Participant blog: 4.000.000 seconds

We’ve asked Study Tour participants to write a blog post for our website with a view on the Tour from their perspective. This week, Jelte will share his expectations and experiences so far.

In about 4 million seconds, our plain will depart to San Francisco. Until last month I had the feeling that the study tour was still far away because we would only depart at the end of the year. But starting this month I am counting down the weeks till lift off: less than seven weeks to go.

Things are starting to get real now. This summer Lennart and I did our contract research at NextSelect. It was a very nice and valuable experience. We helped to improve their products and we learned about developing a product for customers in a business situation. It is a really nice way to help financing the study tour.

Last weeks we also had to do research on Brazil for the International Studies Preparation course. This was the first time I looked into the country Brazil. Till now I didn’t know much about it, except for the reports on television around the recent World Cup. I learned much about my own research in technology development but also from the presentations of the other groups. I didn’t know the Netherlands once colonized parts of Brazil. I am looking forward to see the things we learned about the country in real life.

It is now also the time to arrange a lot of practical stuff. We are currently planning the details of our post-itinerary travel. Which places are we going to visit? How long do we stay in one place? Are we celebrating Sinterklaas in New York? I applied for a credit card this weekend and I need to arrange my travel insurance soon. Twan is looking into a cheap solution for mobile internet in the USA using a mobile access point on batteries and subscription from the UK.

I’m also looking forward to the company visits in Silicon Valley. Two years ago Alexander Klöpping made an interesting short series on the history of Silicon Vally (http://dewerelddraaitdoor.vara.nl/Alexander-Kloepping.3006.0.html) (in Dutch). He is very enthusiastically telling about the companies he visited. I am very curious what companies we are going to visit over there and if we’re going to see some of the technology of the future.

It will we be 47 very exciting days, my first time overseas. But good news for my family: in about 8 million seconds I will be home again, just in time for the Christmas diner.