“I'm constantly going back to what I learned in the Netherlands.”
Kaitlin traveled to Amsterdam on a four–week Global Seminar with students from the University of Minnesota. The course, Ethical Tolerance in the Netherlands, combined sociology and philosophy to help students understand political change in a European country.
Kaitlin is pursuing an Individually Designed Interdepartmental Major (IDIM) that focuses on social justice and the arts. She was interested in learning about governmental policies in the Netherlands, and about how Europe differs from the United States in terms of policy. She thought one major difference was the level of influence that citizens can have on the government in Amsterdam. "We concentrated a lot on different neighborhoods in the city, seeing how some people weren’t being treated the same as others, and what people were doing to change that. They could have a really direct impact on things there. That was really interesting to me."
The coursework, co–taught by Carl Brandt of the University of Minnesota and a Dutch professor, also helped Kaitlin to be more comfortable with another area of study. "I really appreciated the fact that this particular program was half sociology and half philosophy, so I feel like it really gave me a good background in philosophical ideas. I’m really scared of philosophy classes; I don’t think I would take one. But the way that this material was introduced was, I think, done really well."
Outside of class, Kaitlin pursued her interest in art by visiting museums, attending an orchestra concert, and getting a feel for the local art scene. Her experience remains with her now that she’s back in Minnesota, and she hopes it will carry her into the future. “I’m constantly going back to what I learned in the Netherlands. I’m going to take Dutch in the fall, because I’m considering going there after I graduate, just because it was so great to be there. I’m really interested in arts administration, and I’m looking into a program at NYU, and they have a program in the summer in the Netherlands. We’ll see.”
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