I have now entered my final week in The Hague. Reflecting on almost a half year of my life is hard to confine into a single blog post. I read my original post where I stated my goal was self-improvement and growth, with that in mind I think I succeeded in my time abroad. I was able to meet some lifelong friends while traveling and exploring many different places across Europe. I really enjoyed my time here and was lucky enough not to have many negative experiences. I would also say that I have had a lot of personal growth and development while abroad, with the introduction of so many new stimuli it is hard to change and grow as a person while studying abroad. I feel more well-rounded, educated, and mature than before I left. I also just feel like I am in a much better psychological place than when I first arrived. All in all, I am very grateful for my experience here and have little to no complaints (except that it is ending of course).
                Now to pivot to potential study abroad applicants. As you can see from my experience, I had a really good time living in the Netherlands but of course, I am sure that not everyone has an experience like mine. I would recommend doing lots of research to find a place that is right for you.  Look at population density, transportation, the university, and the culture you will find yourself in. When living in any new environment, the little things MATTER.  I feel like if I would have done a program in Amsterdam instead of The Hague, I would have had a vastly different experience, and I was very close to choosing Amsterdam. I would also recommend the further away you get from a major metropolis the more authentic experience you will have (if you can reliably communicate with people in either the native language or English).  The opportunities are endless while studying abroad, and the level of autonomy is unmatched at this age, make sure that is something you are ready for.
                While abroad I have met some of my best friends and had life-defining experiences and revelations. I would highly recommend studying abroad but would encourage everyone to ensure that they do thorough research before plunging into the deep end.  
–          Dawson
(Pictured: Some of my friends, 2 from the US, 1 from Canada, and 1 from Japan)