A Challenging, but Rewarding Experience September 06, 2023

By (Psychology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 03/27/2023 to 07/31/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Berlin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot of important life skills while abroad and had plenty of opportunities to push myself out of my comfort zone. I gained a lot of confidence in my adaptability when navigating living in the city. I learned how to use the public transportation system, which I always felt intimidated by before the experience. I also learned how to effectively advocate for myself in the target language despite feeling self-conscious about my speaking abilities. Overall, my experience abroad was completely worthwhile because although it was not what I expected, it gave me the chance to prove to myself that I can adapt to living in an unfamiliar environment on my own.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would likely choose the Potsdam program if I could do it all over again because living in a large city like Berlin was more isolating than I expected. I found it more difficult to socialize in Berlin because my accommodations were too far from the center of the city. I think moving to a city was a big transition for me; therefore, I was too busy adjusting to a different lifestyle instead of building friendships with local students. I was also unsatisfied with the living accommodations provided by the program.


* 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? $150


* 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

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? 400 Level 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? Practice is best in school social events and academic course discussions.

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

  • 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?
  • Traveling around the host country
  • Effective pre-arrival orientation
  • The University courses and professors
* What could be improved?
  • Accomodations
  • The pace of the writing workshop course
  • Program group activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew more about the reality of the living arrangements(the pictures were slightly deceiving). I also wish I paid more attention to the location of the accommodations because they were very far from the city center and commuting was very time-consuming. It was also more expensive to participate in the nightlife activity because transportation was inaccessible past a certain time.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: Organizational Psychology
Instructor: Patrick Mussel
Instruction Language: German
Credit Transfer Issues: TBD
Course Name/Rating:

Aspekte kinder- und jugendliterarischer Phantastik

Course Department: Literature
Instructor: Batian Schlüter
Instruction Language: German
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Allgemeine Verfahrenslehre der Psychotherapie: Psychotherapie mit Kindern, Jugendlichen und Familien

Course Department: Psychology
Instructor: Johannes Bohn
Instruction Language: German
Credit Transfer Issues: TBD