i leaned into the city and it leaned into me Past Review

By (Kenyon College) - abroad from 03/05/2017 to 07/21/2017 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Berlin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
i can live in a city. i can learn to use public transportation. i can spend time alone. i can deal with bureaucratic systems successfully. i can navigate tough situations. i can travel alone. i can render my experiences meaningful.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

due to the nature of the german education system, the academic rigor felt much more relaxed, and i don't necessarily feel that i learned as much as i would have if i had stayed at my home university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

generally good, but at times it felt overbearing.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

in the end, i was extremely satisfied, but the process finding the housing arrangement was extremely difficult and i did not feel supported during this time.

* Food:

berlin has great food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

only made 2 german friends whom i will probably never talk to again, but that was my own fault.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

N/A - had no health issues?

* Safety:

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

my fellow students were wonderful. the city provided opportunities i couldn't have ever dreamed of. i never felt more alive / accepted.


* 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)

it depended; berlin is very cheap, but my family was going through financial problems. i had to get a job abroad.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? unsure
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? get a job possibly. cook a lot. don't buy drinks at restaurants.


* 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

a lot of encouragement, but berlin is a multicultural city.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? a content course, highest level at kenyon
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? don't let anyone speak english with you. read a lot / watch a lot of movies. take advantage of using youtube / netflix in the host country, where the default language will be that of the country.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Host Family
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the city
  • the administration
  • the other students on the program
* What could be improved?
  • organizational aspects of the program
  • support in certain areas
  • the sometimes overbearing nature
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? i could have done much more with my time there. i am capable of not only living, but also thriving in a city environment. i can make friends; i can overcome cultural differences; i can connect with others and myself through a foreign language that i love.

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!