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By On October 18, 2018

Going Dutch: Students from Netherlands visit Frontier

DEERFIELD â€" Relations between the United States and the Netherlands are based on historical ties and the fostering of friendship. The same is true for an international Dutch-American exchange program Frontier Regional School has participated in for 10 years.

Sixteen students from Gymnasium Camphusianum in Gorinchem, Netherlands, and their chaperones are visiting Frontier Regional School this week as part of the program crafted to broaden young people’s horizons, and make connections with peers who live in another part of the world. Easthampton native Wendy Dean teaches English at Gymnasium Camphusianum and started the program with Dutch husband Ewout Gerards and family friend Bob Smith, who about two years ago retired as a teacher at Frontier.

Smith said the program makes the students’ world a little smaller and a little broader and is regarded as a wild success.

“One of the p roofs of that is the number of kids from both sides of the Atlantic that have returned to visit their host families,” he said Wednesday. The Dutch visitors arrived Oct. 11, and will head home Saturday. Students from the 16 American families hosting the Dutch teenagers will visit the Netherlands in April â€" the same month as Dutch-American Friendship Day, which is April 19.

Five Dutch students spent about a half-hour Wednesday delivering a presentation about their country and their culture to about 130 Frontier eighth-graders.

Anna Grefhorst explained that Gorinchem is a city on the western side of the Netherlands, a country of 17 million people in 12 provinces. She also pointed out Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte in a photograph projected onto a screen in Frontier’s auditorium.

Yasmin Ajrouj compared several American and Dutch landmarks, juxtaposing pictures of the Statue of Liberty and a statue of Hendrick Hamel (a Dutch explorer) a nd of the Grand Canyon and Drunense Duinen, which she referred to as “basically sand” to a roar of laughter.

Kathleen Van Namen, who explained Gymnasium Camphusianum is named after Dutch poet Dirck Rafaelsz Camphuysen, said American students who visit Gorinchem in April will also visit Amsterdam and The Hague.

“I think you all should come on exchange. It’s so much fun,” she told the eighth-graders.

Dutch student Willem Amesz, 15, said he and his classmates have been having a wonderful time in Franklin County.

“It’s a fun country and everyone here is really nice,” he said. “Everyone is kind to you and they’re open to you. And, I also like the school here and how it works, because it works quite differently. And it’s fun to see what the differences are. When the exchange ends, the relationship between America and the Netherlands is closest, so you’ll get your friendships for a long time.”

Julie den Haak, 15, said it has been fas cinating to experience all the cultural differences the United States offers.

“It’s really great,” she said. “It’s amazing. Everything is so big. I came out of the airplane and I was already like, ‘What?!’”

The 16 students, broken down into different groups, have visited New York City, Boston, the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Historic Deerfield and Six Flags New England. There are also trips to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a scavenger hunt in Northampton planned. Frontier seniors also hosted a football clinic on Tuesday.

Dean said the program opens students’ eyes and helps dismantle cultural stereotypes, like “that our students only wear clogs or Americans are just always eating big, large McDonald’s meals.”

Martine Van Duffelen, chaperone and a geography teacher at Gymnasium Camphusianum, said she loves visiting Deerfield, and the United States is the most popular destination for Dutch students in foreign exchange programs.

“It’s so attractive for Dutch students to be in contact with American students and see how American lives are,” she said, adding that over the summer she will host a former exchange student. “They know so much about America ... because of the media, so they would like to be in it themselves, see what they have seen on television or on the internet.”

Smith, who still coaches cross country and girls track at Frontier, said the program has served every function it was intended to.

“I hope it continues,” he said before going out to dinner at the Whately Inn with some of his Dutch visitors.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

Source: Google News Netherlands | Netizen 24 Netherlands

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By On October 18, 2018

Netherlands Apologizes to Family of 'Dutch Schindler,' Who Was Rebuked for Saving Thousands of Jews

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By On October 18, 2018

The Netherlands votes to remove asbestos from roofs

The Netherlands votes to remove asbestos from roofs

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By On October 17, 2018

Netherlands signs EU declaration to deliver cross-border access to genomic information

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Netherlands signs EU declaration to deliver cross-border access to genomic information

By Leontina PostelnicuOctober 16, 2018

The Netherlands has announced that it will be taking part in an initiative launched by the European Commission in April this year to deliver cross-border access to genomic information, joining 17 other EU member states that have pledged their commitment to collaborate and make one million sequenced genomes accessible in the EU by 2022.

The European Commission said the project would enable patients to have an “active role in their personalised treatment” and secure Europe’s “leading place in health research”. Mem ber states involved are expected to work together to overcome challenges around data silos and the lack of interoperability currently hindering efforts to link up genomic databases across borders, while also maximising investments already made at national level in sequencing and bio banking.

Croatia is another state that signed the declaration back in September, before the first meeting in Brussels of representatives from the signatory countries, including - along with Croatia and the Netherlands - Bulgaria, Austria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

“Cooperation on health and particularly on linking genomic health data throughout the European Union is of the utmost importance for improving personalised health and better treatment for every EU citizen,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.

The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfar e and Sport has set ambitious goals for its eHealth agenda, which includes the MedMij project, a technical framework aiming to create a market for personal health environments, as described by Secretary General Erik Gerritsen.

"These are apps that connect with your mobile devices, with the hospital, the pharmacy, the GP system etc, so that you as a patient are the only one with total oversight about the information in the different systems. You alone can decide with whom you want to share data. MedMij is not the app itself, it is the system of arrangement and standards. We will provide a MedMij certification, so that people will know if a system is not MedMij approved and should better not be used. In the end, we strive to make MedMij certified apps free for patients as part of the standard insurance packages," Gerritsen said earlier this year.

Speaking this week at an event organised by the HIMSS Dutch community and Health 2.0, Herko Coomans, Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport National Health Information Council Adviser, reiterated their ambitions to provide direct electronic access to some medical information - such as medication data or test results - for 80 percent of chronically ill patients and to ensure that all the people in need of care at home would be able to communicate at any time with professionals caring for them through video consultations by 2019.


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Doctor texting. HIPAA lets providers text patients, but is it secure? European Investment Bank backs Ireland's eHealth programme with €225m loan Athenahealth alums’ tech-enabled ‘payvidor’ startup, Devoted, lands $300M Series BSource: Google News Netherlands | Netizen 24 Netherlands