The most stressful and one of the best experiences of my entire life. Past Review

By (Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies., University of Hartford) - abroad from 09/01/2012 to 12/16/2012 with

SIT Study Abroad: Netherlands - International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about myself on this program. I am generally unhappy with the program, but I wouldn't give up my experience for the world. I learned about the Dutch/European culture, which I am in love with. I met my hosts, who I will always stay and contact with and hope to go back to. I had an introduction to research even though I think there wasn't enough time to do the research well. All of this is invaluable.

Review Photos

SIT Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender Photo SIT Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender Photo SIT Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender Photo SIT Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender Photo SIT Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The independent study project was extremely rigorous and intense because there was so little time to do a research project.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administration was extremely disorganized. This is partly due to the fact that the academic director left or was fired (I don't know) halfway through the semester. However, even before he left administration was unorganized. I was unclear of how I was being graded, I wasn't sure of how the 16 credit hours broke down, people lost our assignments or forgot to grade them, etc.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The homestay was the best part of the entire program.

* Food:

My homestay always provided me with food; however, I was not always provided with food by administration. Or sometimes I would have to pay for my food with the promise of being "reminbursed."

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I think I could have been more integrated into local culture, but I think this is more my own doing than the program's. It also has to do with the fact that I came on a program with all American students instead of entering a Netherlands' unversity system with Dutch students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had a minor health emergency, and I was able to talk to one of the administrators and get help with it immediately.

* Safety:

The city is very safe. Students simply need to exercise general safety practices for being in a city.

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 felt like for the most part I was able to live on my budget. There were sometimes where I felt the program did a bad job of handling money we had already paid. For instance, in Morocco (an program excursion) we had to pay money out of our pockets for taxi services with the promise of reimbursement. We weren't all reimbursed. Or we had to pay for transportation to and from program excursions in Amsterdam. This is unacceptable. All transportation and costs should be taken care of by the program prior to the excursion.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20 Dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget. Amsterdam is expensive.


* 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

We were actually told that if we tried to speak Dutch people would start speaking to us in English. The language was more focused on reading Dutch.

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've completed Intermediate Advanced Spanish, but no Dutch courses
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? Make your hosts speak to you in Dutch.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • My homestay and my hosts.
  • The Dutch course
  • The excursion to Morocco
* What could be improved?
  • Strcutre and Organization of the Program
  • Clearly communicated expectations
  • Administrative financing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how disorganized the program is.

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!