Unique and complicated Past Review

By (Anthropology., Fordham University) - abroad from 09/02/2013 to 12/15/2013 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile but very stressful due to the lack of communication and extreme structure, which both take some time getting used to if you're more accustomed to a flexible schedule.

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.

This really depends on your background and how familiar you are with class topics but grades are mostly dependent on papers so as long as you take notes, you'll be fine.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very caring and very attentive personally but somewhat lacking in academic communication.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Be very open and honest about your living and dietary requirements as the Dutch are very direct and expect the same from you. It will greatly benefit you and your host family if you are up front about your needs and will lead to much less stress and confusion later on in the semester.

* Food:

Again, be direct on what you will and won't eat, Dutch food and Dutch cooking is not necessarily for everyone. Lunch is provided Monday-Friday on school days but it was organic and vegetarian which is yummy and healthy but was certainly an adjustment for many.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This really depends on you and how much you choose to explore outside the classroom. Ride your bike anywhere and everywhere (oh yeah, your main mode of transportation is a bike, which may seem scary but you will soon LOVE) and take advantage of the beautiful city. The Dutch are a bit difficult to relate to but keep trying, you'll get there.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues.

* Safety:

Amsterdam is a very safe city but can be a large adjustment for those who are not used to city living. Give it a few weeks and you'll feel right at home.

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)

Western Europe is expensive so just try to keep a budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-$200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat/drink at home and bike everywhere.


* 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 encouraged to use Dutch but we learned very little and once the locals hear your accent, they will automatically speak to you in english. Almost everyone in Amsterdam speaks english so you should have very little translation issues.

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? 0

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

  • 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?
  • Peers
  • Topic/subject matter
  • Research
* What could be improved?
  • Communication
  • Structure
  • Organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is time consuming and demanding.

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 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.