Gap Year Program – Jill Fonk – The Netherlands

Jill Fonk is 22 years old and came to Green River Community College to study Early Childhood Education. She is from a town outside of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Jill heard about Green River via Interlanguage. She was told that Green River Early Childhood Education program would fit her needs.

Jill Fonk, Gap Year Program, The Netherlands

Jill had always wanted “to live in America and experience the American way of life.” She chose to live with a host family so she could really experience the American life. “They were very helpful and friendly,” said Jill. “I had my own room, the house was walking distance from the college, and they made me feel like part of the family.”

“I really like Green River. Everything is set up really well. The school system here is very different from the Netherlands. You can pick classes that interest you. You can find tutors for any subject if you are struggling with your classes – the college has a Writing Center, and a Math Learning Center. There are also a lot of opportunities to get involved on and off campus. I really enjoyed the Halloween party. We don’t have Halloween in The Netherlands, so this was a lot of fun.”

Jill is looking forward to going home and applying what she learned at Green River to her job as a Special Education teacher. “I took Childhood Development classes, two practicum classes at the local elementary school where I worked with special needs children, and I learned about child abuse and neglect and how the Americans work with this issue. I am looking forward to telling my colleagues back in the Netherlands about everything I learned.”

Jill’s advice to those looking for a great Gap Year experience, “You need to have a good plan and know what you really want to do. If you know exactly what you are interested in, Green River can build a program that fits your needs.”


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