Past Review

By (Theater Education, Emerson College) for

Emerson College: Kasteel Well: The Netherlands

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how insignificant I am. There's a whole world out there waiting to be discovered and I want to see it all and I want to become more significant. It's allowed me to check off one of my ma life goals and has given me the drive to continue living in the moment and continue striving to become a better person. It's an incredibly liberating experience.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The program is focused both on maintaining the level of academics found at Emerson's Boston location while providing students the freedom to explore and learn through the experience of traveling in Europe and in the classroom. The professors at the castle completely understand the necessity for students to develop both inside and outside of the castle walls.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The castle staff is great. They create a very tight-knit community and students are able to utilize their knowledge and build for themselves a very rewarding experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was in a castle. It doesn't get much better. Although, the location is remote and incidental travel costs can build-up quickly.

* Food:

The food Americans are used to is more expensive in Europe. The food could be better but it was the least of my worries.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The people of Well are incredibly open and welcoming to the American students. The Dutch public transportation system is far better than anything in the States. We are able to travel every weekend and it allowed for an incredible cultural experience. I didn't spend more than 4 days in the same country while I was overseas! The town of Well is gorgeous and is close to some larger cities that make for some great day trips during the week.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

One student was ill and was immediately taken to a hospital and was fine the next day. The outbreak of H1N1 was a cause for concern but students were given the option to receive vaccines for both H1N1 and the seasonal influenza virus for 50 euro through the Dutch government. There were some students who had some safety scares in other countries but as long as you keep your head clear and think rationally about what you are going to do nothing serious should happen. I never felt unsafe while at the castle itself.

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)


Language acquisition improvement?

I did not learn any new languages fluently. I can speak the minimal amount of Dutch (Hello, Thank you, You're welcome, Do you speak English?). However, the amount of traveling I was able to do allowed me to learn how to survive in a place where they do not speak my language.

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Save a lot of money. The program is worth every penny but you will need to have a fair amount of money to get through. 3,000 dollars of spending cash at least. If you buy a Eurail buy the three country pass and fly everywhere else. It's cheaper and you will have more time to spend in the places that you go. Make sure you book Hostels with no curfew, 24 hour reception and lockers. Go into the program with an open mind and a willingness to try new things. You'll feel so much better having done something you were unsure of than not having tried anythign new at all.