Let's begin at the end of your comfort zone Blog

Hi everyone, here is my new and improved blog.

My name is Sarah van de Ven and I am a second year student at Stenden University in Meppel. I am currently studying to become an international teacher.

As long as I can remember I always have had a passion for education and when someone asked me what I wanted to become when grow up, I would always replay "Juf"(Teacher) Together with that and the fact that I love traveling and different cultures made me choose to become an international teacher.

Half October my first big Teaching Practice is starting at the Transylvania College in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. I am really excited to experience a boarding school because that is also completely new to me. This blog will be about my time here and what I expierence outside of school.

I hope you enjoy looking around on this blog and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Kind regards,

Sarah van de Ven

Blog 1: Be open to whatever come next

22th of October, 2016

Well... good morning, afternoon, evening or night. Wherever in the world you are right now.

Today as you may have noticed on the top of this post or on the bottom right corner of your screen, is the 22st of October; the second of my adventure.

Last couple of days, before leving to Romania, have been chaotic. Trying to finish all my schoolwork (which I didn't), saying goodbye to family and friends and enjoying those last free moments I have.

The day before yesterday we (me and Ismae) departed from Eindhoven to Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The flight was about 2 hours and Ismae was sitting to left of me, being super hyper from all the coffee she had that morning.

On the airport we had to wait for Thaïs, who was arriving an hour later, because she had another flight. During that time period, we changed out money from euros to Romanian lei (1 euro = +- 4,5 lei), we almost got ripped off by a guy who was helping us with the Suttle bus, because it was 15 euro for one car and I asked him if I could pay with lei and he he was ooh ye then it is 600 lei. But it is not, it is like 150 euros!! But I payed him with euros and that was fine. The Romanian lei also feels really weird, it basically feels like plastic and also had this really awesome see through thing in it. When Thaïs arrived she told us Xenia was going to come the day after and we went to our apartment. It is really small but we will make our thing out of it

Romania is so different from every country that I am used and it is nerve-racking and exciting at the same time.

People barely speak any English, even in such a big city like Cluj. The city is very old and broken in a lot of places but that also gives it an unique touch to everything. Traffic is crazy and public transport even worse but hopefully we will figure out how it all works in a few days. It is basically a complete different story for another day.

We also went to the school yeaterday and had a tour around it. We met our mentors and went for dinner in a huge shoppingmall, I have never seen something that big. It was kind of overwelming. And the other girls were like it's not, but it really is for Dutch standerds.We had drinks at a cafe in the mall and a lot of fun with all of the people.

Today we walked around the old city of Cluj and it was absolutly gorgoues. I really love the old buildings over there and the churches, they look fanatastic. There also so many bookshops and they make me so happy, eventhough they are mostly completely in Romanian. but I really do love the old city

Blog 2: Beauty is hidden in everything, just learn how to observe

22th of November, 2016

The last 2 weeks I have been very much enjoying the beauty in and around Cluj. Two weeks ago, we went to the Banfi castle. We borrowed the car of one of the teachers and went on our way to the castle.

The castle is still in a very old state because it isn't entirely renovated yet.

The castle very beautiful and old and it was absolutely gorgeous.

After that we planned to go the waterfall that totally wasn’t at the actual place the map said so instead of that we drove around, sang and enjoyed the nature around us, which was so much fun.

The day afterwards is started snowing, the entire town looked absolutely amazing with the snow everywhere. It do was a shame that it started snowing because we were planning to go to the other waterfall that was also pretty close by and we didn’t have winter tires.

Since Tuesday, it started to warm up again and this weekend it was again like 11 degrees outside. That Friday, me and Ismae went to the cinema to see “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them”, and it was I think my favorite movie I have seen this year, it was that good.

On Saturday, I went out by myself into the city and walked around and went to Cetatuia Park (a panaramic point in the city) in the center of the city and from that place you can the entire city and it was absolutely gorgeous. I also took a stroll through the city, read some in the park and just had a good time by myself.

Okay next blog I will talk about going to the 2 famous castles of Romania this weekend and how will go to Bucharest for 3 days.

Blog 3: Never. Stop. Exploring.

5th of December, 2016

On the 26th and 27th of November, Ismae and I went on a road trip to Brasov to see both of the well-known castles in Romania, the Bran castle, or better known as the Dracula castle, and the Peles castle. We borrowed the car from one of the teachers from school and took off. In total we rode 705 km.

So first stop, Bran castle. The outside of the castle is absolutely gorgeous, it was built again a mountain and because we arrived pretty late you could see the sun set behind it, which made it even look more magical then it already was. The inside was also pretty awesome but it was way to crowed for my taste.

After that we drove back to Brasov to look for our hostel, which was absolutely nowhere to be found, but eventually we found a complete different which was also really nice.

Next day we immediately went on our way to the Peles castle, which was sadly enough closed but the outside and the view were absolutely stunning, so we didn't miss out on that. And from there we took our car and drove back home.

On Wednesday I took the plane to Bucharest, to walk around there and see another city then Cluj. Bucharest was awesome, with a lot of different gorgeous churches, the parliaments building, a street which was basically only stairs and an artist had decorated the entire stairs, beautiful parks, the Hard Rock Cafe and almost most important of all amazing bookshops.

That Thursday it was also the Romanian national day. It was really awesome to see that. Basically what they did was parade around with all the military machinery and was so different from everything I have ever seen.

By this point you may also think: "Where are all the photo?". Well sadly enough, my camera got stolen in Bucharest as well. I accidently left it in a cab and wanted to open the door again but the cabdriver just speeded off. So that's why no photos.

The next day I walked around the city some more, I saw some of the more hidden gems and just had a good time. That night I took the plane back to Cluj.

Today we had a mini surprise with the four of us, and just in general, this weekend we had a good time.

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