The Most Amazing and Life Changing Year Yet Past Review

By (University of Maine - Orono) - abroad from 02/02/2016 to 06/10/2016 with

USAC Netherlands: The Hague - Undergraduate Courses

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a lot of happiness and acceptance, along with an abundance of knowledge and independence.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I went to The Netherlands with already having Dutch friends of my own there thankfully. I noticed that almost all of the international students did not intergrade with native Dutch people because the program did not allow easy integration to occur. Exchange students are often separated from Dutch students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was not exposed to any health care issues.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

As I mentioned prior, I had entered The Netherlands already having Dutch friends of my own, which I believe gave my trip an advantage to other students. I was given the opportunity to easily be emerged into Dutch culture and every day living. The Hague University of Applied Sciences was also a great school with great professors from all around the world. My entire experience abroad was filled with so much gained knowledge at school, dozens of loving friends, and indescribable amounts of fun.


* 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)

Though I managed my finances properly, the cost of living in The Netherlands is very expensive. I resided in The Student Hotel and was expected to pay 840 Euros a month. This is not including food or other weekly expenses.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? The cost of food is much less in The Netherlands. I was easily spending under fifty Euros a week on all my groceries.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you are going to The Netherlands, the cost of train transportation adds up very quickly. Trains are the easiest way to get around and you will need to have money each week to charge your card if you want to be able to get around to places.


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I never completed any language 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? If you are going to The Netherlands, every local Dutch resident will be able to speak English, so learning Dutch is not mandatory. I learned Dutch on my own and if you would like to learn the language I would suggest buying the Rosetta Stone application.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Independence
  • Housing
  • Culture
* What could be improved?
  • integrating Dutch/Exchange Students
  • Scheduling set up
  • More options for Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How to properly pick up your residency permit.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'