Goudappel is a very international company. The last woman to ride my bicycle was from Uganda. She was working with the company doing a similar study: what can Uganda learn from the Netherlands?
Today I had the opportunity to chat with a student from the Kurdish region of Iraq. He is here doing a similar study for Iraq: what can Iraq learn from the Netherlands? I enjoyed discussing the similarities and differences between our transportation systems. There is a gender disparity in transit usage versus driving that isn't seen in the US. More women ride transit and fewer drive because it is still a male-dominated society. They have the same problem as us that shopping malls have been built outside of large cities, detracting from city centers. As they rebuild cities, they can require that buisnesses locate in the city center. Will the U.S. be able to implement such policies? They also share our issues with transportation as a status symbol. The wealthy are less likely to bicycle or use public transport because driving is a status symbol. Here's to buidling friendships between the U.S. and Iraq!
I knew that this internship would be an international experience, but I didn't realize to what extent.