Go Dutch or Go Home Past Review

By (Mount Holyoke College) - abroad from 01/15/2015 to 06/06/2016 with

Maastricht University: Center for European Studies, Semester Programmes

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Even though the title might seem forceful, I use it because it represented a saying a group of friends in my study abroad used. For us, it meant that we would try Dutch food or any Dutch traditions so as to immerse ourselves in the culture. Maastricht was the perfect size for me, it was big enough that everything was close for me to go shopping or go out to eat, and I could easily take a train and travel somewhere else. The courses at Maastricht University were challenging enough, where I engaged myself in the reading. For my abroad experience. I really wanted to take classes with the students there. In some of my classes, I was the only exchange student. And in other classes, there were a few of us. Nevertheless, I learned so much from my courses that I am ready to bring back at home institution. The CES program also gives you flexibility into the courses you could take. Even though I was enrolled in the Psychology and Neuroscience Program, I also took classes out of the Medicine and Public Health courses. One of my favorite memories from Maastricht is our family dinners. I shared a floor with 11 other people and every tuesday, one or two people would cook food for the rest of the group. We would all join in and chat about our week. It made our floor bond and I gained a worldly view just from my floor alone. Maastricht had everything I wanted in my study abroad program and more! I only hope I can go back again soon.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program coordinators were amazingly helpful. I got sick during my trip and they were able to coordinate with my professor and make sure I was alright.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Maastricht is the perfect size, where it is not too big or too small. During the weekends, some friends and I would walk to a local bar and talk with the locals. There also be events going around the town where one could meet the locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was extremely accessible and the program was happy to help in anyway you can. To be honest, when I got sick, they took care of me right away and I felt like it would have taken longer back in the U.S.

* Safety:

I felt safe at all times.

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)


* 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

Because my classes were taught in English, it wasn't a requirement to know English. But you could take dutch if you'd like

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
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Dutch people will love to hear you just say simple thank you or hello's in dutch. But if you're trying to practice, they may switch back to English just so that they'll be able to understand you. When I told the Maastricht students that I was learning Dutch they were so sweet and encouraging- a lot of them offered to help!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • The coordinators made the experience a lot worthwhile
  • Worldly perspective
  • friendly locals
* What could be improved?
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The only thing I'd wish to know was about the different faculties available. So there's the neuroscience faculty, but there's also UCM and they are all a distance away from each other. But we were informed of this when we arrived at the program.

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!