The Great Trips, The Terrible Academics That Stressed Me Out For 3 Months and Other Bedtime Stories 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?
Yes, because the traveling helped me learn about the world culturally.

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.

Too much reading for how simple the tests are. Class participation is not solely based on participating, but whether or not what you say is right or wrong, which I find ridiculous. Overall, I had a pretty bad time with my classes. The Media Criticism & Theory class and the Writing the Feature Film class were complete wastes of my time. I learned nothing about what I needed to learn in those two classes. The Ethics class was also a major waste of time and far more stressful than it should have been. The readings we had to do for that class were impossibly dense, overwhelming and most of the readings were not used on the exams. I was very disappointed by the academics there and the way the teachers made their curriculum. The teachers were also not very helpful, nor understanding when it came to any issues one had in a class. The only class that I actually learned anything in and enjoyed was Chester Lee's Intercultural Communication. The three other classes I took should be restructured and perhaps even new teachers. Something else that really bothered me was how anti-American one of my teachers was. He would always talk about how America is not as good as Europe. Also, the teachers seemed to have fallen into a routine. They talk AT the students for about two hours and are very unenthusiastic, like they have been giving the same lesson for years and years. Well, maybe they have, but that does not help us when they stand at the front of the classroom and talk and talk and talk, maybe a few PowerPoint slides, and then more talking. They do not seem to be trying at all. I do not regret having gone to the Castle, however. I definitely had a great time traveling and learning about new cultures. I do very much regret having taken three out of four of the courses. I felt like it was a major waste of time and money, two items I will sadly never get back. In my opinion, an intervention is needed. I don't know when the last time an authoritative person went over there, but someone needs to get out there soon and see and evaluate what kind of education system they are running over there.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The castle has some great rooms and some not so great rooms. My room had it's own bathroom and it's own wireless internet that's only shared by a total of 6 people. The rest of the castle has communal bathrooms and really awful internet because of the amount of people using it.

* Food:

The first month you'll be ok with the food. The second month you will have picked your favorites and by the third month you will hate the food a lot!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everything other than the academics were excellent!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Special Topics in Ethics and Value Theory

Course Department: PH 203
Instructor: Bianca Jenssen Groesbeek
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was incredibly difficult. The class struggled quite a bit to keep up. In the end, I believe we all were up to speed, but it was just so difficult and very uninteresting.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Intercultural Communication

Course Department: CC 203
Instructor: Chester Lee
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was amazing! Chester Lee was the best teacher! I have learned so much from his class. His lessons are great, he keeps the class energetic and fun.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Media Criticism & Theory

Course Department: VM 200
Instructor: Patrick Cattrysse
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was terrible. Patrick ONLY based his lessons on theory and nearly no criticism. This class needs a MAJOR revamping. There was nothing good about the lessons and the presentations. I learned absolutely nothing!
Credit Transfer Issues: