Pre-Med/Biochemistry Abroad at Jacobs University May 08, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/30/2018 to 12/20/2018 with

Jacobs University: Bremen - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I had an absolutely incredible clinical experience. The biochemistry course taught by my home institution professor was incredible. Despite the minor issues (or administration's major issues), I had a fabulous semester. My semester was worthwhile. It confirmed my interest in medicine and put me on the path to medical school.

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.

This was a vacation from my home institution. The professors were mostly very good, expectations were just a lot lower than my home institution.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I appreciate the effort the administration made to create a special program for international students. However, the actual administration is a mess. The administration lost my student agreement form no less than 6 times and as a result, locked me out of my student account. I was never able to access my student account despite me turning in the form literally 6 times to try and get access back. Also, when actually leaving the country the administration lost my (and other students') leaving forms, the leaving forms. Those leaving forms are registered with the German government, we all received terrifying emails telling us that unless the government received the forms 2,000 euro fines would be issued. The administration also does not respond to email. I have emailed several times since December (it is May now) and I have never received a response. Neither has anyone else who has emailed them from my program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The rooms were very nice. The environment was slightly less so. I would go to sleep to screaming/partying neighbors and wake up to those same neighbors. I usually don't mind, but during exam season this was less entertaining. And the weed, my god the weed. I had asthma attacks every time I walked into one of the dorms, I literally would not have been able to live there.

* Food:

I was so grateful to come back to Wellesley Fresh. There are almost no vegetables at Jacobs.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city's safety is pretty good. There was only one night where a few of us were followed by some men one night (nothing came of it).

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

This is the only STEM program Wellesley College supports, and the clinical experience was fabulous.

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? It varied. Food is provided by the program (though Wellesley at least, for everyone paying out of their own pocket it was expensive). I traveled around a lot using buses and cheap hostels, so maybe average $100-$50 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take advantage of the bus system and rail system and cheap hostels, (bring your own lock with you).

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? German 102 (and then in Germany a Goethe Institute course)
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? Go into town and try and interact with people. Order in resturaunts in German, go to bars etc.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Clinical experience
  • Easy access to cheap travel
  • I made some incredible friends
* What could be improved?
  • The administration lost so many forms and will not communicate
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be prepared for a very different lab experience than what you may know now (it is difficult for administrations to match international students into labs. As a result, we were placed in a first-year lab. The TA's were usually younger than we were and had years less lab experience.)

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!