An Incredible, Life Changing Experience Past Review

By (Philipps University Marburg) - abroad from 01/01/2016 to 05/31/2016 with

Philipps-Universität Marburg: Intensive German Studies Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be a more independent person, and how sometimes the only way to get over fear of something is just to do it! I learned that the world is a much smaller place than I thought, and that all humans essentially want the same thing. I learned how to make 15 euros stretch for a whole week, and how to NEVER forget shower shoes. This was the most worthwhile experience I have ever had. Everyone should study abroad- I am not the same person that landed in the Frankfurt airport last January.

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.

I learned a lot through this program. The language of the classroom was German, which expanded my knowledge of the language as well as my fluency and self esteem.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was great in Marburg. Although we were far away from the city center, we were in a safe, clean, peaceful area of town. However, when I arrived in January. my room didn't have electricity or heat, and the communal kitchen had next to no supplies. It was fine in the end and I loved my experience. However, a little more aide at the beginning would have definitely alleviated some stress.

* Food:

The Mensa's (University Cafeteria) food was affordable, tasty, and healthy! No complaints at all.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Although I was readily recognized as an American, I was immediately accepted into the host culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We were 100% covered in Marburg. Although I never had to take advantage of this, a friend of mine sprained her ankle and I accompanied her to the local hospital. The health care workers were sympathetic and helpful, and even found an employee to translate when the vocabulary got too difficult.

* Safety:

I felt safe in Marburg regardless of time of day or place. I felt comfortable using public transportation or taxis as well.

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

I grew so much as an individual in Marburg. I truly believe I left a part of me there. If I could do it again, I would in a heartbeat. A great program and a even better city.


* 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)

Along with the Mensa, there are many affordable grocery stores in Marburg (such as Aldi). It is very easy to buy food on a student budget!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try not to eat out. It is tempting to try new restaurants, but costs add up extremely fast!


* 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

We were always encouraged to meet up with students to speak German, as well as attend city events such as plays or soccer games. They told us to try to speak German whenever possible!

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? German 315
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? Find a tandem partner, preferably one that you feel comfortable practicing your language skills. Try to read and watch movies in German, and speak in German with friends as much as possible.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • City of Marburg
  • Intense Classes
  • International Classmates
* What could be improved?
  • Included Excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That everything was going to turn out to be just fine, and 5 months goes a lot faster than you think. Completely immerse yourself in the culture and the city. Sometimes you forget you're in the good old days until you've left them :)