It was great! October 17, 2018

By (Montana State University - Bozeman) - abroad from 08/21/2018 to 12/14/2018 with

European Study Center: Heidelberg - Study Abroad in the EU

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how independent I am and how amazing it is to be able to take advantage of this time of our lives to travel and see new things (and spend a reckless amount of money).

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 teachers here are great and really know the course being taught, but the actual course load of the classes are very light and in class there is not much required besides participation. So overall it is a very easy, laid back educational experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration is very nice and definitely attend to your problems as best as they can. TCNJ makes it really difficult for the administration sometimes because they are so high maintenance, but I really appreciate the work and effort they put forth and their availability is very good as well. There is a bit of disorganization, particularly with the courses in the beginning of the year, but honestly I would blame TCNJ for that.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I think our dorms are really cute and really comfortable to live in! I get along great with my roommate too. I didn't quite expect to live in the same exact building that I take classes in, but that has been fine to adjust to.

* Food:

The one downside about this program is that there is no dining hall provided for us to eat at, or no meal plan at all. That makes it more difficult to manage money since we are in charge of our own grocery shopping.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

ESC did a great job of providing really great orientations in the beginning of the year to help teach us the best ways to travel how to interact with workers when we are at a restaurant, checking out of a grocery store, etc. I know that I can always adapt more and adjust more, but now I feel like I am finally in a good groove here where I know how to navigate from city to city, and I know how to interact with the people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was really sick a couple weeks ago, where I was staying up all night with a cough, sinus infection, headaches, etc., and I had to go into a clinic to make sure that I did not need to go on antibiotics. Jannika went with me and she was really helpful in the process, and Jonas was helpful in appointing me on where to go for help in the first place. The doctor at the clinic was OK though and I definitely noticed differences in american vs german healthcare, but I got sent home with some nasal spray stuff so that helped me.

* Safety:

Heidelberg is an amazingly safe, clean, and nice town and I have never felt in danger while I have been here.

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

I would choose it again just because this program has allowed me to travel very easily, where other programs would not be as flexible. Some of the reasons I would switch to a different program would be to get better wifi, and to be at a bigger school where I can interact with more people.

Finances

* 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)

Traveling definitely ruins any student budget I had back home, and it makes it harder that I can't work. Food, however, is relatively cheap at the grocery store and that budget never gets too out of hand.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probably around 200 dollars every week because I travel a lot on the weekends.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Please save up so much money before coming here, and before you leave plan out how often you want to travel and how much you want to spend at each place.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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?
  • flexibility
  • excursions
  • the location
* What could be improved?
  • wifi
  • how small it is
  • organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that not everyone would be taking classes at the SRH- I thought everyone was going to have the chance to experience a new campus and a bigger class size.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
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.