International students often travel to Linfield College because of its great academics and student life.
Freshman Vince Van’t Hoff from Amsterdam gave an insightful talk titled, “Holland, so far, but still so close!” that emanated with passion and love for his friends and the entire Linfield community.
He said to a pact audience composed of mainly friends and those involved with the International Programs Office to “Try everything” when you study abroad.
Van’t Hoff spoke of his own experiences since he has traveled through most of Oregon and Washington and has even visited Alaska with one of his close friends from Linfield.
His talk was centered on the differences between Holland and the Netherlands as well as his experiences at Linfield.
He explained that Holland is better known and that people get confused about the Netherlands.
Holland is in the Netherlands even though most people refer to the Netherlands as Holland.
The Netherlands has 12 provinces with two of them being North and South Holland.
Van’t Hoff explained that the Netherlands is 7.5 times smaller than Oregon.
He went on to explain that the national language of the Netherlands is Dutch and that their national color is orange as many probably saw in the 2014 Sochi Olympic games.
The Netherlands is an extremely flat country that has no mountains.
Van’t Hoff explained that because of their proximity to the sea they created The Delta Works that serve as a way to block water from coming on the mainland since the entire country is bellow sea level.
Van’t Hoff presented his talk at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, in Jonasson Hall.
The event was put on and sponsored by the International Programs Office.
Van’t Hoff said to the audience that, “Everybody rides bikes in Holland” and that there are more bikes than people.
Audience members learned that the Netherlands have a King and Queen but they do not have any political influence.
He explained that marijuana is prevalent in the Netherlands and that people can buy it in coffee shops and smoke wherever they like.
Van’t Hoff also mentioned that the Netherlands is quite accepting of the LGBT community since the country was the first to allow gay marriage back in 2001.
“Holland is a melting pot of people from 1,001 different backgrounds,” Van’t Hoff said.
Van’t Hoff explained that his home city of Amsterdam where he was born and raised is vibrant and booming with business.
Van’t Hoff’s sister plays water polo and his dad works for the mayor of Amsterdam while his mom works in human resources and helps those in need.
Anyone who knows Van’t Hoff at Linfield would quickly agree that he is always friendly and loves to be with his friends.
With his experiences at Linfield he said that this has been “The best year of my life.”
Van’t Hoff explained that he enjoys hanging out with his brothers in the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in his spare time and likes to play soccer as that is the sport he has played for much of his life.
“Linfield has a great sense of community that you don’t see in Holland,” Van’t Hoff said.
Van’t Hoff continued to say people are less prejudiced at Linfield and are more open-minded.
Community service is not really something that people do in Holland so he has enjoyed giving back to the McMinnville community with his friends from Linfield.
Van’t Hoff said that he wants to become an airplane pilot but is still is not entirely sure what he wants to do.
Van’t Hoff concluded by thanking the audience of his friends for coming and said that he has learned that, “College is definitely more than drinking beer on the weekends.”
Jonathan Williams can be reached