Living and studying very independently, but in an easy and great city! Past Review

By (Environmental Studies., Pitzer College) - abroad from 08/18/2013 to 05/30/2014 with

ISEP Exchange: Amsterdam - Exchange Program at Universiteit van Amsterdam

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be an adult and how to take care of myself. I also learned how to blend into a culture and leave my American-ness behind, which is important to realize. You're a visitor in the country, just because it's different doesn't mean you need to hold your ground to such a great extent.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The work was not necessarily difficult at UvA, but the grading system is very different from the U.S. and you are likely to get much lower grades.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We met in person once, and I never heard from him again except when I needed to ask a question a week before i left.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived 40 minutes away from where my classes were, I don't think UvA took any consideration into where the classes are and where you live. My housing was the containers, which was fine because a lot of students live in the same area, but not nice by any means.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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)

I received a stipend from the University (from my home university basically), but more than half went to paying my rent. I could survive on the extra but for food only, anything else came from my own funds.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100 euro


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Dutch people and their values/culture
  • The city itself
  • Course material at UvA
* What could be improved?
  • Coordination with the host and home universities
  • Better understanding of grade translation
  • Housing closer to where classes are located
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Going abroad is expensive, and the Dutch people--although generally above and beyond in efficiency--can sometimes be very bad with administrative work. For instance, some companies only operate through mail instead of email or the telepone.

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!