Best semester of my life Past Review

By (Communication and Media Studies., Villanova University) - abroad from 01/15/2012 to 05/21/2012 with

CIEE: Brussels - Business, Communications and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The knowledge that if I can survive going to Europe for a semester without knowing anyone and thrive than I can survive anything. It was definitely worthwhile

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Vesalius College
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.

School was not too demanding which allowed for a lot of travelling which was good

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CIEE staff was top notch

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Really enjoyed my housing arrangements and roommates

* Food:

LOVED the food

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Struggled with the language but did not feel unwelcome

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Never really got sick over there

* Safety:

I never really felt like I was in danger

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)

The exchange rate was tough but Brussels was cheaper than some other cities I went to

* 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? 120 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Shop at grocery stores rather than going out to eat


* 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

The program encouraged us to use the language, but my French professor was not very good

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? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate Latin 1
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? You need to have a better language professor than I did

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • The people on my program
  • Being able to travel all over Europe
  • The opportunity to live in Europe for a semester
* What could be improved?
  • My French professor
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How awesome it was going to be