Positive Time in Amsterdam January 15, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/15/2018 to 12/22/2018 with

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: Amsterdam - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I definitely got outside my comfort zone in many ways.

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 Dutch educational system is definitely different from that of the US and initially I had a difficult time adjusting.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Semester in Amsterdam staff were definitely very helpful but they practiced a sort of hands-off approach. Many students on my program were there through the IES organization and they were much better taken of and had an easier transition in and out of Amsterdam.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was definitely adequate and in a nice location.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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? Yes

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)

Amsterdam was more expensive than anticipated and there were many things like healthcare and a phone plan that Wellesley did not prepare me to pay for.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200

Language

* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Meeting new people.
  • Exploring Europe.
* What could be improved?
  • Support/information for students upon arrival.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I knew literally zero information pre-arrival so in that regard I learned a lot.

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.