Long time away from home but some of the best experiences ever! July 27, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/05/2018 to 06/04/2018 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and how to live on my own. I learned that traveling can be so hard but so much fun. My time abroad was so 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.

It was very challenging! Was not expecting to have so much work abroad, and sometimes wished I had less and more time to travel/explore.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I felt very prepared going into the program, but once I got there I realized how many things the program didn't make clear/fail to full explain. For instance, housing was left super unclear, and course choices as well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was put in an international student dorm, and I was under the impression I would be living with or next to other CIEE students. I lived alone with one roommate and she was not in my program. I wished I was closer with my own program students.

* Food:

I loved the food! Great options.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I joined a Dutch soccer league and was able to really integrate in their culture. I also ate out a lot so met other locals as well as tried Dutch food.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Great! I only had one week where I got the stomach bug and I reached out to my program and they helped immediately.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Amsterdam. It was such a great city, and even at night I felt I could bike alone if I needed.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would chose the city but try a new program instead.

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)

I had to spend so much money on groceries, a bike, and kitchen supplies. Unfortunately because of my dorm I was placed in I had to buy more than most students.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 100 euros a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You don't need to spend a lot on groceries every week - buy enough for three days at a. time.

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 202
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 grocery stores and on public transportation!

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

  • Americans
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?
  • The opportunity to travel as much as I did.
  • The chance to have no class on Fridays
  • The small, tight community of the program.
* What could be improved?
  • The strictness of class attendance - I went abroad to take classes as well as travel, so I'm not going to skip all my classes.
  • The grading scale seemed to make it harder to do well.
  • Information before arriving was not that clear.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew more about housing options.

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:

Temp

Course Department:
Instructor:
Instruction Language:
Comments:
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Business and Sustainability

Course Department: Business
Instructor: Simone Mattar
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was below average. I was so excited for this course and the information was very interesting but it was taught in such a boring way. The professor rarely showed up to class but then expected so much from us on assignments. She graded extremely harshly but was never in class to tell us what she wanted. It was very disappointing.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not an issue.
Course Name/Rating:

Political and Economic Development of the EU

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Martijn Mos
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was one of the hardest classes I have ever taken. There was an emphasis on politics and I have never taken a politics class so felt very unprepared. I will say the work load was really good and I learned so so much in this class! The professor did a really good job of explaining everything.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not an issue.
Course Name/Rating:

Intercultural Communication and Leadership

Course Department: Communications
Instructor: Annabel Thomas
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was the best class I took abroad. I learned so much and felt the workload was the doable. I loved everything about this class.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not an issue
Course Name/Rating:

Beginnning Dutch

Course Department: Langauge
Instructor: Willemijn Rijper
Instruction Language: Dutch
Comments: This class was so much fun! I learned so much about the Dutch culture, history and language. I loved the professor and thought the workload was very doable.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not an issue