Dehydrated June 17, 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 learned to remain calm and socialize.

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 courses were much easier than UvA courses. They also end earlier. UvA courses are more interesting. No TAs or office hours for a 400 person class. I recommend Netherlands in the world! I also took Life Long Learning and International Relations. Take a balance, 5 UvA courses over 2 blocks is crazy. Take Dutch with Bonny Wassing!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CIEE was always ready to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in PMG - amazing floormates... but to for everyone. PHK and PC both have single apartment style. I was on a floor with internationals and didn't hang out with as many Americans as my friends. The shared kitchen and noise could be a problem for someone who needs their privacy.

* Food:

Cook! Amsterdam has good "food", but nothing like a Spanish tapas culture.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Never had health care issues but CIEE was always ready to help.

* Safety:

The city is almost too safe... other than bike theft. Walking around alone at 4am is never a problem.

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

Studying abroad in Amsterdam was amazing. Biking around always made me very thirsty and there are no water fountains so invest in a water bottle!!! The number of times I biked to class and came in panting without water was pretty high. I made amazing friends and saw amazing places. Please don't miss this opportunity.

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)

How much do you want to drink and party really? Going out to a bar once a week or checking out all the amazing dutch breweries will affect your wallet. Try to cook but don't miss out on eating next to the beautiful canals. Traveling is the most expensive so be aware. Flights and lodging is always more than you think.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 400 EU
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Amsterdam is generally an expensive city. A burger will cost you 12-14 EU. Nightlife is what can be expensive - try to spend big on the weekends when all your friends are in Amsterdam. If not, take the time to grab a beer and know one friend really well!

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? Speak to locals or when at the supermarket.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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 staff
  • Flexiblity
  • Freedom to travel
* What could be improved?
  • Food during orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Buy a bike asap UvA classes are hard Amsterdam is expensive Save more to travel more

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.