Canals & Courts October 04, 2017

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/21/2017 to 05/29/2017 with

Brandeis University: The Hague - Brandeis in The Hague, Spring or Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Definitely worthwhile -- I gained a very strong understanding of the origins and theories surrounding international criminal law and also a wide, diverse view of how the international courts operate/international organizations in general (we also visited NATO, European Parliament, the ICJ/PCA, etc.)

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Awesome program!!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Brandeis professor who accompanied us was incredible/very attentive and involved. Brandeis also had an administrative staff member-based in Boston who was very active in our preparation and touched base several times with us during and after our time in the Netherlands (she even came to visit!). There was also a Hague-based professor, who not only taught one of our courses but was also integral in setting up our practicums and ensuring that they were going well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We stayed in international student housing dorms in the town of Leiden. Well located, great/safe/beautiful/fun Dutch university town. Dorms were big, clean, and convenient.

* Food:

We cooked for ourselves. Groceries were not very expensive (noticeably cheaper than in the US).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I made several Dutch friends, as well as befriended several international students from Europe/US/beyond.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues, though a friend on the program needed to see a doctor once and that was a very smooth process for her.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Awesome program: great courses and even more exposure to international courts than I had anticipated (we visted nearly every international court over the semester, met with judges/prosecutors/defense attorneys/victims representatives/etc., and got to intern in an international court).

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~200/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? booking travel excursions early

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Practicum at International Court
  • Course taught by ICTY prosecutor
  • Trip to Brussels with former NATO Secretary General
* What could be improved?
  • Perhaps knowing what my practicum would be earlier on in the semester abroad
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There isn't much time for weekend trips/international travel (though you do get to see a lot of the Netherlands which is pretty cool)

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!