Germany: meeting the Germans Past Review

By (Graphic Design., University of Wisconsin - Stout) for

Heinrich Heine University of Dusseldorf: Dusseldorf - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a new language, a lot of new friends, I trip to Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, and Russia. I always knew that I was meant to go international for my career, but I didn't know which road would lead me there. While studying abroad my future goals became more realistic and I had a better view of what that could really look like. This program made me realize just how organized you need to be to make it in the real world, the professors didn't hold me accountable but it was what I failed to do on my own that made me grow.

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.

The professors are excellent and they all have had work and experience in what they teach. The schedule was so free compared to the schooling system in the US, it pretty much resembles an independent study which I found at times extremely helpful and complimentary to my working style. The university has really great facilities with new and quality equipment.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

strengths: facilities, professors, program courses weaknesses: scheduling, contact with other students outside the university

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

1st semester I lived alone and that really hindered my progress to learning the language. 2nd semester I lived with 3 native German speakers and I made an enormous amount of progress in a short period of time.

* Food:

Germany's food is a lot healthier in the US. After a month my whole body felt more healthy and that enabled me to be more active. Don't eat out so much, it isn't as healthy and a home cooked meal is cheaper and healthier.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

All of the international evenings were great. It made it possible to learn more students and form better friendships. Harz trip at the beginning of the year was my favorite because you got to get to know a lot of people while seeing the beautiful nature.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Health care here is private. my home university only covered emergency medical other than that it was difficult to meet with doctors to get cold medicine. Cold medicine and other medicine that are usually over the counter are prescription here, so be sure to bring your own tylonol,tums and other cold medicine you might need.

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? 100 dollars or less, 50 dollars on food per week, 20 dollars on phone minuets, 30 dollars on extra things such as clothes.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? as advice keep a good track and balance of how much your spending so that at the end of your trip you are not pinching pennies, and leave some breathing room for surprise vacations, there are always cheap weekend flights to somewhere to take advantage of.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Sophmore courses
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

First semester I only took a one week crash German Language course and I lived alone, so I really only practiced my basic German with other exchange students, we would switch to english when we didn't understand each other. Second semester I lived in a WG with three native German speakers and began to learn the language at a much faster pace and with more intensity. In addition second semester I took a higher level German language course and took more theory classes in the university. Most Germans speak English however it is better when you try to speak German.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Independent, Organized, Inquisitive, International perspective and understanding, someone who learns to evolve with the situation (not picky, you are not always going to be right, even in your perception)