International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)

Meet the Students

Alexandria A. was a Communications major at WCSU who spent the Spring of 2012 in Amsterdam.  When she returned, she became an ISEP Ambassador to promote Study Abroad at WCSU.  Alexandria has since graduated from WCSU.                   

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Universiteit van Amsterdam:

          

Alexandria A. attended Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Spring of 2012.

What were your favorite and least favorite foods?
Alexandria: The Netherlands is not necessarily known for its dishes and cuisine. However, they are well known for their Dairy products, especially Cheeses. Stroopwaffles and Poffertjes are two very delicious sweets/treats. In Amsterdam, French Fries are also eaten regularly with Mayonnaise. Finally, being a multicultural city, you can find Moroccan, Turkish, Thai, Italian, Argentine, and so many other different types of food.

                              

Did you travel a lot?
Alexandria: Yes, I traveled to all the major cities in The Netherlands (Deflt, Rotterdam, Leiden, Utrecht, The Hague). I also traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic; Hungary, Budapest; and Brussels, Belgium.

What did you do during your free time?
Alexandria: Other than traveling and schoolwork, I attended a number of events that were put on by the Internal Student Network. The ISN was an organization at UvA, and had weekly-biweekly activities for international students. Amsterdam also has dozens of museums and sites to visit that I would visit during down time. With the core group of friends I made, we also had group dinners and nights out on the town.

          

What were your favorite and least favorite things to do while abroad?
Alexandria: My favorite thing was the traveling and learning of different cultures. The only downside was the amount of paperwork and procedures that came with being an international student at UvA.

Was communicating easy?
Alexandria: In Amsterdam, communicating was very easy. I was fortunate enough to live in a city and country where many people spoke English. The locals also were always helpful and willing to help you if you were having trouble.

What difference did you find with regards to academics?
Alexandria: I found that there was a much greater demand from the professors. Although my courses only met once a week, a great deal of independent work and reading was required outside of the classroom. The semester at UvA was divided into three different blocks, so students normally only took one to three courses per block. Finally, all of my classes had very little graded work, and final grades were often based on a few long written assignments and a presentation.   

What advice would you give to other students traveling abroad?
Alexandria: Get out and completely immerse yourself in the whole country (not just your home town/city) and culture. Six months goes by so quickly-you do not want to look back and regret not doing everything you had hoped.  If you are in a university with a large number of International students, try and meet others who aren’t just other American students. Also research your home university and country before traveling - it is great to know basic phrases, greetings, and customary behavior.

                              

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