Berlin has something for everyone... you just have to find it. Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 03/19/2018 to 06/21/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Berlin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely worthwhile. Best year of my life.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Arranged my own housing, with as much support from the program administration as I needed.

* Food:

Program provides food during program events and meetings, always at nice restaurants and cafés. Other than that, students are in charge of feeding themselves.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like a Berliner...

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I needed to obtain a prescription for Birth Control when I got to Berlin, as my previous prescription had run out. The program helped me navigate my insurance, find a provider, and figure out how German pharmacies work. It was as easy and stress-free as adulting gets.

* Safety:

It's a big city; take reasonable precautions, but don't worry.

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

I would have saved money by direct enrolling. Having a program gave me excellent support, that I found I didn't really need (because I had lived in Germany before). However, not having to worry about many of the details allowed me to make the most of my experience so I'm glad I did it.


* 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)

Rent and food in Berlin are cheap compared to most major US cities, but there's so much to do in Berlin that it's hard not to spend money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Rent: >600USD/month (>150USD/week) includes utilities, Food: >100USD/week, Transportation: 0/weekMisc: variable...
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Beer from the Späti (convenience store) is cheaper than going to bars... For weekend trips, Bla Bla car and Flixbus are cheaper than plane or train, and depending on how far you're going, they are just as fast or faster. Middlebury gives you a very generous allowance for 'cultural experiences' (loosely defined). I used it for everything from museums to airfare.


* 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

It was highly encouraged, but not enforced except when program staff were around. Therefore, it's really up to the student whether or not they want to intensely pursue the language.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
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? an advanced German literature course...
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Live with Germans in a WG (shared flat) Make German friends by joining a club at University or through other structured social spaces find a language partner

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Helped me find an internship
  • Support navigating visas, insurance, etc
  • The people
* What could be improved?
  • The writing seminar isn't geared toward advanced speakers
  • Orientation was not helpful
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? nothing, I feel like I went into this pretty prepared...

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Geschichte des Völkerrechts

Course Department: Politikwissenschaft
Instructor: Brigitte Kerchner
Instruction Language: German
Comments: Professor refuses to adapt to needs of international exchange students, does not respond to emails and does not schedule meetings outside of office hours (even if students has work or class during office hours). Furthermore, Professor rarely teaches classes, but rather assigns readings and then uses >90% of class time for student presentations.
Credit Transfer Issues: I turned in my final paper the first week of October. I am writing this in January and still have not received my grade for this class, which is seriously holding up the credit transfer process for the entire semester.