as their second, which can create a language barrier at times. Pretty much everyone in Antwerp speaks at least some English, so that has been convenient. The class schedule is unique in that we are taking 15 credits of the hardest JMU business classes abroad crunched into about 10 weeks. We have class from 9-5 every day with a lunch break in the middle. That’s taken some getting used to! The classes are very difficult and the instructors expect a lot over here.
What places have you seen/visited?
I have been incredibly lucky and have traveled everywhere! In Belgium I have been to Brussels, Leuven, Ghent and Bruge, all wonderful cities. Outside of Belgium, I have been to Paris, Rome, Dublin, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Munich, and Mykonos (Greece). I just visited Switzerland for 5 days this past week!
What’s the coolest experience you have had while abroad and where was your favorite place you visited?
My two favorite cities I have seen are Dublin and Mykonos. We went to Greece for 5 days over Spring Break and it was amazingly beautiful. The people were so welcoming and friendly. We rented four wheelers and rode over the mountains to the beaches on the other side of the island. Sitting on the coast of the Aegean sea surrounded by mountains was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Dublin was so much fun and the Irish people have it right. They have so much fun and don’t take life too seriously.
What has studying abroad taught you?
Studying abroad has taught me more than all other experiences in my life combined. I feel like my eyes have been opened to so much. I have seen so many cultures and countries that I would have never seen without this trip. I have so much respect for other cultures that I didn’t have before. I have learned to be more open minded about life in general. Being away from the States makes me realize that sometimes, the little things that we become so consumed in aren’t that important and I am learning to be more accepting of things that are different.
Describe the culture in the country you are currently in.
I’m not even sure where to begin to describe Antwerp. Most of the people here speak French and Flemish, as well as English. I’m embarrassed that I only know one language since most Europeans know several. Antwerp is a very safe, clean, beautiful city. We are in the heart of the city at the University, so there are lots of bars, clubs, and restaurants for students. People from all over the world come to study at the University of Antwerp. The University itself is breathtakingly beautiful and the architecture is from thousands of years ago. Belgians are very nice in general and like Americans. The food is totally different here and they don’t have Diet Coke–that’s been the biggest sacrifice!
What would you recommend for future sisters who go abroad?
Everyone who has the opportunity should go abroad. I have learned so much about the world that you can’t learn in a classroom. Go abroad and have an open mind. Try new things, you will surprise yourself with what you can do.
How has this experience been influenced you being so far away from Tri Delta?
I miss Tri Delta so much! They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and that is definitely true. I appreciate Tri Delta and my 150 perfect sisters so much! I love Tri Delta even more, which I didn’t think was possible.
What are you most excited to come home to– specifically related to Tri Delta?
I am the most excited to come home and see my sisters. I miss my best friends so much. I miss seeing everyone and being involved; I feel so out of the loop not being there. I want to hear about everyone’s lives and what’s going on with Tri Delta. I am really looking forward to screaming “I AM A T!” through the streets of Harrisonburg with the best American girls I know.
We are so glad to have this sister back, we missed you TOO much Lindsay! This just goes to show that there is always lots of Delta love being spread no matter how far apart we are. WELCOME HOME LINDSAY!!!