Thrown into the deep end Past Review

By (Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin) - abroad from 03/04/2019 to 07/15/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Berlin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and expanded my comfort zone a great deal while abroad. Coming from a small town of less than 8,000 people, I had never lived in a big city before. It was a massive change as well as having a deal with a foreign language at the same time. I was very overwhelmed when I first got there but after about a week or two I was more comfortable with my surroundings and feel ready to take on even bigger challenges now.

Review Photos

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Berlin Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Berlin Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Berlin 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.

Classes were interesting and required a lot of reading preparation in order to participate effectively in classroom discussions.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food at the university was of good enough quality and was very affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Did not have a problem with this during my studies abroad.

* Safety:

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

The Middlebury program in Berlin is very hands off and allows the students to go out and explore themselves. They of course offer resources and 'safety nets' if you need help or get in trouble, however you really feel like you live wherever you are and are fully a part of the community.

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)

Food was not an issue as I could live on just under $100 a week. The problem was with housing as it was very expensive and required extra help from my parents to fund.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 330 Euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you want to save money DO THE STUDENT DORMS PROVIDED BY THE UNIVERSITIES.

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

Middlebury actually required us to use the language as we had a language pledge which was written in our student handbooks. This was very effective and improve my speaking and writing speaks a ton!

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? An advanced level Writing and Composition German course at my home university (Kenyon College)
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? Get involved in activities and events while abroad. I was on a soccer team in Berlin and learned a lot of sports lingo that I never would have learned in a classroom.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • 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?
  • Freedom/ Flexibility
  • Writing Guides for papers
  • Communication
* What could be improved?
  • Information about the housing situations (live in a student dorm! It's way cheaper!)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Definitely choose the student housing if you can. They are usually subsidized by the government and are WAY cheaper than if you try to find your own housing in Berlin. The Berlin housing market is chaos and are incredibly competitive to get an apartment or WG.

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!