Great Experience Past Review

By (Jazz Piano Performance, SUNY Purchase) - abroad from 01/10/2010 to 05/14/2010 with

SUNY Purchase: Groningen - Hanze University Groningen - Prince Claus Conservatoire

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, I learned a lot from my time abroad. I especially benefited from something like that, since I was going to College from home here in the US, and got a chance to live away from home and with a roommate for the first time. I also learned a lot about managing money, and other kinds of responsibilities linked to this. In terms of cultural awareness and experiences, I learned a new language (which makes it definitely worth while!), as well as made friends and learned about cultures from all over the world. As someone who moved to the US from another country, I also learned a lot about myself, and found out just how much I've been influenced by the American culture I'd been living in for the past 5 years, and how much of my original "Brazilianness" I still retained. It was very interesting to learn about the Dutch, and about how all the international students react to them and their culture. I had a wonderful time and learned a lot while there.

Review Photos

SUNY Purchase: Groningen - Hanze University Groningen - Prince Claus Conservatoire Photo SUNY Purchase: Groningen - Hanze University Groningen - Prince Claus Conservatoire Photo SUNY Purchase: Groningen - Hanze University Groningen - Prince Claus Conservatoire Photo SUNY Purchase: Groningen - Hanze University Groningen - Prince Claus Conservatoire Photo

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.

The workload was much less than what I was used to, as well as the availability of practice rooms at the school. There were fewer assignments and their on-time submission as well as attendance to classes were not enforced very strongly. It all felt really loose.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The advisor I had was very accessible, and helped me with everything I asked. He mainly took care of what classes I took, and whether I got the credit for them at the end of my time there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in an apartment that I shared with one girl from the conservatory. It was a very nice and big place, with more than enough space for the two of us, but slightly far from school (for their standards anyway, 15 min. on a bike is still pretty close for me). I really enjoyed living there, it was a very quite neighborhood, and close enough to the center. It was empty when I got there, though, and we had to buy everything ourselves.

* Food:

I could not get used to the food they ate there, and the actual quality of produce there was also not satisfactory to me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The conservatory, as well as the town itself are very international places, and I met and made friends with people from all over the world there. I had a wonderful time in this regard, and even got to learn Spanish (instead of Dutch, haha) from hanging out with the Spanish people I met. I really had a great experience in terms of my social life.

* Safety:

I did not get a chance to see wether student health issues were addressed adequately or not. In regards to safety, I felt very safe at all times while there, never having any contact with violence or crime or anything threatening.

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I had a great time doing the exchange with Groningen. I didn't go there solely for the musical aspect, though. I must say that If I had only that in mind, I'd best stay in New York. Their program has a lot to offer, but the real thing I benefit from while studying there was just meeting a lot of great people from all over the world, getting to play with them in a very relaxed scene of jam sessions in little bars around town, and just having a time to explore a different kind of jazz scene. Don't go there for the classes so much, but for the whole experience of living in a different country and meeting and collaborating with musicians from all sorts of different places.