Once in a Lifetime June 04, 2018

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/29/2018 to 06/02/2018 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained perspective on a new culture and I learned how to appreciate my culture even more. There was a lot of time for reflection, which was worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

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? Yes

I chose it because it would help me grow as a person and it did.

Finances

* 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? 100 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Free events/ food are a plus, they allow you to take advantage of the free aspect and still learn something about your new community. Don't buy if it is not absolutely necessary but if you will be unhappy without buying something then make that purchase! In general separate your travel money from your daily expenses money and your shopping money. That helps with budgeting.

Language

* 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? Spanish
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? Practice in the real world!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Housing (host family)
  • Location (small/big city feel)
  • People
* What could be improved?
  • CIEE courses structure
  • more integration between students
  • Less packed orientation period
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do not underestimate the bikes!