This program was such a great experience for me, and I am so happy that I chose it! The staff and teachers were very friendly, helpful, and welcoming, and the classes (I took the art history and literature courses that focused on gender studies) were interesting and incredibly relevant to Dutch culture. I learned things specific to Amsterdam and Dutch history by reading Dutch works and visiting countless museums. I enjoyed how many of our class sessions involved some sort of field trip, either to a museum, park, or other place.
We went on some fun day trips throughout my six weeks, as well as a weekend trip to Berlin, and we had lots of other time to travel on the weekends. I was lucky to study abroad with a great, kind, open-minded group of students and made some great friendships. We had lots of free time to explore the city however we liked, and IES Abroad always helped us find places to go if we asked for help or advice. They made sure we knew the neighborhood's grocery stories, pharmacies, and home goods places so that we could feel comfortable right away.
The housing was nice - a studio apartment with a small kitchen and bathroom - and located very close to the study abroad center. It was a bit farther from the city center, but we could take public transportation, bike, or if we had a bit more time, walk to nearly anywhere in the city. I felt safe in the city, and loved the entire vibe of Amsterdam. We didn't have much interaction with local students or residents, however, but if I'd had more time, maybe I would have ventured out more past the friends I'd made with IES.