Our first 60 hours in Europe

In case you missed it: my husband, W, received a Fulbright award to study European & transatlantic copyright harmonization, especially with respect to fair use/fair dealing. M and I are accompanying him. My sister ME is here as well serving as a mother’s helper for the first couple of months so I can actually do my job. (After she leaves, W and I will trade off childcare time.)

We’re currently based in Aalsmeer, a town closer to Amsterdam than Chapel Hill is to Durham. (That distance means more to people from our hometown than it will to other people but I thought it might be a useful comparison.) The University of Amsterdam is Will’s Fulbright host. He’ll interview scholars there as well as in Maastricht.

Because his award is specifically a Fulbright-Schuman award, his research is international, so we’ll also be visiting Helsinki and Rovaniemi in Finland, Bonn in Germany, and Brussels in Belgium.

In March, we’ll leave Aalsmeer and travel the UK and Ireland so he can interview scholars there. We’ll finish up in Paris and head home before Memorial Day.


We left the US Monday evening and arrived in Amsterdam Tuesday morning, then road a train and a bus and walked about 600 meters to the house where we’re staying.


I already love it here. Harbor cities always make me happy. I’m delighted by all the canals.

Also, the roads: buses have a completely separate set of lanes divided from the car lanes and so do bikes. Aalsmeer is a very walkable town.


Yesterday we briefly went into Amsterdam proper for our appointment with immigration. UvA is used to international scholars sticking around, so they’re following all their normal processes with us including getting us set up with Dutch identification numbers and everything.


Because we are using public transportation, it takes us about an hour to get into town. I already feel disappointed that we haven’t explored more but I have to remind myself that we haven’t even been here for 72 hours yet and I was in immense pain after the flights here.


More to come. For now, have a picture from the chocolate shop near our house.

An assortment of chocolates in a shop's display case

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Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
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 This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 .

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