Past Review

By (Business Finance, University of Northern Colorado) for

University of Fertwangen: Villingen-Schwenningen - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have gained more confidence, wisdom, courage, an open-mind, traveled to many places, lifelong friendships and a lot of independence. My cultural awareness has increased SO much. My academic interests and future plans have remained the same as before.

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 workload was not much at all, until the end. I did not like many of the teaching methods and it was hard to take the classes seriously. I enjoyed my language courses a lot though, and the presentations I had to give went very well. I enjoyed the group work. The American educational system I think is much more difficult and time consuming. In America we have a lot more tests, studying, and busy work. However, here they really encouraged learning many languages, learning on your own, and getting involved with different cultures. A different way of learning, definitely.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The host institution's administration was amazing. I was very close to the faculty and they were so nice and helpful. I could not have asked for better people. They were accessible for the most part and they got things done in a timely manner. They all spoke English and knew much about my home country. They program size was not so big, but it was a great experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

25 Hirschbergstrasse, great location <br /><br /> I had problems with stalkers, but the location was good. A lot of weird people lived in my building and not many people spoke English besides the other students. A lot of international students lived in my building also, which was great. The kitchen was tiny, but nice bathroom. I liked the location and the neighborhood, but not my neighbors across the street. They gave me no privacy as they would look out their window at me all the time or sit on their balcony and look in my windows. It was quite strange. The rent was okay, but there was nothing in the apartment when I came, so I had to buy or borrow everything (sheets, cookware, silverware, cleaning supplies, food, etc). I was close to the city center and the school, but not too close.

* Food:

Only had two burners to cook with and a mini fridge. No storage space or place to cook, so it was difficult. I made due though. The food was alright quality. If you buy bread or pastries from the bakery fresh it's very nice. A lot of students eat in the Mensa or buy Kebab.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Schwenningen Kulturnacht, Fame Disco, Erstiparty, ISC events, Soccer matches, playing basketball, barbeques, picnics, excursions, buddy program

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had a few stalkers from my apartment, so my safety was a big concern. However, my program advisors were of great help. Health care... I never went to the doctor, but I did have to get the German healthcare. The school helped us set up the accounts, but we had to pay for 6 months, no matter how long we were staying. Also, it was hard to stay in contact with the contact person of the Health Insurance Company.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably around 50-80 Euro.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Travelling expenses.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? IBM 3
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced in class and with other Germans and some international students. Most of the time I used English, but sometimes German came in handy in daily conversations.

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? One must be open-minded, willing to be open and direct when communicating and making friends, and very involved with the International Student Community! Make sure to travel a lot.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: DaF 105
Instructor: Diane Foltinek-Simpson
Instruction Language: German
Comments: I really enjoyed this course. I learned a lot and the teacher was very friendly and the homework was very relevant and helpful. The location was down the street from the main campus. The class was very small, but good one-on-one with the teacher. Participation in class was much more than at my home institution because the class was so small and it was a language course.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not home yet