Greatest Experience of My Life Past Review

By (International Business., University of the Incarnate Word) - abroad from 01/04/2013 to 05/04/2013 with

European Study Center: Heidelberg - Study Abroad in the EU

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to embrace a totally different culture than my own. I have great respect for people in Germany and really hope to return one day. I hope to someday possibly work in Germany even, because of their economic impact on the world and they are constantly growing.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This was the best academic experience I have ever been a part of in all my years in school. I would highly recommend it to anyone planning to experience a different academic culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All the people in charge of the program here in Germany were very helpful and always willing to answer your questions!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The rooms were very cozy and felt like home after a while. However I do miss my queen size bed!

* Food:

You will definitely get used to the German food very quickly. If you like meats (especially sausage) you will fall in love with the food. You can still find American food in the grocery stores and some restaurants around the town.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel that we got integrated within the culture fairly quickly, and figured out how the Germans do things compared to the American culture. All of the Germans that I came across are really willing to help you if you need to ask them questions about anything about the town, travel, etc.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

A few people got sick during our stay and they seem to have gotten taken care of fairly quickly and easily.

* Safety:

Heidelberg is a great city to study in. I have never once felt unsafe about walking the streets late at night or walking anywhere by myself. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to study in a smaller city with a great atmosphere to be submerged in!

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 aren't traveling on the weekends then you can live off of about 50€ a week. However, part of the experience of being abroad is traveling around Europe and sight seeing. These trips are where I have made many memories and will always remember my study abroad experience from these trips.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to save money by going to the grocery store and trying to buy food that you can make cheaply. Eating out can get expensive, therefore stocking up on food that you like from the grocery store can be less expensive.


* 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

If you study abroad you will be forced to use some language to communicate with the people in the town. I suggest studying German while here because it really helps with everyday communication and travel.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
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? Get out and walk around. I walk around and look at all the signs and words and try to figure out what the sign is saying. And after a while you will get the hang of it.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Students
  • Experiences (travel)
* What could be improved?
  • Washing machines
  • Build more showers (male bathroom)
  • Internet
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I suggest possibly taking a German course before hand. Maybe even Rosetta Stone, just to get a feel for the basics. I believe it would make most people feel more comfortable about walking around and socializing at the beginning of your stay.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.