Great program in a safe and fun city Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/25/2016 to 05/28/2016 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences + Humanities

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to really balance serious things like academics with fun things like traveling and going on adventures, and realizing how much you can learn about yourself when you are in a situation that is not completely familiar.

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.

Courses at the University of Amsterdam were quite intense and required a lot of work, but were really interesting and gratifying. The teachers were amazing.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program administration was very easily reachable and friendly

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It helps that you take courses at the university rather than just courses designed by CIEE. I also highly suggest integrating yourself into the culture outside the program (joining a sports team, taking art classes, etc) because that is when I really felt integrated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The only time I experienced healthcare was on a weekend so I was unable to use the university health services, but my program gave me recommendations for urgent care clinics and it was very easy

* Safety:

Very safe 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)

It was pretty comparable to expenses at home. I had to budget myself, but it wasn't very difficult.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook at home as much as you can!


* 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?
  • There were a lot of really great cultural activities planned for us that we were able to experience for free and with guidance (tours of the Red Light District and other neighborhoods, weekend trips to Dutch islands, athletic events, plays and concerts, etc)
  • The program was there if we needed it, but also gave us a lot of freedom to make our experiences our own
  • It was great being integrated into the local university rather than being isolated
* What could be improved?
  • The orientation at the beginning of the program was a bit overwhelming, as they signed us up for an international students orientation right after the program one, so there was not a lot of time to settle in and prepare for classes to start
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that the University of Amsterdam has a highly intense academic program that would require a much higher level of commitment than I initially thought.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.