IES, Law and Criminology
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Umu Diallo

Liberal Arts Major: Criminology
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Fall 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I loved everything about my study abroad experience. Although the classes were somewhat different from the ones we take in America, I still had a good experience. I went to the Vrije Universiteit (VU) and a typical class week would include having class once or twice a week, and on the days we don't have a class we would study at home. The VU separates into blocks and the fall consists of two blocks. A block is typically 6-7 weeks in which on the final week we have exams, written or multiple choice that is a summary of everything we have learned. There is no homework except for readings and some classes require a paper or project instead of an exam. Class weeks are very short thus, I was usually experiencing Amsterdam by going to restaurants or eating out with friends. Sometime we even traveled to other areas in Europe.

"I loved everything about my study abroad experience."

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experience made me realize that I would not mind going to law school especially since I loved my law class. I realized I was more stressed out school-wise in Amsterdam than I was in America. Although there was no homework just readings, I felt as though I needed to study all day long in order to pass the final exam. My experience made me realize that I actually appreciate the homework that the U.S. schools give us! Most of the students in the program loved that we had no homework because it was peaceful and they were not stressed. Everyone's experience is different so don't worry too much when deciding to study abroad.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

Before studying abroad I did not know if I wanted to go to law school, but after taking a certain law class (Comparative law) with IES, I realized that law school would not be bad. I plan on taking a gap year while working before I go to law school.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

The Liberal Arts faculty was very helpful. Sometimes, I had no way of paying for tuition, so I found myself calling and asking for help. The faculty helped me with the enrichment fund and helped me with some other funds to help me while I was in Amsterdam. I am very grateful for that.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 

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