The best four months of my life Past Review

By (Psychology, Hope 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?
Incredible. I learned so much about myself and realized how much I want to live in abroad. Even learned I absolutely love to bike (even in the rain). Best four months of my life by far.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I enjoyed the courses at the UvA. I wish I had all my courses at the UvA to get more involved; however the CIEE courses were fun and educational as well.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very organized and helpful. The staff was so fun!!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lived in the Student Hotel. Although far away from the UvA, I really loved living there and it was extremely nice.

* Food:

? We weren't provided with food really; just went grocery shopping. However at all CIEE events, they did feed us well and gave us lots and lots of food. :)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

CIEE was a little separate from the rest of the local culture. However I made quite a few Dutch friends in my own time and spent primarily my time interacting with the local culture. I think it was mostly what you made it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I ripped my earlobe while abroad and had to go see the university doctor which then referred me to the hospital. The CIEE staff was very helpful in guiding me through this process. The local healthcare system was extremely nice; however, they do not put you under for any procedures or use much painkillers or much medicine at all. Really important to bring your own first aid kit with ibuefron and nyquil and such (which I didn't do)

* Safety:

Extremely safe city. Be safe biking but other than that, such a safe and comfortable city.

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)

I spent a lot of money. I think this was mostly just me though.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $350
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go grocery shopping. Do not buy everything the first day; wait until you know where the cheap stores are. But also don't let money prevent you from having a good time. Also buy nightlife tickets prior to the night of and online to save money. Use an ING card as well.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* 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?
  • Helpfulness of staff
  • Integration into local culture
  • The fun!
* What could be improved?
  • Less American-only activities
  • More volunteer activities
  • Better times for interest groups (in the evening)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is up to you to make it a great semester. Some people love it, some people dislike it. Some people are homesick, but realize everyone will still be there when you return and nothing will have really changed. But you will change and you will never forget the best semester of your life.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.