Castle Program Prompts Students to Travel Across Europe Past Review

By (Writing, Literature, And Publishing, Emerson College) for

Emerson College: Kasteel Well: The Netherlands

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The experience was absolutely worth it! I learned how to travel alone; how to negotiate a foreign city where no one spoke my language; and how European cultures have tangled themselves into a many-stranded net of treaties and wars and religions and beautiful cultures. I definitely plan to travel much more in the future. After living with all of Europe at my fingertips, it seems very dull to center my understanding of the world in the US.

Personal Information

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.

Since we had Fridays off, and we were only allowed there for 90 days (due to our inability to obtain international visas), the semester was scheduled somewhat differently than usual. There was a heavier focus on testing and on practical assignments, both which worked out perfectly given the time frame.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This program had a staff and faculty that worked closely with the Boston campus, but they also arranged their own schedule to make our experience special. By coordinating group trips to various cities, and arranging activities at the castle and interactions with the villagers of Well, they made everything work out wonderfully.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We were living in a tiny village whose main economy involved the students staying at the castle. There were only a few stores, but they had everything anyone could possibly need, and everyone in town was extremely friendly and helpful.

* Food:

Excellent ability to accommodate vegetarian students, and plenty of variety. The meals got a little repetitive, but they were overall better than any cafeteria food I've experienced in the past.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Since we weren't living with actual Dutch students, we weren't as exposed to the Dutch culture as we could have been. However, since I was traveling every weekend, and often alone, I feel as though I got an excellent exposure to the cultures all over Europe.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Since the castle is located in a tiny village, it is absolutely safe. I didn't have any health issues while there, and no one else did that I am aware of.

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)


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?
  • traveling all the time
  • the close-knit, fun community
* What could be improved?
  • organization of whole-group trips
  • learning more Dutch
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To any student who would like to do this program, know that you will begin to realize how exhausting and complicated constant travel can become. Allow yourself to enjoy it, and you will find the exhilarating sort of magic that comes from hopping on a plane and seeing a different country every weekend. The world seems much smaller and more human after an experience like this.