Rough start, amazing experience May 26, 2017

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/19/2017 to 12/23/2017 with

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: Amsterdam - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I became so much more independent, financially conscious, culturally aware, and adventurous. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 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:

I was responsible for my own food and received a stipend, which I loved taking advantage of to try local foods and budget for myself.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No health care issues myself, but my friends had wonderful experiences with healthcare. There was a hospital directly across the street.

* Safety:

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

I think I would have chosen a smaller school, a more established program, etc. I really appreciated that I was well integrated with the local students in this program, I wasn't looking for an American-based program with only American students. I think I would have tried to choose something more fine-tuned to what I was looking for if I did it all over again.

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)

I did deplete the stipend given by the college, and I was surprised because I tried to budget well and not waste any food.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150 or so a week? It depended on the week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? budget BEFOREHAND!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Location
  • International feel, local students
  • Freedom-- food, travel, etc
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Stipend
  • Clarity of information given out
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that the stipend wouldn't cover food for the semester. I budgeted based on the given stipend, and when I went over budget it really became difficult.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.