The best trip of my life. Past Review

By (Illinois State University) - abroad from 01/09/2012 to 07/25/2012 with

Paderborn University: Paderborn - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained and learned so much from this trip, I could write about it all through the night. It was so worthwhile I would recommend it to everyone. I only wish the trip would never end ;)

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.

The university offered an excellent German language course. I advanced from knowing nearly no German language to passing the A2 level DSH course.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorms are nice and affordable.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't really meet so many Germans, but I did really get to know the other study abroad students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to the doctor once, but never asked for help from anyone.

* Safety:

I never felt in danger during this trip.

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)

You could blow your money easily, but then again you could easily live off of like 100 euro's a week.

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* 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? I went on a lot of trips and paid for my girlfriend (which I met abroad), so I'd spend like 100 euro's a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy food at the grocery store, cook it yourself. You can really have a nice meal for not too much if you just make it yourself. If you eat with friends, than it makes it all the better.


* 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

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? The introduction course, but I had forgotten everything when I arrived.
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? Just use it, even if you suck. Practice makes perfect.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Learned a lot of German
  • Met the girl of my dreams
  • Traveled a lot
* What could be improved?
  • ISU could prepare you better for the trip
  • Paderborn could have a more regular list of available courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't buy the stuff they say to buy and bring with, you can buy it all there. Also to plan trips to take right off the bat so you can get out there and see as much as possible. Also, get ready to drink a LOT of alcohol ;)