Come for the Program and Europe January 10, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/29/2018 to 12/21/2018 with

Jacobs University: Bremen - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and how I handle new environments and meeting new people. Through traveling I also learned to understand others better and how to adapt to new situations. The experience was definitely worthwhile, it was incredible to get off campus for a semester and do something new. I know I'll be coming back feeling refreshed rather than burnt out, which was how I was starting to feel in my most recent semester at home.

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.

Most rigorous courses were taught by a visiting professor or additional self driven work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The international office administration was great and very helpful, however the overall school administrative services were very disorganized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* 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 only reason I was able to study abroad was because this program offered a course in my major taught be a professor from my home institution. This course was very well taught and having a familiar professor with us was greatly appreciated. Additionally, the other benefits for exchange students in this program were immense. There were multiple classes created for the exchange students cohort (German Art and European Welfare) which had great opportunities to get off campus and travel, to art museums or even different countries, and were often funded by my home institution. The program also scheduled classes in a way that often gave me four-day weekends, which I used to travel around Germany and Europe. This was an incredible way to spend my semester, and a well-earned break from the norm of American school life. However, this doesn’t mean that I had a leisurely semester, in fact because I was off campus so much, when I was on campus I was still very busy and had to work hard. I also had to learn how to get work done while traveling. I made good friends with other exchange students (from my home institution and other schools) however I didn’t interact greatly with Jacobs students. Because it is a three-year institution and many third years go abroad in the fall, most students on campus were younger than me. There is a noticeable maturity gap between people just entering college and juniors (most abroad students) and this made it hard to want to be friends with most Jacobs students. Also, the internationality of the student body most often led to cliques rather than diverse friend groups. Because I mostly took exchange student classes, I can’t speak to Jacobs classes, but I didn’t always hear the greatest opinions of them from other exchange students. My German language class wasn’t very challenging and the course work load wan't heavy. In summary, I wouldn't want to be a regular student at Jacobs but being an exchange student there for one semester had a lot of benefits was a good way to be abroad and see Europe.

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)

If you don't leave campus you can basically not spend money, if your home institution pays for room and board. Free transportation was also very budget helpful.

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

The school is an English speaking institution, so while I took German courses, unless I left campus I didn't need to speak it.

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

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

  • 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?
  • Ease of Travel
  • The Other Exchange Students
  • Special Classes
* What could be improved?
  • Interactions with Local Students
  • Jacobs Administration
  • Interactions with German Culture
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I had pretty good feel for the program and the school before I came and I was able to predict most problems that I faced. This was thanks to the reviews from last year’s cohort (so check those out too!) and chats with them in person. It was really hard for me to decide whether to come abroad and do this program but I’m glad I did. The benefits (being in Europe, the special classes, doing something new) greatly outweigh the drawbacks. I will say, if you are considering applying make sure to talk (in person) with someone who has done it, if possible. Much more can be transmitted through a conversation than over this website and we’d love to talk to you!

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!