Five Months to Remeber Past Review

By (German, Communication, Berea College) - abroad from 03/01/2014 to 07/11/2014 with

KIIS: Regensburg - Experience Regensburg (Spring Semester)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad is an experience you can't compare to anything else: it makes you reexamine your culture and beliefs, pushes you out of the comfort zone, helps you learn a language... but all of these cliches don't even begin to do justice to the overall value of this experience.

Review Photos

KIIS: Regensburg - Experience Regensburg (Spring Semester) Photo

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 program is very flexible in terms of the topic and intensity of courses. I had a great experience, having selected a fairly rigorous academic load. But the required intensive language courses leave especially no opportunity not to improve - and improve significantly.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Dr. Weber goes to a great length to try to foresee everything the students should expect in terms of paperwork on site and expenses. There is a further advising opportunity during his visit in the beginning of the term during class section time that is very helpful to have once more and on site.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Single rooms with your own bathroom and a shared kitchen in one of the student dorms around the university: private, clean, convenient. All program participants were in the same dorm, so we could always find each other, if necessary. Non-traditional students can get an apartment style dorm room with a kitchen nearby.

* Food:

Fairly affordable dining hall and cafes on campus, as well as plethora of discount food stores in the area for students, who want to cook back at the dorm in a shared kitchen. It is up to you how affordable and healthy you want to eat.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The host family program is absolutely invaluable. I learned a lot about German family life, and language and culture in general from my host family. However, there is a great support system for the arriving exchange students and for some people that can create a slightly shelters, exclusive environment. It is up to you to reach out to your German classmates at the university, join any interest groups and educate yourself further.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The program helps arrange great coverage by a local German insurance - I didn't have a single concern during my stay, when I needed to see a doctor. There were no vaccines that are out of ordinary.

* Safety:

It says something about the city, when their most prevalent crime is stolen bikes. And although I have heard some precautionary advice about basic female safety against sexual assault, neither I nor any of my friends in Regensburg ever had anything major happen to them. I felt fairly comfortable walking around the university and the city center alone.

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)

Germany is not the most inexpensive country, but smart budgeting (read: not going out every night, no extravagant shopping sprees) make it entirely doable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~130
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Shop at discount food stores like Aldi, Netto, Edeka and make sure to compare prices between them. Look for season of discounts at the mall - you can get very nice things for a very good price.


* 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

intensive language programs encourage you to start speaking German from day one - regardless of your level. Host families are prepared to speak with you in German, depending on your level. The on-site coordinator is also a great help and encouragement.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced
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? Try to take or even audit a class outside of the DaF (german as a foreign language) Department or seek contact with Germans any other way. It pays off, even if you stumble and struggle through the conversation in the beginning.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Support from on-site coordinator
  • Flexibly rigorous and challenging academic program
  • Great city and university
* What could be improved?
  • No complaints.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how much I will want to stay, so I can spare myself some of the heartache. But I will still do it again in a heartbeat. Also, other exchange students are fun and easy to hang out with, but the slower-to-warm-up-to-you German friends I have made are a highlight of these few months. It is worth the effort.

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!