My favourite place ever Past Review

By (Political Economy, Tulane University) - abroad from 03/07/2017 to 07/21/2017 with

IES Abroad: Berlin - Study Abroad With IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My German abilities increased immeasurably, I met some amazing people, I spent a semester in the best place in the world, and I learnt so much about Germany and myself. Absolutely worthwhile.

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.

I did not find the IES courses I took to be too intense, though others seemed more so. However, I was able to take courses at Humboldt as well, which rounded out my course load nicely.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone in the IES office was always available and helpful. Coordinating with Humboldt was sometimes a bit of a pain, but that seemed to be as much on their end as on the IES end.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had an amazing experience living with my host mum. However, I know others had less positive experiences.

* Food:

Food in Berlin is awesome and cheap. But spicy stuff is a little difficult to find.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to a doctor a number of times for an ear infection. I had to pay out of pocket for these visits (still substantially less than you would pay in the US), but was refunded for all of it except the deductible. IES were very good at working with me through the process.

* Safety:

Berlin is, for its size, an extremely safe city.

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)

Berlin is a western capital, but is extremely cheap in comparison to other western capitals, especially outside Mitte. Grocery shopping is convenient and cheap, and eating out (esp. street food, e.g. doner/falafel) is not expensive either.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50


* 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

All courses were in German, though I often spoke in English outside of the classroom with people who work for IES.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 300-level
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Berlin
  • Intensive Language Component
  • Taking classes at Humboldt
* What could be improved?
  • Administrative links to Humboldt
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? gucken = pronounce 'g' as 'k' = means schauen.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Multicultural Berlin

Course Department: IES
Instructor: Sabine Berking
Instruction Language: German
Comments: This course was incredibly interesting-- I learnt so much about Berlin and Germany. In addition, we went on some great field trips and saw some interesting parts of the city!
Credit Transfer Issues: