Revisiting Germany October 17, 2018

By (The College of New Jersey) - abroad from 08/20/2018 to 12/14/2018 with

European Study Center: Heidelberg - Summer Program in the EU

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile. I gained confidence, leadership skills, and more.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Overall educational experience is adequate. Though there are no professional teachers whose expertise is unique to Heidelberg and the field, the professors and work is still educationally sufficient.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Though some parts of the administration are easier to get along with, there are moments where the administration lacks clarity and transparency. However, the intentions are good. Overall, the leadership genuinely cares for the students and the experience that is provided.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements are overall nice, but the kitchen is something that could definitely use work. It is difficult having to share a communal kitchen space, and its regulated poorly.

* Food:

The groceries are extremely fresh, which is amazing! The one negative side is that it is difficult to find good dining around the city of Heidelberg.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel poorly integrated mostly because I did not take the SRH classes and there is minimal exposure to other German natives. We are required to go out on our own, and it would be nice if the program could cooperate with others to have us socialize with other people outside our own program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no experience with healthcare, but our intern makes an effort of showing that going to the doctors is a feasible option and she's more than willing to assist people on their visit.

* Safety:

Though I was initially iffy on the safety, the general location of where the center is located is pretty safe. It can be insecure at times; the door is easily opened and people can pretty much just walk in (no security), but other than that, it's fine.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would choose the same city, but the program didn't help me much with integrating myself into the actual culture (its mostly American)

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)

Though I could definitely live more frugally, I do spend way too much. It was difficult at the beginning of semester, where we had one class and the rest of the week to go out and explore.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spend about 50-70.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make an excel sheet!

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

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I've taken German in high school and I was fluent, but I took 102 in college for a refresher.
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
* 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?
  • The location: I love Heidelberg!
* What could be improved?
  • The administration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I knew we would have to make our own effort to meet other Germans

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 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.