Amazing experience so far; I love it. Past Review

By (University of the Incarnate Word) - abroad from 08/31/2012 to 12/23/2012 with

European Study Center: Heidelberg - Study Abroad in the EU

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
As I've mentioned already, it's too soon for me to answer this question.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: UIW ESC SRH
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes are not exactly challenging but I like that you cannot just slack off and not do any work if you want a good grade. The resources are small but descent. I would recommend more rigorous subjects only because I feel college should be challenging. Also, access to a wider selection of resources would be greatly appreciated by students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The whole administrative team at the ESC are great. Very nice, helpful, resourceful and have done everything they can to help out us students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing is descent; I love the villa we're staying at. The rooms are a good size. My only complaints would be the laundry room. Also, the refrigerator is quite small. I guess it works for our small group but any number bigger than 13 would have trouble finding space.

* Food:

There's no cafeteria like there is at an American university. However, there's a good sized kitchen where we can cook our own food. There are many restaurants from walking distance, very delicious and affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Social and Cultural life is here is not completely different from the United States. There are little things to adjust to, like language and social skills. The only barrier for me has been the language.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Vaccines were not required but were recommended for this trip. I did not get vaccinated. I have not had any health issues but I have been assured that the local healthcare is great here in Germany.

* Safety:

I would say that safety is not an issue here in Heidelberg. I'm a girl and have walked around the city alone, including at night. However, it is always best to be in a group or with one other person. Bad people exist everywhere. Especially as a female, you shouldn't be walking alone at night.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)

If you're able to cook your own food, you definitely save a lot of money. That's my biggest recomendation, to cook for yourself. You should save your money for trips and for going out, which is what I have been trying to do. It took me 2 weeks to really get adjusted and comfortable with my location and was able to spend my money wisely.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I usually spend under $100.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? As I previously mentioned, cooking for yourself and preparing your own meals definitely saves a lot of money.


* 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

All of the staff members speak English, and most people here speak English. I wouldn't exactly say that the language was encouraged, unless you're in the German language course.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I am fluent in English and Spnaish.
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? I strongly recommend taking the German language course. However, meeting and becoming friends with locals is a great way to learn and practice the language too. Everything is in German so you're bound to learn some one way or another.

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

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • travel
  • experience
* What could be improved?
  • facilities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I haven't finished my study abroad experience yet, so it is too soon to answer this question.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.