Berlin September 19, 2022

By (German, Brandeis University) - abroad from 02/01/2022 to 07/31/2022 with

IES Abroad: Berlin - Study Abroad With IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I definitely want to move back to Berlin as soon as possible.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My German greatly improved, but I wish there was a wider variety of courses offered in German. Multiple 3 hour once a week classes also made me zone out at times. The option to take a class at HU was an incredible opportunity though, which let me meet more European students and extended my trip by 2 months.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived at the Fizz, which was a large international student population, and also close by to public transportation and night life.

* Food:

There were many supermarkets in the area at various price points. I always did rice and beans as a cheap option with some curry. Lots of restaurants too that compared to the USA are pretty inexpensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Most people in Berlin speak English, which helped with integration, but there was still enough German spoken to see a noticeable improvement in my language skills. Just listening to people on the subway for example was good practice.

* 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

Going abroad forces you to learn a lot about yourself, which I was not necessarily expecting but greatly appreciate now.


* 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 an inexpensive city. I would spend 200 Euro in about 3-4 weeks

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20-25 Euro a week on food, Museum tickets about 5 Euro, Espresso about 2.5 Euro.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I ate rice and beans everyday to keep costs down so I could travel to France once in Spring, and not worrying about paying for experiences like museums, cafes, movie tickets etc. I only traveled once outside of the IES organized trips though. The more you travel the more expensive it becomes.


* 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

We often spoke in German to program administrators, and always to our professors. Students often said they wanted to speak in German but often times would switch back to English after a couple sentences.

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? GER 109
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Stay speaking German even if the other person switches to English for nicety

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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
  • Humboldt Universität
  • Late Spring/Summer in Berlin
* What could be improved?
  • variety in class options
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The S Bahn runs straight from the airport and is very convenient. Don't waste money on a taxi, buy a one time ticket and take to S9. City Mapper is the best app to get around on public transport.

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.