Colin Drahos – On Exchange in Venlo, the Netherlands

Name: Colin Stanley Drahos

Hometown: Hutchinson, Minnesota

Year: Senior

Major: Packaging Engineering and Business Administration double major with a focus in international business.  

Study Abroad Location: Fontys International School Of Business, Venlo Netherlands.

Hello from Venlo!

My name is Colin and this fall I have the great pleasure of studying abroad in the beautiful city of Venlo located in the southern portion of the Netherlands! I am currently in the third month of studying abroad, and boy let me tell you what,  it has been one incredible adventure thus far!

I must admit at the beginning here that I have had the opportunity to travel Europe in my past, but in no way can I say this trip shadows the trips I have had before. Being completely on your own in a new country is something, I am convinced, everyone should have the opportunity to do. With little to no language experience jumping into the first couple days was very interesting and I learned so much about myself within the first week. I would consider myself a slight introvert so breaking down the barriers and meeting people was a new experience for me, but luckily when you study abroad all the other people are in the same boat! The huge mix of cultures that I can now call my friends spread from German to South Korean, from Romanian to Australian the mix is truly incredible.

My semester is shaping up to become one of the best I’ve had with me taking interesting classes like Sustainable Innovation, Strategic Management, and even Dutch for Beginners. I must say if you haven’t heard Dutch you are in for a treat! Being a combination of German, English and a little French it can be a quite overwhelming. Luckily a good portion of the Dutch can speak english very well, which helps to make class and the supermarket a little easier to understand.

So far outside of my academics I have been lucky enough to travel to Switzerland (Bern, Lucerne, Weesen, Lauterbrunnen, and JungFrau), Amsterdam, Den Hague, Eindhoven, Scheveningen  and Cologne. I also spent 10 days biking the northern shore of Germany with my Mother, Grandmother and Aunt. I have been so lucky to see these amazing spots, and I can’t wait to see where else this semester will take me!  

Here are some pictures! Enjoy!

City Center Venlo, NL

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Amsterdam, NL

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JungFrau Switzerland

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Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

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Cologne, Germany

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Scheveningen, NL

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Carnival in Cologne, Germany

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