Europe in a Four Months December 24, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/20/2018 to 12/22/2018 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Social Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about Europe and other cultures, which I find very valuable. I also learned how to cook for myself and really live on my own. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

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?

My dorm was outside of the city center, but was not advertised as such. Also, there were no common areas, so it was hard to get to know other students.

* 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:

I never felt unsafe in Amsterdam.

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

If I were to do it all over again, I would probably choose a smaller and more intensive program. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot of valuable information and life lessons in Amsterdam, but about halfway through I really began to miss interesting coursework and my close group of friends at Middlebury. There are definitely other programs that are more rigorous and foster a smaller community.

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? 150 €
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you have to cook for yourself, try to make dinner with friends as much as possible. I wish I had done that more.

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?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Beautiful Amsterdam
  • The ability to travel
  • The week off in October
* What could be improved?
  • The housing
  • The rigor of the courses
  • Program trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had done a homestay or figured out how to get housing in the city center. I also wish I had utilized my free days in Amsterdam during the first half of study abroad better.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Political and Economic Development of the NL and EU

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Putin’s Russia

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Capita Selecta European Art

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Course Name/Rating:

Beginning Dutch

Course Department:
Instructor: Bonny Wassing
Instruction Language:
Comments: This class was awesome. If you do CIEE Amsterdam, take Beginning Dutch with Bonny as one of your 4 or 5 classes. You will get a good Dutch foundation and the exams were easy and fairly graded (the latter which is a blessing in Europe). And Bonny is AWESOME and knows so much about Amsterdam. This is a must-take.
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