Past Review

By (Marketing., Emerson College) for

Emerson College: Kasteel Well: The Netherlands

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I had the time of my life! I loved the environment, the country, the people, the traveling and the new learnings. Holland is a beautiful country that I would love to visit again. The people were very friendly and welcoming. The transport was amazing and very punctual. I made some incredible friends that I might not have met if I hadn't gone. I learned a lot from my professors and really appreciated their different perspectives. Being able to travel every weekend with your friends was the cherry on top. It really was an amazing experience.

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 was manageable, which allowed us to travel on the weekends, without to much stress. The classes were great, and I especially loved being taught by European teachers. That was a highlight, because their perspectives were different from ours, so they taught the material differently. With that said, at times there were language barriers, but that just makes you listen more.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Host Country Administration was great! They were wonderful people that were eager to help out in any situation. They were knowledgeable about transportation and offered travel tips. They were all accessible for support, guidance and information. At times, the size of the group (85) made group outings a bit chaotic, but that was no ones fault. It was just hard to manage that many people.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

All the students live within the castle, in dorm style accommodation. At times I would have liked to stay with a host family, so I could really see how the Dutch lived. I would have been able to learn the language a bit more as well. However, the dorms were nice and we still had a sense of being part of the community. The town was very small so we were in walking distance to the stores and local bar. We were minutes away from our classrooms, which were also inside the castle. The bar provided the nightlife, which was 5 minutes away. I brought most of the items I needed, but there was a very handy store in town, selling everything you could possibly need.

* Food:

The food provided by the castle was mediocre. I understand how hard it is to make appealing food for 85 + people, but at times the food was not pleasing. Overall I was fine with the food provided, but there could have been more flavor and variety. However, I spent my weekends traveling, so I was able to have incredible food then. I'm not a picky eater, so I did alright. Some people had a hard time adjusting to the fact that they couldn't choose what they wanted for dinner. Normally there was just one option.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The whole experience was so memorable that it is hard to pick out certain events. The program encouraged the students to join in the Carnival festivities. We marched in the local town parade and attended all of the events. The program organized a trip to Amsterdam to see a soccer game. That was a great experience. There were a couple music performances at the castle that were put on for our benefit. Interacting with the locals and traveling was always a cultural experience, that was very rewarding.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had no illnesses while I was there. A couple of people had a medical problem or an injury. I think they were looked after well. I never felt unsafe at the castle. The town was so small that there was really nothing to fear. Traveling independently I never felt unsafe either. But that is more personal and situational. You just have to be smart and aware of your surroundings.

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 do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think this program is great for any student that has a curiosity of the world! If you have never been to Europe this is a great way to get your feet wet. You go on group excursions with teachers, with everything already planned out for you. Then on weekends, its up to you. If that scares you, just go in a group with someone that is confident and knows a little about traveling. If you have already been abroad, use this time to explore new places! I tried to go to only new places on this trip. It was fabulous! A weekend is a really short time to see a place, but sometimes it is enough. You know where you might want to return to or you know its a place that you can cross off your list.