Marburg: Travel Germany, Meet the World Past Review

By (Sociology, German, University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) for

Philipps-Universität / University of Marburg: Marburg -International Undergraduate Study Program / IUSP

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It changed my academic interests, solidified my goals for the future and helped me understand myself more.

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.

Overall it was an above average educational experience. The first half was very helpful for my German but also strenuous. The second half was less strenuous but gave extra time to travel.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program itself had a very good administration. The university as a whole was a buerocratic nightmare that rivals the US federal government in its ability to waste time and inability to coordinate with itself.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorm was considered one of the bad dorms by everyone who went to Marburg. The "student village" was a 20-30 minute walk from the train station, and farther from the downtown and most of the classes. A bus that students rode for free did travel there, but the hours of it were very random and it stopped running very early. My building had no internet, the fridge and freezer were filled with years of food forgotten by past students and rarely had any room, even after I cleaned most of the years expired food out. The bathrooms were clean enough though the shower drains were extremely slow. Most maintenance issues were solved within a few days. My room was big enough, though having few posessions most of the space went to waste. The neighborhood my dorm was next to was sketchy. The community center I passed on the way to the bus stop had all sorts of people sitting or laying around outside of it, and I was challenged to fights by people standing outside of it occasionally, despite never talking to them or looking at them. I was provided with a pillow and sheets but only 1 sheet fit the bed and the pillow was tiny and thin, so I ended up buying more sheets and pillows. The heating in the room worked well. The other residents of the dorm mostly kept to themselves. Most were international students who spoke little German and some English so I was forced to use English with them.

* Food:

It was standard cafeteria food. Sometimes it was good sometimes it wasn't. The hours weren't great but I had plenty of meals provided.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Traveling was great, especially the free trains around Hessen, the group trips were a ton of fun

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The dorms are in a sketchy part of town, especially fuchspass, theres a few other weird parts of town but for the most part its safe enough. I had no health issues but those who did have health issues found the health care far superior.

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


* 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? I spent 50-100 euros a week on everything. About 25 a week on food.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? A lot of people I knew took out thousands of dollars of extra loans to travel to far off places every weekend. It really never seemed to occur to them that you have to pay that off eventually. Theres free trains to a ton of awesome places that are cheap and have a ton of stuff to do that aren't fill with tourists. Take advantage of that.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 300 level
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

We would go into the town to practice interactions in various settings that we did not already know, for example; buying shoes or shopping in a pharmacy. Almost everyone spoke english and some got mad when we spoke German. This was very annoying.

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
  • International Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Travel oppertunities
  • the downtown of the city
  • the classes
* What could be improved?
  • Dorms
  • internet access
  • centrality of campus
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be patient while abroad. Marburg fits almost no German stereotypes. Plan to make a heavy effort to speak German, because just coasting by will result in 90% english being spoken by you.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Ascribed Inequalities

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Boes
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Extremely boring. Five people sat around arguing about racism and if it was natural, while the professor and everyone else sat around looking bored. The tutorial was much better, the 5 people were missing so we could actually have discussions. The professor was really nice and a good instructor when he could actually teach
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Internationalization of Policing

Course Department: Poly Sci
Instructor: Pineu
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Excellent and informative course. Professor was great in both lecture and tutorial. I learned a ton. He was also very approachable.
Credit Transfer Issues: