Kasteel Well

The Kasteel Experience w/ Sapni Ponguleti

Emerson student Sapni Ponguleti discusses her experience immersed in European culture.

Robert and Joan Buck ’15 with their daughter Julianna ’15.

Joan and Robert Buck P’15 live in Pennsylvania. Their daughter Julianna is studying marketing communications. Currently, Julianna is studying abroad at Kasteel Well.


Choosing Kasteel Well
Julianna knew she wanted to study abroad while she was still in high school. We came to an open house at Emerson, and she spoke to another student about the Castle. He said it was the best thing ever. She joined Alpha Epsilon Phi her freshman year at Emerson, and all the girls who had done the Castle program really loved it. It fits into her course of study. She is a marketing communications major, and at the Castle she is taking three general studies courses and one marketing class.
Getting into the Castle program
She entered the lottery the first semester of her freshman year. It was a very simple process; she did it all by herself, and we didn’t have anything to do with the application. She found out right away, before the semester was over, that she was going to be at the Castle the spring semester of her sophomore year.
Preparing for study abroad
I was amazed by the amount of information online, and it is all right there on the main study abroad page on Emerson’s website. The fall before she left, we were getting regular emails with links to additional information about currency, technology (about cell phones and laptops), packing, everything. It was very thorough information, and parents should really pay attention to those emails. Everything you need to know is there. The best thing we did for Julianna was get her a debit card loaded in euros with a chip for European ATMs. We can add money to it when she needs funds. It is especially helpful in small towns where it can be hard to get cash. Parents can order a debit card for their kids on travelex.com. Also take seriously the recommendation to bring waterproof jackets and footwear!
Living at the Castle
Juliannna is in a triple with a marble fireplace and an ornate mirror, near a common room complete with leather sofas and a chandelier. The students all live and go to class in the main or front castle. The staff is really friendly and the Castle has a great family atmosphere. Julianna has enjoyed most of the meals at the Castle, and partakes of the sandwich spread if the entrée is not her favorite. Students go into the village to shop at the grocery and other shops and have quiet hours beginning at 11:00 PM on weeknights.
Adjusting to your student living abroad
There’s some stress around making all the weekend travel plans for the student. They may very likely experience an adjustment period at the beginning. Let your student work it out for themselves even when it is hard to be hands off. It will be better for your student’s development in the end.
For more information, contact parents@emerson.edu.