I loved it so much I am going back for my Masters! Past Review

By (German Language, Literature, Philipps University Marburg) - abroad from 01/05/2015 to 04/09/2015 with

Philipps-Universität Marburg: Intensive German Studies Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
There are so many things I learned, where to begin?! I gained a whole new perspective of my life in the US as seen through the eyes of foreigners and even started seeing my life differently after having lived there for 6 months. For the first time in my life I felt like a real adult because I was away from my family and I was able to fend for myself. I grew so much as a person and after I returned and started writing articles about my adventures in Germany, I also realized what I wanted to do as a profession. I also got my current job because my boss saw that we had studied at the same university in Germany.

Review Photos

Philipps-Universität Marburg: Intensive German Studies Program Photo Philipps-Universität Marburg: Intensive German Studies Program Photo Philipps-Universität Marburg: Intensive German Studies Program Photo Philipps-Universität Marburg: Intensive German Studies Program Photo Philipps-Universität Marburg: Intensive German Studies Program Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was a great program; it was challenging but I didn't feel like it was too much to handle. I had a great mix of really dedicated professors who knew what they were doing and were able to help me more fully enjoy and learn the German language both in and out of the classroom.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration was great. I was lucky enough to be able to work closely with our group leader which also gave me a great learning experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very pleased with my dorm room, although I didn't have internet right in my room I was able to go just a few minutes down the road to a library/ cafe that was open pretty often. I also liked that we just paid in one sum at the beginning so we didn't need to worry about paying rent every month, that was just one more thing that I didn't need to keep track of.

* Food:

The food, gosh what can I say- it was amazing! Better than what we eat at the universities in the States and the prices were great!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was able to meet so many new people from countries all over the world including some I had never heard of, but I would have loved to be able to get to know more students from Germany.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never needed to get medications or go to the hospital but the way our program had covered all the bases with healthcare help and cards from our healthcare provider as well as being able to answer any questions I may have had made me feel so comfortable that if I had been in need of care, i would have been able to get the help I needed.

* Safety:

Many nights I would stay at the library until it closed around midnight and I would walk home which would last about an hour and I almost always felt safe. I say "almost always" because I grew up where one, especially a young woman, should always be wary of other people around her, especially when she's alone at night. But after a few weeks of walking home at night I realized that Marburg was a very safe city and I didn't need to constantly think that passersby were bad people. Once I got myself into this mindset, by no means being unsafe just not suspecting everyone of being an evil doer, I never again felt like there was a reason to worry about my safety.

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

Like I said before and with all my previous descriptions, the life that I created and cultivated for myself while I was abroad made me so happy that I plan on returning to Germany and hopefully Philipps Universität for my Masters Program. I have already been back one time since my return to the States 8 months ago just to visit the people that I got to know there. I cannot wait until I am back in Germany again!


* 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)

I found it really easy to live on a students budget. 5 We received $300 every month for groceries and that proved to be way too much for me. Not only did I always have food at home but I was also able to go out with friends whenever we wanted, get coffee almost every day and still have a little left over to go shopping every once in a while.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Groceries about 35 euros a week and then maybe another 35-55 euro on going out to eat, getting coffee, or doing some shopping.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Just plan have start out with a plan for your finances. Set aside a fixed amount for your additional expenses for the whole of your trip, an amount that you will not go over and then budget that down per month and/ or per week.


* 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

My program was to learn the language so there was really no getting around that, but that's exactly what I signed up for so it was great! My understanding and ability to use the language has improved immensely and I plan on moving back to continue my studies for a Masters Program.

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? Senior level German course at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
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? Don't be afraid to use it with the locals, that is one of the best ways to get better with the language. In the class you are learning the language and when you are out on the town alone or with friends you are using what you have learned in a real life setting. Also, don't just stay your friends who speak your mother language, by getting to know and spending time with people who don't speak your mother language you are forced to use the language you are there to learn. This also creates friendships which in my experience have lasted for years since we first got to know one another. It is nice to have people to talk to in your mother language at the end of a really long day, but when you are always talking together in your mother language then you are creating a block between yourselves and the other language you are learning.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

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

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Dependability of group leader.
  • I was almost immediately integrated into the community in Marburg which made connecting with other international students very easy as well as feeling like I wasn't an outsider just looking in.
* What could be improved?
  • Correspondence between the two home university and university abroad.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack less so you can bring more home when you return.

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!