In the next few articles we will be introducing some new students that are currently preparing for their adventures as international students at VU Amsterdam. Follow them through this exciting period and share your experiences with them! Now: David, an artist, writer and student from USA
Photo: Hello and Greetings from The United States of America
This is me
My name is David Carson; I’m an American artist, writer, and entrepreneur heading back to school for the first time in five years. Since I finished my bachelor’s degree in Business Finance I’ve run a couple different companies, traveled as often as possible, and bartended in between to make a living. My most recent endeavor, The Nature of Political-Economy, was a five piece mixed-media art series I showed and sold in Miami, Florida before moving home to Norwich, New York where I’ve been living for the summer, managing my family’s restaurant and bar.
Why Amsterdam / Why VU?
For five years I sold real estate in a city that’s quickly sinking; Miami is as prone to sea-level-rise as any coastal city on the planet. And yet, like my country of late, we seem to be plagued by a propensity for short-sighted decision making. Amsterdam, and Holland at large, offered an opportunity to study water-management from the masters, and the degree in Environment and Resource Management at VU appeared as comprehensive and multi-disciplinary as any program I could find in the country. It is also far less expensive for me to study abroad and I’m as interested in the cultural education as I am in the coursework and classroom exposure.
Preparations for Amsterdam
As luck would have it, I now live just down the street from a Dutch man who’s cultivated an estate worthy of extended strolls. He and I spend the occasional early morning walking between barns, sheep, and a cabin in the woods, bouncing between conversations of Holland, Dutch culture, and the phonetic annunciation of a language that still sounds quite foreign to me. I’m also preparing for my specialization in Water and Society with the seminal text on water management in the American west; Cadillac Desert, by Marc Reisner.
Worries and expectations
Whatever concerns I have of cultural integration, language barriers, and the financial challenges of full-time study pale in comparison to the excitement I’m feeling as I learn more about the program, professors, and peers with whom I’ll be studying, living, and traveling for the year. My hope, quite simply, is to strike a balance between academic rigor and international immersion in a way that fosters the kind of friendships and connections I can build on in the years ahead. The opportunity to write for those who wish to follow along on this next adventure would simply be icing on the cake.