Amazing Amsterdam Past Review

By (University of Arkansas - Fayetteville) - abroad from 01/28/2013 to 06/04/2013 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences + Humanities

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be independent. I learned how to get out of my comfort zone and experience a whole new lifestyle. I learned how to have dinner way too late. I made friends from all over the world. But what I truly learned is that I want to spend as much time as possible, in my life, traveling.

Review Photos

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The Dutch University system is much easier than the US University system, in my opinion. There are only grades taken at the end of the course. Dutch classrooms are very open for discussion and most class time is spend talking with classmates, rather than a teacher doing lectures.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CIEE's staff is very helpful and always available.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I couldn't have asked for a better dorm. It was right in the center city, by Anna Frank's House. When I spoke with Dutch students about my home, they would get very jealous.

* Food:

Dutch food is basically potatoes, carrots, and meat. Speaking to any Dutch person, you'll find they don't even like Dutch food. That being said, Amsterdam has an amazing restaurant selection and, with my dorm providing a kitchen, I was able to cook for myself.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The Dutch all speak English so it's very easy to become part of their "group."

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did get sick once while being here. I hadn't a clue where to go or who to contact, so I would say that was a problem. I was very confused about the healthcare system here.

* Safety:

I never felt in danger in Amsterdam. I would bike the streets alone at night and feel completely safe.

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


* 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)

Amsterdam is an expensive city. I went out to eat very rarely, maybe once a month. But I found myself contacting my family toward the end for financial help. Traveling is much more costly than anticipated.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50eu
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook for yourself. Don't go out to the clubs with 5eu+ door fees. Drink before you go out. Drinks in bars are insane. Try and keep a log of where your money is going. Don't underestimate the dollars to eu conversion. It'll get you.


* 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

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • People
  • Field trips/Excursions/Education Interest Group
  • Freedom
* What could be improved?
  • More reliable schedules
  • Better Interest Groups
  • More effort to teach Dutch
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That a power converter, as well as an outlet converter, would have been helpful to save my speaker.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.