Amsterdam: The ultimate city adventure. November 02, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/02/2018 to 06/03/2018 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a new self of my self. A sense of independence. It was the greatest adventure of my life so far and I feel like I really found who I was.

Review Photos

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences Photo

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.

It was a fabulous program. I learned a lot from my UvA classes and my CIEE classes, but learned even more from the experience as a whole and the city of Amsterdam.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CIEE office was great, always willing to help us through anything.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved having a large space to myself, but the appliances & cleanliness could be improved considering the cost of the program.

* Food:

There wasn't any program-provided food, but the food at the UvA dining hall was pretty good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I LOVE Amsterdam.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to the doctor with the flu and basically had to FIGHT for a doctor's note to excuse me from missing class. They should be more accommodating considering the fact that if you miss more than two classes you literally fail the course.

* Safety:

There were lots of homeless people outside of our apartment, which I didn't always feel super safe with. Also, getting locked out of my apartment and having to pay hundreds of dollars for a locksmith was frankly ridiculous.

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

I loved Amsterdam and the program. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to explore the city and meet so many incredible people along the journey.

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)

Amsterdam is EXPENSIVE and you have to buy SO much to outfit your apartment to even make it livable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I still don't know what to do lol

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? None
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 even when you dont want to. Label things in your apartment.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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 people
  • The city
  • The culture
* What could be improved?
  • Apartment resources
  • Transportation guides
  • More chill gatherings for CIEE students at their dorms to create more of a homely community
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had had a map/explanation of how campus worked and how the city and transportation systems were laid out before I got there.

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:

Intro Dutch

Course Department:
Instructor:
Instruction Language: Dutch/English
Comments: This course was great, taught us very useful phrases and grammar. The prof also found fun and interactive ways to incorporate the culture into the language learning.
Credit Transfer Issues: No problems.
Course Name/Rating:

Intro to Conflict Studies

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I loved this class and learned so much about conflict and the different ways conflict starts and is resolved throughout the world and throughout history. I LOVED the professor -- cannot recommend him or this course enough!!
Credit Transfer Issues: No problems.
Course Name/Rating:

Dutch Public Health

Course Department:
Instructor:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was probably one of my favorite classes I've taken. Comparing the Dutch system to the American system was fascinating and I learned SO much!!
Credit Transfer Issues: No problems.
Course Name/Rating:

Refugees Rights and Realities

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was a great and informative course but I felt like the professor didn't really care to actually teach us himself so he just assigned it to the students to do in the form of presentations.
Credit Transfer Issues: No problems.