The Netherlands/Rotterdam: Mix and Match Past Review

By (Graphic Design., Maryland Institute College of Art) for

Willem de Kooning Academy: Rotterdam - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Study abroad was definitely worthwhile experience for me. The whole experience I went through not only with the school but also with diversity of international people really brought me change in life and future plans. Be honest, I learned a lot more from traveling and going through new cultural events and people than taking art classes at school. Of course it is a wonderful opportunity to take classes in foreign country, but the best thing is being with foreign people and learning cultures from them. Then the school becomes much more exciting and makes you produce better art works. I could have that great opportunity since Rotterdam was such a diverse city of culture and people. If I have another chance to do study abroad, I would totally go for it. No doubt. It really gives you impact and change how you view the world.

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.

Wdka exchange program education was less structured compared to MICA. I am a graphic design major and classes in MICA gave students more structures to follow through for each project, but Wdka gave more freedom to students, such as developing own ideas and coming up with final solution. The process of developing ideas, making final work and delivering them to the audience seem to be important for their teaching methods. Wdka also provided real-life projects. Teachers give feedbacks individually quite often, which I think it is more well organized in Wdka compared to MICA.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

they support exchange students and gives a lot of opportunities to take different and diverse courses. Things are well provided.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a safe neighborhood. Also, the two rooms were given to students. The only negative thing was the distance from school to dormitory. It was quite far from the school, which I ended up spending quite a lot of money on transportation. Bike was needed as well to commute to school.

* Food:

Most of the Holland food was fried. Not many variations of food. It is better to cook at home.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Once you leave to foreign country, there are a lot of opportunities to travel around different countries and get a lot of experience out of it. It is really nice to do museum trips. You also get to meet a lot of nice new people. From new people, you get to learn a lot about culture and chance to visit new places.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Rotterdam is a safer city compared to Baltimore. I got sick once and it was quite difficult to get medical care. The program just assisted me to go to a doctor and recommend where to go. Having health insurance is important.

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


* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I could learn from friends and I also took Dutch language course. Most people spoke English and even classes were taught in English.

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

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Students who want diversities and want to get inspired by the design world. It is the best place and time for exclusive experiences you can get!