Ich liebe Deutschland! Past Review

By (Philosophy & International Affairs, 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?
My experience abroad has, by far, been the most significant learning experience of my life. I learned so much! Not just about Heidelberg or Germany or of the other cities and countries I visited during my time abroad but about myself as well. I learned new ways of communicating, new ways of adapting, new ways of experiencing life. I learned a new way of living. I had not expected to love Germany as much as I do now. I expected that it would be a nice place and I that would have a reasonably good time there but my experience in Germany turned out to be so much more than that! It was far more beautiful and exciting than I ever imagined it would be! My experience abroad and what I gained from it was absolutely worth all of the time, money, and work I put into getting there. There is not a single part of my trip abroad that I regret. I would not take a single moment of it back. I learned and grew up so much from my short time abroad. I feel that living abroad really helped me fully transition into adulthood. I grew into a more worldly, adaptable, open minded and confident person while being abroad. I am now more confident in my ability to overcome new challenges and experiences and I absolutely can't wait to travel abroad again!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic courses were well selected for our time abroad and the area we were living in. The courses were well balanced. They were not overwhelmingly rigorous to the point that you could not enjoy your time abroad but they weren't completely easy and work free. The classes were well adapted to be easily applied to our current situations. It was easy to stay in engaged with the courses because many of the things we learned in class could applied to what we experience outside of class and our time abroad in general.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was satisfied with the location of our school and dorms. It was in a beautiful and very safe, quiet area. I was not too happy with some of the dead zone in the building where there was no internet and that some areas were slightly draftier than others but they were manageable and definitely not deal breakers.

* Food:

I LOVED THE FOOD. I loved going out into the town and trying new restaurants and new dishes!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Being an absent minded klutz I experienced two concussions during my time abroad and both times I was very well taken care of. Doctors were very helpful and prompt.

* Safety:

Heidelberg is an amazingly safe city. I explored the city at all HOURS of the day from early dawn to late evening and never once did i feel unsafe.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Anywhere from 50-100 Euros a week if you want to have a some what comfortable experience. (ie. Shopping and minor frivolous spending.)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely budget yourself when it comes to eating out. It's fun but not necessary for you to do every day as it is much cheaper to just cook at home. Also, Budget out your money and save for your trips to different cities and countries. THAT'S where you want to be able to spend on fun things to do and see and eat.


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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?
  • Scenery/Weather
  • Excursions
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Living quarters
  • Laundry services
  • Internet
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't only pack winter clothes if you are studying in the spring. It will eventually become warm! Make sure to bring ONE very warm coat and just pack TONS of layers so that when warm weather comes in you'll be able to adapt accordingly. ALSO, everything closes at 8pm! EVERYTHING and things are closed on sundays so get used to that! ALSO, keep an open mind! I PROMISE YOU that if you keep an open mind about trying new things and have new experiences while travelling abroad you will have a WONDERFUL time.