A wonderful year in Berlin! Past Review

By (American University) - abroad from 08/31/2016 to 07/27/2017 with

IES Abroad: Berlin - Study Abroad With IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Speaking German consistently every day in a variety of situations both academic and casual really got my language skills up to scratch, and I feel confident now that I could handle anything that might get thrown at me. The entire experience was amazing, but it was worth it for the language alone!

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The centre staff are all wonderful people! Helpful, nice, and fun to be around.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was in a homestay and absolutely loved it. My host mother was incredible and it was a major part of my immersion and language building.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

The IES centre located in the middle of Berlin was a perfect place to take class and meet up with other students, as well as giving a great starting point from which to explore the city. The faculty and staff were all amazing, and I really liked all the students in the programme with me. A perfect experience!


* 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 the perfect city for a student. Inexpensive, and loads to do all the time.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20-25 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Get vegetables from the outdoor markets instead of at a supermarket! The Turkish market at Maybachufer was a favourite of mine. Fruit and vegetables are incredibly cheap and you can always find other interesting food and clothes for cheap.


* 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 taught in German, and so class discussions and homework all really helped improve reading, writing, and speaking skills.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced German
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? Talk lot with your host family! Try to speak German with other students as well- it's easy to just use English but the more you use German, the easier it will get.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • The city
  • The other students
* What could be improved?
  • Perhaps a wider variety of courses offered by IES
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I can't think of anything that I wish I'd known. All the surprises were only good ones!

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!