Four countries, nine cities, ten weeks. I started this summer hoping to "pack my suitcase full" with experiences, and I think I've done just that. Tomorrow I cap it off with a four-day trip to London before flying back to the States. With London, I will have visited the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and England. Living the The Hague will always leave a special place in my heart for the Netherlands, but I have been incredibly lucky to see and experience so much this summer.
Traveling Europe this summer has been exciting and memorable, but my time with IDEA has more profoundly, though more subtly, impacted me. The work was certainly interesting, but the people will be what stays with me. Really, they literally will stay with me because I am continuing my work with my supervisor this fall on our project examining the international legal responsibilities of international organizations. But yes, also, the people at IDEA are what most shaped my time in the Hague. Their graciousness, their advice, their wit, and their expertise are what made me excited to get on my bike and head to the office every morning.
Over the course of my last week in the Netherlands, I've tried to revisit the hallmarks of my summer. In part it was to take pictures, because I of course neglected to document my Hague haunts on previous countless visits, but also in part to try and soak up one last memory of the city I've been able to get to know over the past couple of months. I went to Scheveningen and watched the sun dip below the North Sea's edge with some friends. I grabbed Vietnamese and Indonesian food (on separate occasions) with coworkers. I ran by the World Forum, and I lunched on top of the constitutional monument.
I am extremely grateful to International IDEA and to Professor Warren and the donors that made my time with International IDEA and in the Hague possible. This summer afforded me an unparalleled experience professionally, not to mention some incredibly cool adventures.
Scheveningen, The Hague, the Netherlands