Become a Euro Expert in one semester Past Review

By (Bowdoin College) - abroad from 08/26/2018 to 12/17/2018 with

IES Abroad: Freiburg - European Union

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained valuable exposure to European politics and culture. I was able to visit 12 countries while learning about the ins and outs of the European Union.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was 100% satisfied with my living arrangements. It would have been nice to be closer so I could walk to school but the tram was a quick 9 minute ride for me.

* Food:

I liked the food offered at the student cafeteria (Mensa) but I didn't go often just because it was easier to cook for myself.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This is one of the only areas where I think the program faltered. We spent so much time outside of Germany that, unless you take a German class or have an organic interest in German culture outside of the program, you could leave the country without a true feel of the local culture. To combat this, I think the program did a good job of keeping us informed about local news and events but should have taken on a more hands on role to help students get involved.

* 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


* 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
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget in advance, especially if a weekend out or a trip is coming up!


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Beginners German
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? Practice if you live with roommates and if you don't there are a couple ways you can interact with local Freiburg students.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Field Trips
  • Model EU
  • Meetings with politicians
* What could be improved?
  • Communication from Administration
  • Relationship with American students and Local students
  • Professor Office Hours
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that someone told me that it was more academically challenging than I originally thought it would be. I wasn't overwhelmed but the program was definitely more rigorous.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.