Europe taught me not to care. Past Review

By (Journalism., Emerson College) - abroad from 01/16/2013 to 04/17/2013 with

Emerson College: Kasteel Well: The Netherlands

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was the most worthwhile experiences I've ever had in my life. I'm the same person I was when I left for Europe. I know more about the world, and more about myself.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The class substance was rather difficult on some classes, but not all. It was hard to grasp such textbook theories and such after working in such a hands-on environment like Emerson's campus.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Kasteel Well's administration were some of my favorite people in Europe. They always had a smile, always had something fun to say, always hung out with the kids. They were really helpful and I'm sorry our semester disrespected them so much, they deserve better.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved our view from our window and the sinks in our bathroom but it would just have strange temperatures at night.

* Food:

Too many potatoes, not enough protein or vegetables. Everything tasted deep-fried or covered in oil. I did not feel healthy while eating at the castle.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Considering we lived in such a small village, it was easy to get to know the locals, especially when they said hello to you every day on the street. Even in that rural area, we had to get used to a lot of things we wouldn't normally have to in the states so that was helpful for future travels.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

As far as I know health was pretty well taken care of. Unfortunately there was a lot of passing sicknesses at the castle but that was probably due to poor hygiene of the other students. Doctor's appointments were taken care of differently here though. I had the flu for a couple weeks and just had to wait it out which was torturous.

* Safety:

I love my town very dearly. I never felt unsafe, even walking home late at night. I would just suggest making sure you know where you are, and be aware of the Dutch boys, sometimes they get a little headstrong.

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 was really difficult for me to budget. But that was also due to outside circumstances. It was still very necessary to set a strict budget for every weekend, especially prior to spring break. Luckily, I never got hit with any unexpected fees or mistakes.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Each week, including the travel weekends, was probably about 350-400 Euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget your weekend trips, it'll help in the long run. That way, you don't have to stay back multiple weekends because you're out of money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We were never really taught Dutch but we picked up basics while going into town or visiting Amsterdam.

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? We didn't.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Traveling every weekend
  • Exploring the castle
  • Group excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Food
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bring a lot of clothes to layer, I didn't bring enough staples. Also budget your money wisely and take risks.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.