amazing time in Berlin! Past Review

By (Norwich University) - abroad from 08/22/2006 to 12/19/2006 with

Study Abroad in Germany! Programs and Reviews!

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Without question the most important semester of my college career. I can't imagine going to school without studying abroad. Can you imagine studying architecture without leaving vermont? enough said.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The perfect blend of studio work, class/lecture, and free time. Any more of one or the other and it would have taken away from the experience. Very typical "architecture studio" experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Almost everyone who administers has previously studied abroad, so they are very aware of what is needed and what you are going through. They did a great job.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Your choice of homestay or shared apartments: I decided on homestay. Amazing experience. I can't imagine studying abroad any other way. I was located about 30 minutes from the study center which was a very easy commute. Fantastic way to learn your way around the city!

* Food:

Food is not included... which is fine because it allowed me to explore markets.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Lexia organizes many optional activities, such as design charrettes at local design colleges, tandem partners, etc.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The resident director and interns are very familiar with local hospitals and doctors in case anything happens. Also, health forms are collected before you leave alerting the staff of any potential risks.

* Safety:

They don't treat you like kids, they treat you like adults. Housing and study center is located in a safe neighborhood but beyond that is it your responsibility to stay safe.

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


* 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)

Berlin is VERY cheap. If you buy food from markets and cook at home/ apartment you don't have to spend very much money. That said, if you eat out and go to the bars a lot, of course you are going to spend more money. Lexia provides required literature at very affordable costs.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100/week. including food, transportation, fun.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you are going to travel, plan ahead and buy plane tickets early. Shop at markets don't eat out. There is a lot of free entertainment in Berlin, but you have to look for it.


* 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

required 5-week intensive german language. after that it was up to the individual to practice it. there was an option to continue taking it for the rest of the semester but i didn't do that.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? beginner
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Go get a tandem partner! Or make random friends.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Berlin is the design capital of the world, what better place to study architecture?
  • small, student oriented
  • amazing and plentiful excursions, both within and outside of Germany
* What could be improved?
  • studio hours
  • additional classes... though that will change as the program grows
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The time is going to fly by, don't waste a single minute!