Unforgettable Semester January 10, 2019

By (Brandeis University) - 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?
My experience abroad was definitely worthwhile. I feel a greater appreciation for the little things that make me feel comfortable at my home university. There are so many things that I take for granted on a regular basis and living and studying in a new environment made me realize this. I also met so many amazing that gave me new perspectives on life.

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.

I took a mix of CIEE and UvA classes like CIEE recommends. I found the CIEE classes to be very well organized and structured, everything that I was expecting (easy). My UvA classes surprised me because they had no assignments during the semester, only final exams that accounted for our entire grade. These classes were tougher because of the lack of feedback, but also because I had 3+ lecturers for each class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Excellent!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was great! We received an unlimited public transportation card so even though we were outside of Amsterdam, it was still very accessible.

* Food:

You can cook for yourself or eat out, so it's all up to you.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My CIEE Beginning Dutch class helped me feel integrated with the local culture. We learned a little bit of language, but also about things happening around us.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no experience with this.

* Safety:

I felt safe at all times. For me, it was about keeping myself out of unsafe situations.

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

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)

It depends on what you want to do. You can eat out every meal and spend lots of money, or buy groceries and stay on a budget. Lots of options.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy groceries and cook for yourself.

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
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? Try to order food in Dutch, ask for directions in Dutch, just try to use it and you'll start to feel more comfortable.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hotel
* 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?
  • Living in Amsterdam
  • The People
  • Easy Access to Travel
* What could be improved?
  • Preparation for UvA classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I made more of an effort to meet people outside of my program. Lots of local/international students that I met, but didn't stay in touch with.