TOTALLY AWESOME! July 29, 2019

By (University of the Incarnate Word) - abroad from 07/03/2019 to 08/01/2019 with

European Study Center: Heidelberg - Study Abroad in the EU

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Gained TONS of experience and knowledge abroad. Grew my confidence in adaptability.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Made me feel like anything was/is possible, from the curriculum to the accommodations. An amazing experience that will last a lifetime.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

VERY SATISFIED!! I could tell right away that detailed consideration was made for accommodating me and my family. I was within feet of my sons and we were placed on the second floor, where the heat rising was more bearable, even with the summer 'European heatwave' that forced us to seek refuge to a lovely outdoor pool with slides, concessions, playground etc. Recommended by staff from the ESC. So grateful.

* Food:

EXCELLENT! Though I am a practicing vegan at home, I bend the rule when traveling, especially to absorb a true sense of the culture. PLUS, it helps me identify authentic german tastes to apply at home to 'veganise' homemade german dishes, when I return home to the states.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Very welcoming when just the small attempt of using the foreign language was attempted. Was very encouraging.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Promptly, seriously & professionally. Felt very well taken care of.

* Safety:

Extremely safe. That's saying a lot, from a single mother of twin boys. Never felt my sons or myself in vulnerable danger.

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

I can't express enough positive feedback & my immense gratitude not just for myself but for my family and all who joined in this experience. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is truly curious about experiencing life outside of their comfort zone to realize just how much bigger their comfort zone can grow.

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)

mmm, temptation is/was all around BUT the nearby grocery stores controlled my impulse spending. It was for me personally just thinking that 'oh but its from germany, makes it special, I should buy it'. PLUS the euroshop really helped! LOL! OH! And researching and pre-booking my flights,trains, hotels before semester helped book reduced rates that would have cost way more if I had waited within the semester.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Atleast 100euro, not including the weekend 4-day adventure through Italy & France
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Research, plan & book ahead. Yes there is a traveling seminar when you arrive BUT all the flight, train, hotel 'cheap' booking deals are best booked months in advance, including museum tickets etc..

Language

* 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

Encouraged to atleast try to make the locals comfortable and pleased in helping/assisting you.

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? Highschool Spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Duo Language app, watch some youtube vids, use google translate app or something similar.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Other
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Change of scenery
  • Learning new norms
  • communicating in a new language
* What could be improved?
  • air conditioning (just teasing)
  • not a thing
  • great program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? hmmm, I don't think I can answer that because every question I had before hand was answered thoughtfully and quickly by Julie, Antonia, Magda, Daisy & Jonas. I always felt like I knew what I needed to know because of them.