Proceed with Caution Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/22/2015 to 07/15/2016 with

Wayne State University: Junior Year in Munich

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a sense of independence from living on my own for the first time -- in another country to boot! I got to experience other cultures through travel and met wonderful people that became fast friends. For these reasons alone, it was worth my while.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Academic rigor in comparison to Wellesley was very weak. With the exception of language courses, there was very little work outside of class that needed to be completed, partially due to the lower language level of some students. Some professors did not have a set curriculum at all.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

For such a long-standing program (60+ years) the administration did not seem to be on top of much. Going to the TU was a big mistake, as they are more familiar with the inner workings of the LMU, and orientation etc. is geared towards the LMU. The director is relatively new, so I can understand a bit of upheaval as the administration adjusts to new leadership, but there were some times that students were left in the lurch (i.e. health insurance).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in the Studentenstadt (student city) was the best immersion experience possible. Not only were the Americans in the program living there, but German and international students also lived there, allowing for a lot of cultural exchange. The apartments (not due to JYM) are a little underwhelming, but all in all perfect for a student with basic needs.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was very involved in residential life, as I became a floor speaker for my floor. I know that this was not the case for the majority of people, however.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did not have a problem with health care, though a friend had issues with her health insurance and the program was not a big help. The healthcare system was definitely an adjustment from that in the States (no recurring prescriptions, no referrals etc.) but after I got used to it, it was smooth sailing. I didn't need any vaccines specifically for this program.

* Safety:

Munich is very safe, I didn't feel scared walking by myself or anything like that, though it is a large city so I would be cautious walking alone at night or in sketchier areas like Hauptbahnhof.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Personally, this was the funnest year of my life! I made incredible lifelong friends and amazing unforgettable memories. I achieved my goal of proficiency in German and was even able to take on a student leadership role. However, academically, this program cost me dearly. If you're not a German major/minor and thinking about doing the full-year program, check with your study abroad advisor first!


* 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)

I had a budget of $100 for food and personal expenses but could've easily spent less than that if I ate out less often or didn't travel as much. But with $100/week I was able to live pretty comfortably.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100


* 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

All program courses were in German, and we were strongly encouraged to speak German with each other, though most of us quit that after orientation. There was a requirement to take a language course each semester.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? GER 202
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? Don't be afraid to make mistakes! It's much better to speak an imperfect sentence than to kill conversation by taking 5 minutes to express yourself, even if your speaking partner is really patient. No one expects you to be perfect, and if your foreign friends are really nice, they will gently correct you. And you will get better with time.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • Location in Munich
  • German-Speaking
  • Technical University
* What could be improved?
  • Academic Rigor
  • Organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it is nearly impossible to transfer credits to Wellesley.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'