Think Carefully About Your Goals January 10, 2018

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/07/2018 to 12/13/2018 with

Jacobs University: Bremen - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I am still glad I went abroad because I had some invaluable life experiences and got to do a lot of travelling. I think that in concept, this program is a great opportunity for pre-medical students, but the university accommodation needs to be fundamentally changed.

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.

Coming from Wellesley College, I did not expect the academic rigor to be comparable to the rest of my college experience. At Jacobs, however, I felt that I went backwards academically. It will be a tough transition for me when I return to the expectations at Wellesley. The courses that I took were mostly at the high school level of rigor. The more difficult classes were completely memorization-based and had unreasonable expectations, and as a result I feel that I did not leave the course having learned anything substantial. Additionally, there seems to be a problem with academic integrity at Jacobs. It was a struggle for me to perform well when it was apparent to me that most of the students in the class were cheating or not being truthful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

At every turn, there seemed to be a miscommunication between the administration and the students. Additionally, an injured student was left behind on an excursion to a different country, and when other students tried to communicate with her, we were encouraged by the administration to turn off our phones, as we were in a museum.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The rooms were clean and spacious. The hallways and communal kitchens were sometimes messy, but some dorms were better than others. I would recommend living in Krupp College as it is most quiet and probably cleanest.

* Food:

Try to see if you are able to opt out of the meal plan. The meal times were not really accommodating to a student's schedule and the food was not great most times. The coffee bar, however, is awesome and I spent a lot of my time and meal points there.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The school was very cliquey and I spent my time with other students from my program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no personal experiences with the health care system.

* Safety:

The town was quiet, but I would recommend being careful in the main city of Bremen.

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

I ended up having to leave this program earlier than my original booked return date. I could not spend any more time at the university.

Finances

* 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 EURO
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would suggest shopping at the local grocery store. Most times when the meal in the dining hall wasn't good, I would spend a lot of money on take-out. When I figured out it made more sense to shop at the grocery store and use the kitchen, I spent less money.

Language

* 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

I did not take a language course at Jacobs.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? Beginner Intensive German
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If you would like to learn German, I would suggest seeking out your own opportunities to practice.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Wellesley Biochemistry Class
  • Class Excursions
  • Housing
* What could be improved?
  • Academics & Administration Communication
  • Location
  • Food
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known many things about Jacobs. I still think it is absolutely worth going abroad, and even to Jacobs, but I would have liked to have more information about the program before I made the decision to leave the resources at Wellesley.

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:

Molecular Information Pathways

Course Department: BCCB
Instructor: Dr. Hammann
Instruction Language: English
Comments:
Credit Transfer Issues: