Study Abroad in Amsterdam

Programs for this blog post

Social Sciences + Humanities

Authored By:

CIEE Amsterdam

By Natalie Giammo

When I was deciding where to study abroad, I was instantly drawn to Amsterdam and the Netherlands. I had never been to the Netherlands, but I knew I would fall in love with the people, the culture, and the arts there. Another plus is that almost everyone in Amsterdam knows English and my classes would be taught in English. As someone who did a summer abroad in Italy, I already had the language immersion experience, so I knew that Amsterdam would be an easier transition. I attend the University of Michigan and they give us an extensive list of study abroad programs. When I was deciding among the program options, I originally was set on going to the UK, but after reading more about CIEE and what it had to offer, I completely changed my number 1 choice. The Netherlands is an ideal location for travel in Europe, and Amsterdam is ranked in the top 5 safest cities in the world, two facts that heavily impacted my decision. CIEE also made my decision easy. I reveled in the fact that there would be a program that could make finding housing, friends, and classes so simple. There were five options for housing, and I was placed in the Social Hub West. Each place has its perks. Some of the perks of my place include free bikes, a cafe, a gym, a social space, our own bathroom, and a courtyard. I also happened to be placed in the dorms with the most students, so I have 70 people along for the ride with me and have met some cool people. CIEE also allows you to meet your closest friends. Through the weekly trips/activities, the orientation during week one, and our CIEE classes, it is almost impossible not to find a group of people you will hang out with all the time. I have met friends from all over the US, including some who also go to the University of Michigan and I will see them in the Fall! When it comes to classes, I had the opportunity to take courses with CIEE and the University of Amsterdam. The CIEE courses are more American-based teaching styles, while the UvA courses fully immersed me in the Dutch culture. I took classes like “Mythology”, “Fashion, Culture & Media”, “International Management”, “Anthropology of the Netherlands including the Caribbean,” and “Five Senses of Cinema”. So, even though I am in the CIEE Social Sciences program, I had the opportunity to take classes in a wide variety of disciplines, including classes that counted for my Global Media Studies minor. Not only that, but as a Sport Management major, I found my CIEE class: “International Management”, to be relevant, and the small class size made it a very welcoming environment. My time in Amsterdam with CIEE has been better than I could have ever expected. The trips with CIEE were my favorite part. We were able to go to Texel (an island in the Netherlands) for a weekend and it was a blast. We went shrimp boating, sightseeing, and ate great food while getting to reconnect with people from the program. I am so grateful for the time I spent in the Netherlands. CIEE was the best decision I have made, and I will think back on this time fondly