The last two months have brought major changes to people’s lives across the globe: travelling came to a grinding halt, schools promptly closed, and working from home became the new normal for those fortunate enough to be able to continue work.
My own plans changed drastically. I was living in Groningen, Netherlands for the final semester of my Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree. I was there for nearly two months before COVID-19 deemed the situation dangerous enough for me to return home, flying back within 48 hours of making the decision. As hard as it was to cut my time short, I feel fortunate to be home and safe. I was also able to wrap up my studies remotely and I am pleased to be writing this blog post as Cahdco’s new Development Support! I am very happy to back with the team (virtually) after working with the group last summer as well.
Although I did not have my full term abroad, I was still able to learn a great deal about the Netherlands. Where I was living, in Groningen, is about two hours from Amsterdam: short by Canadian standards but dreadfully far to the Dutch who are used to their 41,000 km² country. For comparison, this is smaller than the province of Nova Scotia (about 55,000 km²). The city has a population of approximately 230,000 people and is located in the northern part of the country.