I found my 2nd home! Past Review

By (English Language and Literature, Law, Texas Lutheran University) - abroad from 08/17/2015 to 12/20/2015 with

IES Abroad: Amsterdam - Law & Criminology

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained better observation and navigation skills. It was definitely worthwhile.

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.

Definitely a rigorous academic load! It's probably best if you have a background in law, although I didn't and ended up with good grades, just a lot of stress. Vrije University is very large and the teachers don't keep up with you. If you have a question or want to talk to them you have to track them down. I had to send multiple emails and make appointments to talk with mine. Their library doesn't have as much in English as I would have liked, but there were a lot of online sources in English.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I loved my program administration! They made sure everyone was doing good and helped us with anything we had questions about.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was happy to have my own room. The bathrooms are so tiny. Your shower and toilet share the same space practically. I liked that there were people from my program as well as other international students where I lived at. Sharing a kitchen and laundry room guaranteed interaction. The only thing I would say is it would have been nice to live with Dutch people, not just international people.

* Food:

Being from Texas, I am used to spicy food. The food in the Netherlands is very bland. I didn't have a meal plan I did all of my grocery shopping and loved it. The food is so healthy and good for you!!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Other buildings around where I lived had Dutch people, but mine was only for international people. Dutch people are not very friendly and it takes work to get to know them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was able to see a doctor when I needed to and get medicine for cheap.

* Safety:

It's as safe as you make it! You really have to pay attention to your surroundings. If you're out in the city at night always make sure to have someone with you!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I loved the city life. It was easy to get around. There was a lot of public transportation and having a bike made things really easy.


* 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)

$40 a week on food.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40 a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Have an international friendly bank so you don't get charged a bunch of fees. You have the option to open a Dutch bank account but it costs to open and close it and it will cost your American bank when they transfer your money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

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

They helped us.

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? none
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • My classes
  • The city
* What could be improved?
  • Living with Dutch people
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I believed people when they told me it rains everyday there!!

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!