German Program in Germany Past Review

By (Economics., New Mexico State University) for

ISEP Exchange: Linz - Exchange Program at Johannes Kepler Universität Linz

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I feel that studying abroad was the best decision I have made so far in my college career. I never would have realized how much understanding crosses cultural barriers. I learned much more about European history, culture, and politics than from any class. I also made a point to not surround myself with American students to get a better feel for the culture. If you are looking for a city with great nightlife, Linz might not be the best. There are plenty of cool bars and pubs, but only 3 clubs, none of which are particularly good. It did save me a lot of money though. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. It made me seriously consider going to Europe for graduate school. If I could do it again, I would in a heartbeat.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Summer 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Overall, there was a decent selection of courses. It would be best to at least be in your 3rd semester of learning German, as that opens up the chance to take many of the language courses.Be careful about attendance policies in the German classes though, most professors will drop you if you miss 3 or 4.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lived in the Julius Raab Heim, the international student dorm. Everything was new, most of the rooms have a kitchen and all of the rooms have a bathroom. If you want to have your own room, it is by far better to get a single with kitchen than the single in the 3 person unit, as it is only 10€ a month more. It is close to campus (about 10 minutes walking) and close to the tram station. Extremely safe, never heard of any problems. The trams run all through the night on weekends, so you can go out.

* Food:

You really should enjoy pork, since it is absolutely everywhere here. Vegetarian dishes are really hard to find as well.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

2009 was the year that Linz was the cultural capital of Europe, so there were always concerts and performances that were free to students. It is also a really good location to travel, about 5 hours to Prague and Budapest, 3 hours to Munich, and less than 2 to Vienna.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you go through ISEP, you get insurance through them. With the insurance card it is very easy to see a doctor, just make an appointment first. I had no problems with safety during the trip.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find what is cheapest in the different grocery stores. I saved alot by buying my vegetables in one store, meat in another, and alcohol in a third.


Language acquisition improvement?

Easy to get around even if no German is known. There are many doctors fluent in English and generally there is always someone who speaks English in stores.

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take advantage of all the help the JKU REFI team offers. My mentors helped me out when I needed something and were always really nice. Also travel as much as your schedule will allow. Finally, don't take the US too seriously, it helps to be able to poke fun at your own country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Zahlungsbilanz und Devisenmarkt

Course Department: Economics 2IFMZBDK
Instructor: Joseph Francois
Instruction Language: English
Comments: A pretty good course about exchange rates and balance of payments. Has an American professor teaching, so the style was close to what I was used to. The book is really just optional, so you can save money by not buying it.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

International Financial Markets 1 and 2

Course Department: Econ AST228458 and AST228459
Instructor: Helmut Schuster
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Easy class that gives 4 ECTS credits for attending a one time 5 hour seminar and then writing a 6 page paper. Professor was knowledgeable, but too quiet to hear at the back of the room.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Theorie und Institutionen der Wirtschaftspolitik

Course Department: Econ 2KAWTIWK
Instructor: Johann Scharler
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Challenging yet very helpful course. Very good professor. The tests are 100% short answer and graphing and he grades fairly strict.
Credit Transfer Issues: