Best decision I ever made Past Review

By (Psychology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/17/2015 to 12/19/2015 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences + Humanities

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Gained so much independence, got to travel around the country and other places in Europe, learned to bike like the Dutch

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CIEE staff are organized and friendly, and they provide many cultural excursions and activities to get you more involved in local events

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lived in the De Key dorms, great location. My experience would have been very different living in the student hotel, as it is quite far away.

* Food:

Great Indonesian food! You're on your own as far as meals go, though, so it would be a good idea to learn to cook or find cheaper places to eat out, as meals can get pretty expensive here.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Taking classes with Dutch students helped me get to meet some locals. Everyone here speaks perfect English so there isn't much opportunity to practice Dutch, but at least there's never any communication issues.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Europe in general is pretty expensive. If you're really conscious about saving money you can make it work on a reasonable budget ($100/week), but otherwise it's easy to blow through a lot of money without even realizing.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Roughly $100/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cooking at home definitely saves money, or the cafeteria on campus has decent food for low prices.


* 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

All of my classes at the University of Amsterdam were taught in English, so there was not much need to speak Dutch other than in my begnning Dutch class.

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? None in Dutch
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Lived right in the center of the city
  • Given a lot of freedom, not coddled
* What could be improved?
  • Honestly can't think of anything
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Even though it's a Social Sciences program, there are no Psychology classes offered. You can only take classes from the 'Faculty of Social Sciences or Humanities' at the University of Amsterdam.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Contemporary Dutch Social Policy

Course Department:
Instructor: Bonny Wassing
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Really interesting course covering topics that were so relevant to my experience here. Highly recommend it!
Credit Transfer Issues: