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Integration Trip - Day One

Wednesday January 22, Stayokay Gorssel

For the next three days, all sixty-something of us RSM Masters exchange students are calling this place home. StayOkay, a chain of hostels in the Netherlands, has a variety of locations. The one in Rotterdam is located in the cube buildings (will take a photo on a sunny day) at Blaak, a busy area where the biweekly market is held. The location in Gorssel is situated on a remote farm, 5km away from the nearest township.

We started the retreat by rearranging ourselves into a "map". People grouped together with others from their country and stood in the corresponding spot in the room. It was pretty amazing how many nationalities were represented in our group: Italy, France, Russia, USA, Indonesia, Czech Republic, India, Argentina, China, Germany, and Canada amongst many others. We just needed someone from Africa and Antartica in order to complete the map! 

Interestingly, the largest group consists of... Canadians! Although many are originally from Asia and came to Canada for school, there are still enough of us, almost a fourth of the group, that we could force our maple syrup eating ways onto the group if deemed necessary. This could be an excellent opportunity to help rid the world if the "nice" Canadian stereotype :)

We had two workshops for the day. First, the craziest trust exercise I've ever done. Instead of doing "trust falls", we were literally doing "trust acrobatics". By the end if the session, we were flying in the air, making human pyramids, and doing handstands on the backs of people we had just met. Interestingly, although the positions looked incredibly difficult to assume, the structures were all sound, and if done properly, surprisingly simple to assume. It was a mental exercise much more than a physical exercise. After all, no matter how simple the instructor may tell you the exercise is, fear is normally a common reaction when asked to seemingly defy the laws of gravity.

The second session of the day was an improv workshop. I always love improv because it allows me to exercise my inner crazy person in a socially acceptable manner. 

After spending time at the hostel bar, we called it a night at a reasonable 4am.


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