"En we kijken niet terug naar, want nu is het geluk daar en de wind in onze rug" Past Review

By (Business Administration, Management and Operations., Central College) - abroad from 01/16/2013 to 05/17/2013 with

Netherlands Study Abroad Reflections: Comprehensive Reviews of Past Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Going abroad, wherever you go, it's worth it. It gives you the opportunity to learn about multiple cultures while learning about yourself at the same time and picking up a bit of the local language. I have gained friends from around the globe, which gives me another reason to travel abroad in the future!

Review Photos

Study Abroad Programs in the Netherlands Photo Study Abroad Programs in the Netherlands Photo Study Abroad Programs in the Netherlands Photo Study Abroad Programs in the Netherlands Photo Study Abroad Programs in the Netherlands Photo

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

If you're worried that you won't like what the Dutch eat or just not sure what they eat, don't be! I guarantee you'll LOVE the food. It's all fresh veggies, fruit, cheese, meat, anything you can think of. You can pick it up at the local markets in the towns every week or swing by the supermarket quick.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Through out my stay in Leiden I never once felt in danger, day or night, even walking/biking back on those nights out. It's always a good rule though to have a group or buddy to walk with at night but it's not necessary. In general I felt safe throughout all the Netherlands.

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)

Living on a budget abroad is the same as living on a budget here, it can be done. You have to limit yourself the same as you would back home meaning not eating out everyday but rather maybe once a week. And when you travel think ahead, if you book a hostel with a free breakfast and eat a big lunch (lunch is usually cheaper than dinner) you can save yourself a lot of money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plane tickets though out Europe may be cheap but plan you're trips ahead of time and the tickets will be bundles cheaper. Also plan smart. Going from Budapest to Barcelona to Lisbon for Spring break may sound fun (and definitely was!) but my bank account took a hit. My advice would be to plan trips around a central area instead of hoping on a plane and going from one side of Europe to the next.


* 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

Our program set up a crash course class in Dutch the first couple weeks after we arrived. And even though most people in the Netherlands speak English well as well as Dutch, it was exciting to learn something new and get to test it out at the street markets or with the locals.

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? I had taken Spanish for 4 years in high school
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? The old saying practice makes perfect fits this situation perfectly. Don't be afraid to speak with the locals. They may shoot you down and ask you to just speak English because they can't understand you, but they will usually try to help and teach you what you were saying wrong. I found that finding local songs or bands that are in the native tongue are a fun, quick way to learn some words and build your vocabulary.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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 culture/ food
  • accessibility to travel to other countries
  • the people
* What could be improved?
  • more selection of classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That making an 'estimation' budget really would have been helpful.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.