CIEE Amsterdam - A Great Look into the Netherlands Past Review

By (International Relations And Global Studies, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 07/04/2012 to 07/27/2012 with

CIEE: Amsterdam - Summer Contemporary Netherlands Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a great deal about the cultural differences between the Netherlands and the United States and how they influence the social policies of each country. We looked at the advantages and disadvantages of different Dutch policies and why or why wouldn't they work for the American system.

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.

The class required a 15 page paper, a presentation, plus 2 short extra assignments

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Wonderful, all around.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Could have been better. The kitchens were highly unorganized and filthy. There were mice on every floor. The location however, was absolutley worth it, as the dorm sat directly on a canal in a quiet, safe part of town.

* Food:

Both the meals I had as a part of the program and on my own (often on reccomendations from CIEE staff) were wonderful.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Although I spoke quite a bit of Dutch through my studies at home, the course was taught in english and we lived with other international students. Thus, the only actual integration I had was self-induced.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No health issues presented themselves, but had they, I am positive that the program staff would have promptly gotten me to the correct facility. Also, we learned about the Dutch healthcare system, which is comparable to many of the modernized Western world.

* Safety:

I never once felt unsafe.

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


* 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's not cheap, but not terribly expensive either.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Many students shared items such as laundry detergent and hand soap.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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?
  • I loved living in the city itself and being able to explore it on the bike we were given as a part of the program cost.
* What could be improved?
  • I feel that we could have take a few more class trips around the city toward the end of the course, as most of our trips occurred towards the beginning.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? PACK LIGHT! I thougt I had packed light, but quickly found out that the bare minimum is preferable.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Summer Contemporary Netherlands Studies

Course Department: CIEE
Instructor: Bonny Wassing
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was challenging, but not overly so. We took many field trips around the city of Amsterdam and one overnight trip to Maastricht. I learned a great deal about Dutch social issues and policies from Bonny. I especially feel that the discussions we had about the reasoning behind different policies were very interesting. The class was organized in a way that welcomed participation from all students. It was a small class of only 8 people.
Credit Transfer Issues: None so far.