Living in the little village of Well, travelling to big places Past Review

By (Marketing Communication, Emerson College) for

Emerson College: Kasteel Well: The Netherlands

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
As far as academics, it wasn't worth it just coming for the classes. But on emphasis with travelling, I saw so many things and met so many different people (outside of Emerson, of course). Europe is an experience so worthwhile on every scale and time period. It's a beautiful place, all of it's contents. This study abroad taught me how to management my own tasks and travels. I used to never plan things and always leave it last minute (not good, I know) but when I got to Kasteel I realized if I wasn't going to do the arranging, no one will. You really learn how to live independently, always being on the go, and doing things yourself.

Review Photos

Emerson College: Kasteel Well: The Netherlands Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload really wasn't as breezy as I thought it would be - which was nice, because we didn't actually "waste" a semester away from home campus. I loved that some of the teachers were native Dutch professors and could bring that European/International element to the classroom. One thing I really thought was funny is that we had coffee breaks almost every 45 minutes, which I guess is a Dutch/European custom. People were serious about classes and studying at the Castle so that was enforced, and it was really nice.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

In some ways I feel that the administration at Kasteel was a lot better than Emerson itself. Maybe there were less kids to maintain, but overall people were organized and didn't leave things open-ended when it comes to instruction. Program size was perfect, 85 students was just enough. I thought it would've been awesome though if the library at the castle provided all students with the textbooks instead of having us haul all of ours over, and back.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I wish I had taken some time to learn a bit of Dutch.

* Food:

Some people really disliked the food, but I liked it. I thought it was in some ways better than the DH at Emerson. The salad bar and bread section is usually the same every day, but the Europeans know their bread. The rice at times (most times) were uncooked so that was upsetting, but other than that, if you're an open eater and enjoys trying different types of tastes and flavour, I think you're fine. If you're a picky eater... start getting ready to not be.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You could be social if you wanted to, and also not if you just wanted to hang out in your room. The VB I feel like was more social, and the MC not so much, but the MC has Sophie's so people always hang out there. If you're in MC, don't worry, just go to all the Americans Nights on Wednesday nights and you'll meet everyone easily.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Kasteel Well was really safe, more safe than Boston, easily. Just remember to be quiet late at night though. Also, health issues weren't really addressed. I was sick for about most of the months at Kasteel and they wouldn't give me for example Advil or painkillers or aspirin. I get why though, the Dutch probably have a different approach when it comes to prescribing medicine, but I just wish they gave me some anyways (my parents had to send some NyQuil from the States).

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


* 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)


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Travels
  • Dutch hospitality
* What could be improved?
  • /
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't be narrow-minded. I've lived abroad my whole life so I was used to the change in customs and differences in lifestyle. Mind you that if you don't appreciate how things are done elsewhere, people won't appreciate you either. Open up your horizons and accept how other people do things, and you'll learn so much and see so much on your semester abroad.