A Never Ending Search for Iced Coffee

I have been living on campus the past two and a half years. Class has never been more than a five minute walk away. I have gotten used to rolling out of bed 30 minutes before class taking a quick shower and being in class right on time. Being 30 minutes away from class and having to wake up an hour and a half before class has taken some adjusting. I have found the morning bike ride to class stronger than a cup of coffee.
Unlike the regulated schedule of Umass, here my classes are in different classes at different points in the week. This makes my schedule different day to day, sometimes having blocks up to seven hours between classes. This irregularity keeps me on my toes, forcing me to check my schedule frequently. As well as being at different times my classes are also in different parts of the city. While this seems like it would be an inconvenience, I have enjoyed seeing different parts of the city.
I am in two types of classes here. One is through the University of Amsterdam, a programming class with 400 students. We have lectures as a whole group with the professor then individual tutorials in groups of 20 students led by grad students. This class is mainly filled with Dutch students from what I can tell I am the only American in the class. There is a heavy emphasis on student independence and responsibility. With no homework I need to be disciplined in my studies making sure that I’m keeping up as the midterm is worth 30% of your grade and the final 70%!
My other classes are through the study abroad program. These are based on Dutch policy, taught by Dutch professors to classes of all American students. These classes of 20 students each remind me of home. The discussion heavy classes give me a chance to learn more about my classmates.
During blocks between classes I have used the time to find nice cafes and other spots to relax. There is a shortage of cafes offering iced coffee here, a staple of my diet at home. I have found one Coffeebites, that is a block away from my classes with a great iced coffee for 2 euro. The laid back feeling and abundance of cats lounging inside have made it a favorite spot to kill time.

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