Duisburg is awesome. Loved the people and the independence of a year abroad Past Review

By (International Business., Western Washington University) - abroad from 10/04/2013 to 08/12/2013 with

University of Duisburg-Essen: Duisburg & Essen - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
i learned so much i dont think i could express it all in this word box. I learned about cultures, languages, myself, beers, europe, the transportation systems. I learned to enjoy life and not take happiness and the little things for granted. But i would reccomend getting a bike once you get here. Spring and summer are exponentially better if you have one.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Well I cant say it was easy taking courses, exams, studying in German but it was a great way to improve my German. Luckily through the Mercator School of Management we were all assigned buddies who helped us quite a lot when it came to studying for exams as well as giving out helpful tips and notes prior to exams which i was able to benefit from greatly. The key to succeeding (in mo opinion) is being as social and outgoing as possible. That way one can meet new people, friends, and classmates on campus or off. I would not have passed many exams if it were not for my new found friends who also happened to be classmates

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

People like Malte Kluck and Jorn Benzinger were unbelieveably helpful and so awesome to talk to about academic problems or mishaps. They were also great guys who invited me to a couple student functions where i was able to socialize and meet many professors assistants that i had seen previously but only in a class room setting.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Heinrisch-Lersch Str. Student dormitories in Duisburg. They were pretty great. I lived in a double. SO that means i had one roommate. We shared a shower and toilet and sink combination bathroom (which was awesome and super easy to clean). We also shared a refrigerator and freezer. In these dorms there were also kitchens at the end of each hallway (2 on every floor) which i found myself using everyday at least once. But if i had the choice to live anywhere else i would most likely choose to be in the Kammerstrasse dormitory. The rooms were bigger and you shared a kitchen between 4 people but their was a lot more living space and the rooms were bigger. NOTE* this was more of a loud/up all night sort of party place. I paid 275 euros a month and everything else was included. I did buy myself a wireless router which has been awesome. Plus there is no better way to make friends out of strangers then by telling them you use wifi. People go crazy for wireless internet.

* Food:

Cheap-ish food. I went grocery shopping once a week and cooked 2 or 3 meals for myself daily. I may be a bit of an exception but the dining halls are usually pretty delicious and have a wide variety of options. The local cuisine with fast food places are also delicious and affordable. Food vendors are super nice and love speaking eng. with international students. From experience my favorite place to go was on Ost Strasse in Duisburg and the man who owned the imbiss is named Hakki. Great dude and he always whipped up a mean Turkish pizza whenever i came by!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The best! I have never met so many great people from all over the world. Fantastic people! Life long friends and open doors to all of them if they ever make travel plans to the USA, and vice versa for me in Europe. BEST PART of study abroad.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Not sure. I exercise regularly and eat well. No medical problems explored. Although some friends went to the hospital through out different times of the year for sprained ankles, tooth problems, and bruised kidneys. They all received treatment through the study abroad insurance that was required when you got to the university. It was easy to come by and what not

* Safety:

totally safe. no problems at all

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)

My money was pretty much spent of food, weekend money and then traveling. i worked the summer before i came so i was able to save a good chunk of change before coming. I am also on financial aid so all the money i spent i will just have to pay back. The way i see it, im just investing in my future by having these once in a lifetime oppurtunities. Money is just money!!! it cant buy you happiness and it sure as hell buys you vacations to Italy.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 60 Euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? cook for yourself and buy groceries at Penny-Markt, Aldi, or Lidl! all great stores that sell cheap food and products that will save you a little coin in the end.


* 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

Most of my friends were ERASMUS students learning english predominatly but were also taking German courses. I spoke english a lot but i spoke german in classes and also participating in everday life. It is so much fun learning like that. One day hanging out with german friends teaches you more then 1 full month learning in a class room

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? i think a 300 level ocurse. maybe 304
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? Get a tandem language partner upon arrival. Or just make friends! go be social and be yourself. if you sit in your room and just study gerrman vocab all day that wont be as helpful as just going to the grocery store and learning the word for asparagus.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Other International Students
  • Learning German
  • Beer
* What could be improved?
  • Coordination between my home advisor and myself. Weekly or monthly check ups
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? ehhhh i dont know. I liked the way i learned as i lived every day life. that was part of the experienced.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.