Tales from abroad: Lanie Altmann

Lanie Altmann is a junior Communications Studies Major with a minor in Film and Media Studies. Altmann is from Olivia, Minnesota, and is currently studying abroad in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

At Gustavus, she actively participates in Gustie Buddies, Gustavus Women in Leadership, and the mentoring program.

The Junior Communications Studies Major decided to study abroad “to experience a new culture and to become an independent individual.”

Even though Altmann considers Minnesota her favorite place in the world, she loves “to branch out into the world” to see what she cannot find in Minnesota.

The Communication Studies Major picked Amsterdam because of the various opportunities Netherland’s capital has to offer.

When Altmann first arrived in Amsterdam, she was “incredibly excited.”

During orientation, the Junior quickly befriended students from all over the world.

“I was able to make an amazing group of friends from all over the world right away. They helped the initial adjustment and made the change so much easier. They helped the initial adjustment and made the change so much easier. They were the best group of friends from all over the world right away. They helped the initial adjustment and made the change so much easier. They helped the initial adjustment and made the change so much easier. They were the best group of friends for me to make because I was anxious to travel right away, and we all did this the first weekend to Belgium!” Altmann shared.

Her first trip with the group strengthened their bond.

At the moment, she is enjoying the beauty and freedom she finds amidst the metropolitan.

“There is always something to do, whether it is to go for a bike ride along beautiful canals, to try new foods, or to hop on a cheap flight and fly anywhere. It is an open book here and I can write it however I want and be whoever I want – it is freeing,” Altmann said.

Holding a Netherlands/Schengen Visa, Altmann is able to travel to other European countries in the Schengen Area including Sweden, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, and Greece.

During her first month of the semester, Altmann has traveled to Belgium and Sweden.

“I was able to travel to Sweden and see the statue of King Gustav II Adolf, which is who our college is named after.” Altmann said.

Altmann’s favorite activity in Amsterdam so far is trying the traditional Dutch foods, “from stroopwafels, to poffertjes, to appeltaart – you can’t go wrong here,”Altmann said. The cultural cuisines totally different from her own intrigued Altmann and captured her heart.

When packing for the Netherlands, Altmann could not fit as many belongings in her suitcase as she would normally bring to Gustavus every year.

However, she decided to be more selective than usual: “Everything I need is with me – a lot less than what I would have at Gustavus but I had to be picky, especially with one suitcase!”

Considering Gustavus her “second home,” Altman misses her friends at Gustavus, and her favorite place: the Caf, where she spends a considerable amount of time every day.

“[Hanging out in the Caf] is my favorite activity at school and I can’t wait to get back there in a few months!” Altmann said.

When she finishes her semester in the Netherlands, Altmann is excited to do two things.

First of all, she said she “is excited to order a meal and not wonder if I should order a second meal right away,” as she is coping with the small serving sizes in Amsterdam.

“The second thing is to see my puppy, Augie, and then drive down to Gustavus and see all my friends – both equally exciting,” Altmann said.

Thriving on her course of studies in the Netherlands, Altmann offers advice to Gusties who are considering studying abroad:

“My advice to someone considering to study abroad is to do what is best for you. This is entirely a decision that you get to make by yourself. It isn’t up to your parents or you friends – just you. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so far. It won’t always be easy, but these are the memories and the people you will remember for the rest of your life. The people you meet abroad will be your travel friends until the day you die. It is going to shape you into a strong, independent individual – plus you’ll get to see and do things you simply just cannot do at Gustavus. So study abroad!! The world is an open book waiting for you to write in it.”