I can't wait to go back to Berlin! Past Review

By (History, California State University - Humboldt State University) for

FU-BEST: Berlin - European Studies Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I wish I could have studied abroad for more than just a semester. I loved the city I was in and it helped me greatly in my history major and in my understanding of other cultures. It made me want to explore more options of living abroad and made me more focused on studying German history. I fell in love with Berlin and German culture.

Review Photos

FU-BEST: Berlin - European Studies Program Photo

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I met some really wonderful people in my program and was really thrown into the social life and culture of Berlin and Germany. It was a wonderful immersion into the culture and history of Germany. There were a few bad things, the classes were easy, with a LOT of busy work.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in an apartment 5 minutes from the famous Alexanderplatz in the heart of Berlin. I was about 50 minutes by Ubahn and Sbahn to Freie Universitaet, where I went to school. It was wonderful. I had a nice room and to help me better learn german, no one was allowed to speak anything but german outside of their room. I lived in an "international house" While I was living there I lived with a Tunisian, French and Luxembourgian. Everywhere in Berlin felt safe, people were always out and about having fun. My neighbor hood was in a hip part of former east berlin and filled with young people. I could easily get anywhere in the city. I loved my neighborhood.

* Food:

I love food. Generally I did not eat out (except if you want to count my beer tab). Instead I went to the numerous grocery stores in my neighborhood. I could find anything I wanted there. The hardest thing for me to find was Cheddar Cheese. Eating Kosher, it was hard to find meat that wasnt pork, but I managed.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I met so many wonderful people through my program, and now a year later, I am still very close with a few of them and we talk often. We went out a lot together in Berlin and often held small house parties together. We also had numerous pot lucks. It was important for us to be together because we did get homesick, but finding friends like mine really helps. almost Every friday we went on an excursion around Berlin. We went to Sachsenhausen (a former concentration camp in Oranienburg) Potsdam (where we went to both Sanssouci and where the Potsdammer Conference was held) Hohensch├Ânhausen (former Stasi prison camp) among others. We also went on a weeklong program trip to N├╝rnburg and Prague. The weeklong trip was my favorite because I really got to bond with some of my program mates as well as see Prague and learn about its history.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Berlin is incredibly safe. I never felt nervous out at night or on the streets by myself. I usually walked home with somebody but it was never specifically to keep myself safe. The German people are very open and love to have fun.

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

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)

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

The program was very focused on our improvement of German. We had German class 4 times a week for 3 hours a day. We also had weekly excursions which took us all over Berlin and the surrounding towns. We were also encouraged to go with our student helpers every Wednesday night to the bars where we would speak German and meet other international students. They gave us many opportunities to speak German outside the classroom. my classmates. there were 8 different levels of classes so each class had a small number of students, meaning we got more attention. While many Germans speak English, I really wanted to learn German and it definitely helped in getting around Berlin and interacting with Berliners.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The type of student who would most benefit from this program is one who has an interest in German culture, language and history. One who is relatively independent and loves to explore and live in big cities is perfect for this program. The students in this program generally enjoy going out on most evenings. Fun lovers should come here!