Germany: A Playground to Make Memories Past Review

By (International Business., Illinois State University) for

Paderborn University: Paderborn - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I loved my time abroad. It was an awesome adventure and I met some really great people. I would have probably liked it in a bigger city however.

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.

There was little to no homework because there was usually just a big final exam at the end of the semester. The grading scale is a little easier over there and the teachers generally lecture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

As I said before, the University was very unorganized. For example we would be having language class and another teacher would come into the class saying that their class was scheduled for this room. The two teachers would then spend the next 15 minutes talking about what to do when there were over 20 open class rooms on that hall and hundreds more in that building.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

At first I was put in a dorm about 20 minutes away from campus, which was miserable. About 3 months later I moved to a dorm right next to campus which was much better.

* Food:

The stores to buy food at are Real, Rewe, and Lidl. They have a nice variety and some quick and easy meals. Otherwise Subway, Feuerstein, or a brat stand are where to go.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This was what made the whole experience for me. The people in my program became very close friends of mine and we made some great memories. Equally as important were the trips I took, which ranged from Norway to Austria including 13 countries. This was a great chance to see some of the best places in the world.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

My city was a very safe city and there were basically only a few occurrences/stories we heard about.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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? Weekly for food I spent around 75 euros, which is over a $100. This does not take into account money for going out either which could be anyware from 20-60 euros a week depending on who you are.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The budget given by my school was extremely low, so beware.


* 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? German 1 part II
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I mostly spoke english because most of my friends were American and the people from other countries including Germany spoke english well.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local 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? You have to be a social person for this program because making friends there makes or breaks the whole experience.