Past Review

By (Film Production, Emerson College) for

Emerson College: Kasteel Well: The Netherlands

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I consider my study abroad experience to truly be one of the greatest experiences in my life and I do not regret anything I did when I was there. Mistakes were made but I learned from my mistakes and became a stronger person because of it. I was forced to break out of my shell when placed in a city that spoke a foreign language and needed to find my way around. I also gained a respect and appreciation for other cultures and learned so much about myself and the world around me. You learn independence and teamwork - skills that will become valuable assets in your life. If you embrace the program with a willingness to learn and accept your mistakes, you'll truly enjoy the gems Europe has to offer.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academics were relatively enjoyable and didn't give an excess of homework. Most teachers/classes were well accommodating to the traveling on the weekend. The work was, for the most part, manageable and fair.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff were friendly and always tried their best to help us with our problems. They did a good job at putting up with us, but sometimes they didn't seem to understand our needs and could, at times, be incredibly strict in situations where it wasn't at all necessary.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living in a castle, and absolutely adored my room and could not have asked for anything better as far as housing goes. However, it would be nice if the showers were able to produce hot water while both were in use. The only downside of the location of the Castle was that it was very expensive and time consuming to get to big airports like those in Amsterdam. You would have to account for an extra three and a half hours of travel time before getting to the Amsterdam airport, but I'm aware that the placement of the Castle is not something that can change.

* Food:

The food was decent, however, I wish that there was more variety and that the dining hall was open longer and not only for a restricted hour. Breakfast and lunch offered the same things, except for a hot item in lunch which was usually one out of three choices.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There could have been more activities to promote unity among the students, but overall everyone was friendly and willing to get to know one another.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had no real problems with my safety or my health during my stay overbroad.

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)


Language acquisition improvement?

I was able to brush up on my Spanish when I was in Barcelona for a week, and I did gain an appreciation of the Dutch language, but I wish we were able to take a semester long course that offered a beginners level Dutch.

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Always be prepared to expect the unpredictable. If you think you aren't going to need that extra pair of pants, bring it. You'll be surprised at how much you do use and what comes in handy. Traveling especially always throws curveballs that you need to brace yourself to handle, but you will come out of it, for the most part, unscathed.