Echte Liebe Past Review

By (Germanic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics., Illinois State University) - abroad from 01/07/2013 to 07/19/2013 with

Paderborn University: Paderborn - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
So far I've learned about just European culture in general. It's a different way of life... and it's not better or worse... just different.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I'm actually taking courses in German. It's neither that the material is hard nor that the German is difficult to comprehend... it's just taking the time to combine both together. It's a good pace for me and the professors are super helpful... but I'm not sure how much I'm actually learning about the actual subject matters.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Frau Brebeck is awesome and will help you take care of any problems right away. However, since I came in January I didn't get the same orientation as everyone else. I learned everything through my buddies, which I don't know how I would have made it without them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Well, they're super cheap, but you kind of get what you're paying for. They lost my paperwork at the very beginning so I had to sign last minute and I actually have to transfer all of my stuff to another room for the second half of my duration of my visit.... which they didn't notice until I pointed it out to them. I didn't know where I'd be living until 3 weeks before I had to move out.

* Food:

If you like cooking for yourself, you're in luck. The cafeteria is only open for lunch and is okay... but it's almost always pork and potatoes. The grocery stores and the fresh market have really good produce!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I'm glad that I have German friends because they're the ones that inform me of the local culture. It would be easy to miss it otherwise.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I haven't had any issues... so I wouldn't know.

* Safety:

I feel safer here than I do at home... but don't be stupid. Walk with someone when it's late and lock your bike. Common sense.

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)

It depends on how you want to live. If you want to live like a miser like at home, it's doable. Personally, I treat it like vacation and spend more than that because, hey, I'm in Germany and I don't know when I'll be back!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I probably spend 75 euros a week on stuff... not that it's all necessary...
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do NOT buy all of your stuff from Real. For dorm stuff, go to Poco or the Euro store as well as a thrift shop within walking distance of the Hauptbahnhof. Cheapest food place is Lidl. Rossman is like Walgreens back home.


* 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? Beginner
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? Literatur II
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? As comfortable and easy as it is to hang with Americans and the other exchange students... try and wriggle your way into friendships with Germans. That's the best way to learn.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Convenience of Travel
  • Bang for the Buck
  • Culture/History
* What could be improved?
  • Clarity
  • Paperwork Efficiency
  • Organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You don't have to take the DSH course in January... you can take it in April. When you come in January, the German students leave... but it leaves you with a lot of time to travel Germany, especially in NRW.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department:
Instructor: Frau Tonsen/Frau Edridge
Instruction Language: German
Comments: This is a great course to review everything that you learned the first 2 years of German at ISU. However, it's more learning how to take the test to pass than to master the German language.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not finished yet.... so.... I'll let you know when I get there. I do know that I cannot be issued my teacher certificate until they get it all in.