Challenging March 01, 2017

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/19/2016 to 12/22/2016 with

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: Amsterdam - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I really enjoyed my time traveling and I learned about the world around me.

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.

The academic environment was awful. The professors would not respond to my emails and one of them cancelled most of the lectures. They were not available to help when I had questions and I was often greeted with a lot of dismay being an international student. The classes I was supposed to be registered for ended up changing due to a change in the minor program. Most of the students in my courses had taken 18 computer science courses prior to these courses while I had only taken 2. I felt very lost, confused and behind.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Kelly and Ilin were the only good part of my time at Vrije University. They planned great activities and were always very warm and inviting.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The student hotel was not the best. They charged so much for silly things. Laundry was really expensive and the washers ruined some of my clothes. The location was conveniently next to a train station but I really didn't love the housing situation.

* Food:

We provided our own food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did not feel that integrated because I lived with international students and didn't become close with any Dutch students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

There was little support for me in the courses. I was placed into courses that were too challenging for me. I spent more time doing work abroad than I ever have at my home institution. Some of the men in my classes (there were on average of 3 women and 60 men) were creepy towards me. It was overall an uncomfortable experience.

Finances

* 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 including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the social programs
  • Kelly and Ilin (the advisors) were really sweet
  • the classes were taught in English
* What could be improved?
  • Class registration process
  • more transparency when choosing courses
  • More support
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have known that the courses were going to be way above my experience level because I wouldn't have taken them.

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!