Studying in Amsterdam has been the most awesome, most fun part of college. September 28, 2023

By (English Language and Literature, Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/30/2023 to 06/04/2023 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences + Humanities

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained confidence, new friends, and fabulous memories. I learned so much about Europe and feel like my education at Middlebury was really well supplemented by time abroad to have fun and meet new people. It was absolutely worthwhile.

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.

CIEE courses as well as University of Amsterdam courses are distinctly different from Middlebury as they are often lecture-based, and it is easier to feel anonymous in class. I found this to be a highly valuable experience as I was able to build a home base in my CIEE courses with other exchange students, and the University of Amsterdam gave me valuable insight into what life at a large university is like.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Totally fine, pretty clear communication throughout the semester and a good number of opportunities to connect with other students through CIEE programming.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Social Hub City Amsterdam was amazing. I had a blast!

* Food:

So fun getting to cook for myself and go to tons of Amsterdam restaurants.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Amsterdam is maybe the most user-friendly city I've ever been to.

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

Absolutely, since I am studying English I was strongly considering going to Oxford. I'm so glad I opted for Amsterdam because I was able to learn so much about adulthood, myself, and it gave me the energy to complete my last 3 semesters at Middlebury.


* 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 was travelling a good deal which strongly impacts my rating

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150 Euro - 250 Euro a week


* 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? NA
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Beautiful, culturally rich city that is very accommodating to young adults
  • The ability to connect with students from Middlebury and schools all over the US and Europe
  • English-speaking
* What could be improved?
  • Orientation was rough-- it started at 7am the morning everyone arrived after 10+ hour flights
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Going abroad is difficult, certainly, but there were many things in Amsterdam that come much easier than at Middlebury: access to food, culture, nightlife, a robust social life, and more.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Beginning Dutch

Course Department: Dutch
Instructor: Houben
Instruction Language: English/Dutch
Comments: Loved this class! Field trips, good comradery, and a strong professor made this a great experience.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Dutch Public Health

Course Department: Health
Instructor: Leighanne Kimble
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Reading the City: Amsterdam Literary Classics

Course Department: Literature
Instruction Language: Dutch
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Making Media

Course Department: Film
Instructor: Mark
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

The Long 18th Century

Course Department: English Literature
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues: