CIEE Amsterdam May 20, 2022

By (Business, University of Hartford) - abroad from 02/07/2022 to 06/04/2022 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Business + Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Aside from the terrible program experience, I had a blast traveling around Europe during my stay here in Amsterdam so it was definitely worthwhile!! I became 1000x more culturally aware and culturally diverse now that I have been to 12 countries. A terrific experience to gain independence.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Impossible to get an A as Netherlands professors are known to only give out 6 and 7's. Every course is only graded on two things: group project and final. NO ONE in groups was ever a good group member for the project, had to micromanage each team member to ensure project got done and submitted on time. Overall, not what I had expected.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Poor. No on-site orientation was provided. During quarantine, we had to fend for ourselves, zero support given and when it came to our first week of classes we had to figure out how public transport worked as CIEE failed to provide us with the transportation card on time. Therefore, we ran into more unexpected expenses and they couldn't even reimburse us one bit.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Got placed in an housing that wasn't even an option that was given to us on the housing survey. CIEE lied about basically EVERY aspect here at Htel... ie. moveable furniture for privacy, desk, etc.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Terrible. During program classes held at CIEE center, no one wore masks. Room was poorly ventilated and was stuffed with students. Everyone got sick and openly just coughed and sneezed in the classrooms infecting everyone else. When emailed of the issue, they only sent out an announcement to everyone. Never reinforced the mask mandate.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Terrible terrible program with the most terrible coordinators. From day one, before we even arrived, they have failed to be truthful and communicate with us. Said one thing which then completely turned out to be another. The academic advisor did an extremely poor job with being accommodating with its students - refused to let me drop a class that was way beyond my knowledge when the host university allowed so now I am taking home an F which will dampen my GPA and slow down my 3+1 track at my home Univeristy. Would not recommend this program even on my worst enemy. Truly terrible with people that do not care for its students.


* 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)

Grocery shopping here are cheaper than the US but then had to factor in all the travels so it was over the typical student budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Food about 70-200, depending if I were to eat out or cook.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook cook cook!!! Way healthier and cheaper. Plan trips in advance so flights and stays are cheaper as well.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
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?
  • Opportunity to travel
* What could be improved?
  • Staff
  • Communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Looking at other options for programs.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.