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1 Department Phonetics & Linguistics Degree Programme (e.g. BA French and Russian) BA Linguistics IP Year in which abroad 2012/13 Where did you spend your first semester abroad? Netherlands Type of Placement University Placement Where did you spend your second semester abroad? Same place as the first semester Before Departure How would you rate your preparation by your department(s)? Good Please give details/feedback and suggest any improvements: How would you rate your preparation by the Study Abroad Team? Good Please give details/feedback and suggest any improvements: informative meetings Did you attend the Pre-Departure briefing organised by the Study Abroad Team in March? If yes, did you find it useful? Please give feedback/suggest any improvements: How would you rate your own preparation ahead of studying abroad? Could you have done more to prepare yourself before leaving UCL? If so, please give details:

2 perhaps find out more about the academic calender and structure of my host uni Could you have been better prepared by UCL? If so, please give details: n/a As part of your preparation, did you do any of the following (tick all that apply): - Contact the Study Abroad Team - Discuss your options with your Study Abroad Tutor - Consult the resources in Moodle or on the Study Abroad website - Consult previous students' study abroad questionnaires - Consult your host institution's website If you contacted the Study Abroad Team, what did you seek advice about? Did you find the advice useful? Asking about travel grants available in the netherlands and if they were applicable to me - yes, the information was very useful. Also questions regarding insurance etc. Prior to departure, were you given clear instructions by your department on what was expected of you academically during your year abroad? How did you prepare yourself for the academic aspect of your year abroad programme? Tried to choose relevant courses. What advice would you offer to students prior to making a decision about where to study abroad? Think carefully about what you wish to get out of the year - if you are focused on academics, then choose a university that suits your interests. What advice would you give to students preparing to go abroad? What things should they make sure to do ahead of beginning their year abroad?

3 Make sure all the paperwork is sorted out well in advance so that the tedious stuff is out of the way before you arrive and start having fun :) Your Placement - University Name of your host university: Utrecht University Location (city and country): Utrecht, the Netherlands Was your university placement part of an ERASMUS or other exchange programme? When did you receive confirmation of acceptance from the host university? Early 2012 When did your placement start? September 2012 How did you get to your placement? Please give rough details of the journey and costs: I came by car and ferry (8 hours...don't know cost!) Enrolment and Course Registration Please describe the enrolment process at your host university. What formalities did you have to complete, and, in particular, what documents did you need to have in order to enrol? (e.g. carte de séjour, passport, nomination letter). As an international student, were you given any special help with enrolment? We were given plenty of help with enrolling - just needed our housing contract and passport i think.

4 Were any special orientation events/meetings provided for study abroad students? If so, please give details. There was an introduction week provided for all new students that was degree course specific Is there any advice you would give to future students ahead of enrolling at this university? The terms are long and intense so be prepared... Registering for Courses How easy was it to finalise and register your course choices? Very easy Please give details of the procedures and how to choose or change courses: Everything can be done over the moodle equivalent Osiris. Was obtaining information about courses and timetables difficult or simple? Simple If difficult, what advice would you offer on how to obtain the information? Academic Life At your host university, who helped you with the academic or administrative aspects of your year abroad? Please tick all that apply: - Departmental Coordinator - Individual Tutors Please give names of helpful individuals if possible: Martin Everaet Maaike Schoorlemmer Yoad Winter

5 Please indicate what kind of help you received (e.g. with course registration; general academic advice; specific assistance with coursework; specific assistance with dissertation preparation; instructions concerning coursework; instructions concerning assessment): Generally, all staff were extremely helpful and solved any problem that i came to them with. Please comment on the number of classes you took and how many hours a week that constituted in the classroom. Please also mention the amount of work you had to do outside class on average: Over the entire year, I took 8 course units, each coinsiting of at least 4 hours of contact time per week (2 courses are taken per block, the year is made up of 4 blocks). The work load was quite heavy but I'm not sure how many hours/week. Please describe the nature of the classes (i.e. large lectures, smaller seminar groups etc.) What was the average lecture/class size? On average, my classes were very small - i.e. between 8-15 people, sometimes a few more. Please describe the mode of assessment for the courses you took (e.g. written/oral exam, essay/project etc.) and its timing (e.g. mid or end of year). Were there coursework requirements (presentations, essays etc.)? I was assessed through presentations in almost every course, essays, homework assignments, group work and essays. Most work that was completed was for credit. Please comment on the availability and approachability of teaching staff at your host university: The staff were extremely approachable and helpful. How would you rate the teaching at your host university: Very good

6 How would you rate the selection of courses offered: Good How would you rate the intellectual level of the material covered: Very good How would you rate the difficulty of the courses at your host university compared to UCL: Slightly more difficult than UCL Please give details: The classes offered more flexibility in what I chose to study - very interesting and useful. If you attended a university where the language of instruction was not English, did you experience any language difficulties? No Did your tutors make allowances for your not being a native speaker? No If yes, please give details: n/a Facilities Library provision: Two large libraries, very beautiful but very busy most of the time. Access to computers, internet etc.: Very accesible in all parts of the university. Clubs and societies (type, range, and cost): n/a Sporting facilities (type, range, and cost): n/a

7 Other: Summary Why did you choose to spend your year abroad at this university in particular? Mostly because of the academic reputation of the university. Are you glad that you did so? Would you recommend this university to future UCL students? Please explain why: It is a very vibrant and international university, lots going on and very easy to meet other Dutch and international students. How would you rate the placement overall? Very good How would you rate the placement within the context of your degree programme? Very good Is there any specific advice you would offer to students considering a placement at this university? Be prepared for a heavy workload! ;) Accommodation What type of accommodation did you obtain? Accommodation provided by your host institution How did you obtain your accommodation? Please describe the application process, when you applied, and when you received confirmation:

8 Through SSH, a housing service provided for international and dutch students. What was the average monthly rent? What was included in this cost (e.g. bills, internet, food etc.)? Please give as much detail as possible about the costs associated with your accommodation: I paid between euros/month all inclusive (except food). How early could you move in? Immediately before the semester started and left immediately after the end. Did you have to vacate the premises during the holidays? No How would you rate the accommodation provided? Very Good Please describe the type of accommodation you stayed in, its location and level of comfort. Did you have a single or double room? What were the kitchen and other facilities like? What was or wasn't provided (e.g. bedding, kitchen utensils)? Did you feel that the accommodation represented good value for money? I lived in 2 separate studios over the year, both had their own kitchen and bathroom. THe first was located on the university campus (but out of town) and the second was located on a more central campus. Both were provided with kitchen utensils etc but no bedding. Did you live with local students, or with other foreign students? Were the halls a good place to practice your language skills and interact with local students?

9 I mostly met other internationals in halls and we communicated in English. Would you recommend this accommodation to future students? Is there any other advice you would like to share with future students looking for accommodation in your host town/city? It was very easy to find a place through SSH but they are more expensive than through independent landlords (however, also more reliable). Finance How much money did you need on arrival (e.g. for housing deposits, rent and other start-up costs)? Probably around 1000 euros 1. Cost of Living Rent (per month): euros Bills (electricity, gas, water, internet, phone etc.): 10 euros (phone) Books (overall amount spent on books during your stay): 0 Food (weekly): 40 euros A (simple) meal (in a cafe or restaurant): 7 euros A coffee (in a cafe or bar):

10 2 euros A beer (in a cafe or bar): 2.20 euros A cinema ticket: 9 euros Local travel (weekly): free if using bike! euros if by bus Entertainment (weekly): 20 euros Any other regular costs: In total, how much did you spend per month on average? 800 euros How would you rate the cost of living in your host town/city when compared to London? Cheaper Please give details. Were there certain things which were more expensive than in the UK, and others which were cheaper? Medicines etc were more expensive, but rent and food etc were cheaper than London 2. Working Is supplementing your income through part-time work a viable option? If yes, do you have any advice about what type of work to look for, or where to look? Please give the names of any employers or agencies you worked for, and any newspapers, websites or notice boards you would recommend:

11 I found a job through the university in a research project, but this was by luck. During the introduction week, we were taken to a job agency who could help international students find part time work. Does your host institution help with finding part-time work? yes 3. Banking Did you open a bank account in your host country? If yes, was it easy to open an account? Please describe the process and what documents were needed. Did you have to make a minimum deposit to open the account?, i had set this up before arriving. No minimum deposit. Just required passport and online forms provided by the university. Which bank did you open an account with? Rabobank What type of account did you open? Were there any charges, and was it easy to withdraw money within your host country using this account? Student account - i think there was a charge of 15 euros on opening., it was very easy to use the card and draw out money. Would you recommend opening a local bank account? If so, which bank(s) or account(s) would you recommend? Definitely since no shops in Utrecht accept Visa, so you must rely on drawing out cash if you don't have your own card.

12 General 1. Social Factors (Opportunities and Ease of Meeting People) How much interaction did you have with local students? Quite a lot since my course was a mix between international and dutch students. How much interaction did you have with other international students? A lot - from my course and from my halls of residence. In your experience, what were the best ways of meeting people? Through my course, through ESN activities or through housing. If you were studying in a country where the local language is not English, how often did you speak the local language? Sometimes 2. Mobile Phones Would you recommend getting a mobile phone with a local tariff as well as/instead of your English mobile? Please give details. Are there any mobile providers you would recommend? I used Lebara which gave a free sim card and had free calls to the same network - very expensive to call internationall though! Transport Was local transport good or bad? Please give details of local transport you used: Local buses are ok, but do not run at night. The best way to get around is by bike which is cheap and easy! What was the cost of local transport? Are there any special deals or discounts for students?

13 There are only discounts for Dutch students on the local buses, but it is possible to get off-peak discounts on the trains. Did you travel more widely within your host country or within the region? How easy was it to travel, and was it expensive to do so?, i travelled a lot around the Netherlands and the train network is very good (pretty cheap and easy). Life in your Host Country Please comment on the social life and entertainment in your host city/country, or any other aspects of life there which you would like to share: I enjoyed a busy social life whilst here, mostly with my coursemates, but also with other international friends met through the ESN activities etc. Lots of house parties too. Is there any advice you would give to someone preparing to live in your host city/country? I hope you like beer...and can cycle! Did you experience any problems/difficulties while living in your host city which you would like to share with the Study Abroad Team? n/a Study Abroad - Summary Did you find your year abroad rewarding academically? Please give reasons for your answer: The work was both interesting and challenging, as well as covering a lot that i had not come across in UCL. What's more, i had to learn to make presentations which for me was a personal challenge and now a valued skill!

14 Did you find your year abroad rewarding in non-academic respects? Please give reasons for your answer: It was invlauable to spend this time abroad - it was great both for independence but also for the chance to consider my future career and living choices in a new context. How would you rate your year abroad experience overall? Very good Please give reasons for your answer: I found the host university very welcoming and academically excellent, but more importantly, the people i met here have become very close friends. I have also had the opportunity to develop non-academic skills (in particular photography) which may greatly impact my post-ucl choices. Do you feel that you have developed skills which will be of use to you in future? a) My cultural awareness: Has increased greatly b) My language proficiency: Is the same c) My independence: Has increased greatly d) My self confidence: Has increased greatly e) My intellectual development: Has increased greatly f) My personal development:

15 Has increased greatly g) My ability to make decisions: Has increased greatly h) My ability to explore and create opportunities: Has increased greatly i) My ability to cope with difficult situations: Has increased slightly j) My ability to solve problems: Has increased slightly How would you rate the support you received from your department at UCL during your time abroad? Good Please give details/feedback and suggest any improvements: Sometimes difficult to get hold of my departmental tutor, but otherwise very helpful. How would you rate the support you received from the UCL Study Abroad Team during your time abroad? Very good Please give details/feedback and suggest any improvements: no problems Are there any other comments you would like to make? n/a

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