Language School in Germany Past Review

By (Chemistry., Truman State University) - abroad from 06/02/2014 to 07/25/2014 with

College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS): Heidelberg - Collegium Palatinum

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a whole lot more from my experiences outside of the classroom. Talking to natives, traveling through Europe alone, and going to countries I didn't know anything in the local language was incredibly interesting and something I'd do again in a heartbeat.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

For American students with 2 years or less of German experience, this program will place you in a course you have already taken. It is very slow-paced, and the exercises look like they are meant for a 5th grade work book and not teenagers/adults. 5 hours a day is too much time to learn only one or two chapters a week.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They listen to your concerns and are very nice about things. But again, not understanding the American school system is not good for American students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Nice, single room. All was good.

* Food:

Germany has amazing food. Bakeries are everywhere. Fresh bread is a gift.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We did a lot of cultural activities with this program. Because we came through CCIS, these things were paid for in our tuition. If you're looking for cultural tours and things in English, you're going to have to do them yourself. (That makes sense though--it's a speaking school with students from around the world.)

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no experience with the health care system here, but the two people I know that did said the system works holistically better than America's.

* Safety:

I feel safer in Heidelberg than I do in my hometown--and that should be nearly impossible. Just follow the rules. Although supposedly there is some rule about pocket knives that my friend was unaware of and the teacher's will instruct you about it.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I spent a lot more money in cities other than Heidelberg. It'd be more like $125 a week if I didn't start to leave Heidelberg or buy souvenirs. You can buy a lot at a grocery store for 20Euros.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook your own meals with friends as opposed to going out every day of the week.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

It was a language program---the point was to learn German.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Elementary 2
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Go out to bars and talk to the locals. Or try to speak to your friends in the language. That's helpful.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Cultural Aspect
* What could be improved?
  • Course Placement
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That A1 is Elementary 1, A2 is Elementary 2, B1 is Intermediate 1, B2 is Intermediate 2, etc for the comparison to American college courses.