Self Exploration Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/26/2016 to 05/30/2016 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences + Humanities

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was a fantastic experience! Being able to explore for oneself a city that one hasn't been exposed to (for the extended period of a semester), is a promising, and worth-every-second, time.

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

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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? No

If I were to study abroad again, I would explore options to do it without any program. CIEE was fantastic! However, the experiences that I chose throughout the semester steered away from any planned programming, and more go-with-the-flow in terms of what I wanted to experience.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150 (groceries, going out to eat, events...)


* 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? Fluent in Korean, French 20, Never learned Dutch
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Use the language as frequently as possible. Although most natives are fluent in English, they appreciate you taking the chance to truly get to know their culture, and that starts with language! Go to a cafe, and order in Dutch!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* 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?
  • Diverse options for activities
  • Frequent Check-Ins (Personalized emails to students; showed that the program cared for each student's specific needs)
  • Office Proximity
* What could be improved?
  • Program did not push as well as I had hoped for students to truly integrate with other international students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't get too caught up in one activity, no matter how interesting! Sure, you can put more attention towards said activity, but don't focus on just one. The semester flies by. Explore as many areas of the program as you can, as there is no opportunity to do so afterwards. Also, don't be afraid to explore on your own. Don't feel pressured to do things as a group all the time.

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.