Study Abroad in Germany: The most rewarding experience of my life Past Review

By (Architecture., Norwich University) - abroad from 08/07/2011 to 12/14/2012 with

Study Abroad in Germany! Programs and Reviews!

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Being abroad was the first time I was truly away from home. I was able to experience independence and culture at one time. I not only learned about differences between European and American cultures, but also how I could grow as a person. This experience was an education, but it was more so an education as to who I was more than anything else.

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.

I wouldn't say the studio program itself was difficult. However, it forced you to look at architecture in a different way. Coming from a university in the country, a city perspective is quite different. The program made you think and for architecture, I think that is the biggest accomplishment.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I chose to live in an apartment while in Berlin. There are times I regret not choosing the host family experience as it is very unique. However, this lifestyle allowed me to explore the city on my own and have some independence that I otherwise might not have had.

* Food:

Its Germany....the food is amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being in an apartment, using the transit systems, exploring the city and attempting to use the language in public....its pretty hard not to feel integrated in some way.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There were specific health forms provided for ensuring health care at the start of the semester. Also, the interns in the program were extremely helpful in situations of illness. The country is comparable to American health standards and no specific vaccines were needed.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe during my stay.

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 a pretty affordable city.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around 100 US, excluding plane tickets...I travelled a lot.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? While in Berlin itself, I spent little to no money. However, plane tickets and costs abroad were more than I planned. Be sure to plan ahead with plane/train tickets and budget your time well and all will be fine. Choose one meal to go out for on a trip and try to go to markets for the other times. Its much more affordable that way. Museums are usually free and as an architecture student, they are one of the greatest forms of entertainment.


* 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

The language portion was short. Everyone in the studio was American, so everyone already spoke the same language.

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
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I wish I had tried to use the language more. Restaurants and stores are good areas for practice. The only problem I found was most Germans wanted to practice their English with me!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
* What could be improved?
  • I know I shouldn't complain, because the food given through lexia (rarely) is free, but it is always vegitarian and wasn't always appetizing. So, perhaps they could work on bringing more traditional foods on those rare occasions.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I would have had some anxiety from leaving home so that I could better prepare for it. However, my friends got me through and that strengthened our friendship. In the end, I didn't want to leave!