An Educational Experience January 26, 2017

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/22/2016 to 12/24/2016 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Definitely a worthwhile experience. There was a lot to learn about the culture as well as what I want for myself going forward.

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.

CIEE was able to get in all the classes I expressed I wanted at reasonable times. It took a little bit of time getting used to the hands off nature of UVA, but there was adequate assistance and classes were not too rigorous.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CIEE was good with organizing students and being accommodating. The orientation in for the first couple of weeks was very helpful for meeting fellow students and learning how to navigate the city.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The student hotel was not an ideal location to live in. The first few weeks there was heavy construction that woke me up every morning. Transportation to and from the city became a hassle as classes were far away and there was no cost effective late night transportation. Uber was cheap, but the expenses piled up. The dorms in the city would have been a much better option.

* Food:

Amsterdam has an amazing variety of restaurants. Theres plenty of places to get food in the city at all hours, however out by the student hotel there were no good delivery options and most places closed early. Food could get expensive also.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Fitting in in Amsterdam happened very quickly. I felt completely safe and welcomed everywhere I went. Everybody speaks english which was also helpful.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had to use healthcare luckily. However my friend had a very efficient trip to the hospital.

* Safety:

Safest city I traveled to in Europe. The public transportation was clean and easy to use.

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

Amsterdam was amazing. CIEE was a good choice mostly because there were no other options.


* 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)

Realistically I spent a lot of money but I did not budget well. Amsterdam is cheap if you cook your meals, but expensive if you eat out.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200 Euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook your meals and budget early on.


* 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

  • 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?
  • The city
  • The variety of activities
  • the people
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how to budget better. Also I wish I planned more trips in Holland.

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:
Instructor: Lisa Janssen-Rab
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Lisa was awesome and each class was a joy to go to. She made the difficult language of Dutch more accessible and interesting.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Financial Geography

Course Department: Social Studies
Instruction Language:
Comments: Definitely my most challenging class of the semester. However, the material was very interesting and relevant. The assessments came on a weekly basis and were graded fairly.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Dutch Business Culture

Course Department: CIEE
Instruction Language:
Comments: This course was challenging in the fact that the expectations for students were not made clear. The material was useful and interesting, but the assignments could be confusing.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Topics: Youth and Media

Course Department: Social Studies: UvA
Instruction Language:
Comments: Interesting class with a good professor. Learned about a broad range of topics and the assessments were manageable.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

The Dutch Golden Age

Course Department: History: UvA
Instruction Language:
Comments: Very cool to learn about Dutch history from Dutch professors. The material was relevant and field trips to the many museums in Amsterdam made the class more enjoyable. Grading on exams was difficult.
Credit Transfer Issues: