Disappointing Past Review

By (International Relations/Economics, University of the Pacific) - abroad from 01/28/2013 to 06/19/2013 with

USAC Netherlands: The Hague - Undergraduate Courses

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was my second semester abroad. I did another program and had a wonderful experience. This program was nothing but disappointment for me. The university is a bit of a joke. You only meet other international students as you are kept separate from the local students. Classes are not worth attending. I spent my semester traveling since I wasn't learning anything at the university.

Review Photos

USAC: The Hague, Netherlands - The Hague University Undergraduate Courses Photo USAC: The Hague, Netherlands - The Hague University Undergraduate Courses Photo USAC: The Hague, Netherlands - The Hague University Undergraduate Courses Photo USAC: The Hague, Netherlands - The Hague University Undergraduate Courses Photo USAC: The Hague, Netherlands - The Hague University Undergraduate Courses 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.

This was the worst university program I have ever seen. All of my classes were on the same day and attendance was optional for all classes. Teachers were not professors and they did not teach. In fact, they could barely keep their classes in line. Teachers were difficult to contact and staff were unhelpful. I would not recommend this program to anyone.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There is not much support here for an international student. There is an office, but with strange hours and they don't seem to have the power to do much to help you even if they are willing to.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Location and room sizes are the best things about student housing here. However, rooms are very cheaply furnished and you will likely have to replace much of what is included. The housing is run by a company that is a nightmare to deal with. For example, my shower broke and hot water was pouring from my ceiling. My roommate and I both went to the housing office and informed them of this emergency and it was not dealt with at all. We called the emergency fix it line and they told us they could send someone the next day. We had to explain to them repeatedly that this was not something that could wait. Finally a plumber showed up at 11pm to fix the problem, 16 hours after we reported it. By then we had major water damage and the plumber informed us that the building should have been fixed to meet regulations a long time ago. Not exactly encouraging.

* Food:

As I cooked for myself in my apartment and never ate at the school's cafeteria, I'm not sure this question is relevant to me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I don't feel integrated at all. I've only met a few local students as my classes consist of entirely exchange students and there is little emphasis on anything local.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't need medical assistance but a friend did. She had a very serious burn. We were given directions to an emergency room, which was very inefficient. We waited for a very long time only for the doctor to tell her to keep treating it as she had been. And the bill was quite expensive.

* Safety:

The Hague is incredibly safe. The university is in one of the poorer neighborhoods in The Hague but nothing much ever happens.

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)

Not very easy. The Netherlands is a very expensive country. Factor in the exchange rate and it gets very expensive very fast.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I probably spent $150/ week just on groceries and going out.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It is impossible to get a job in the Netherlands as a foreign student so save before you come.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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 Hague is a wonderful city to live in.
  • I made a lot of great friends with other international students, some of which I will keep in touch with after the program ends.
  • There were many opportunities to travel around the rest of the Netherlands and Europe.
* What could be improved?
  • More rigorous classes and/or an attendance policy. It's very discouraging to go to a class where the students talk over the teachers and the teachers just tell you to read the book.
  • More opportunities to meet local students. I've lived here for six months and I don't know any Dutch people nor can I speak the language.
  • More information. It was difficult to even find out when final exams were.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that it was not such a great university. I wish I had done a different program. I loved living in The Hague and I love making friends from around the world but I am going to return to the US knowing more about the countries my friends are from than the country we all lived in for a semester.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.