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Berlin Residential Fall Semester Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Once in a lifetime experience

I chose to go on this program as a final semester senior, and I can honestly say it was my best and most worthwhile semester of my entire undergraduate career. Through this program, I was able to study the German language and experience the German culture. This program provided opportunities to learn about many new concepts which have helped me to grow as an individual. I learned a great deal about myself as a result of this program. As an independent person, I enjoyed a great deal of freedom while simultaneously having the support and guidance of the stellar Studienforum faculty. This program provided me with some of the most wonderful opportunities of my entire life and I know that the things I have learned as a result of my participation in the Studienforum program will forever help me to continue moving forward and growing as an individual.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Academics

    10

Simply Go!

There is only one piece of advice I will give anyone looking into the Studienforum Berlin program... GO!
Words can not express the independence, knowledge, and self-development that I and everyone I've talked to has gained from this program! I had never traveled by myself or to Europe, yet I was never once afraid or alone. Dr. Jacobsen and his team are always available and willing to help in even the most trivial travel problems. Berlin feels like a second home due to this program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Studienforum Berlin is a program that I am glad to have been a part of.

Studienforum Berlin was an excellent program. The program directors were great at planning the program and working with me to make the classes and internship fit my major. We were given ample opportunities for travel within the country and immersion into the culture. There was also the ability to travel to other countries on our own time. I could not have asked for a better experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

You won’t regret it if you go, but if you don’t you’ll never know what you missed.

This program changes your life. You grow and learn and fall in love with a city so full of excitement, you won’t know what to do once you return home. While Berlin is an amazing city, the people you meet are the best part of the program, from your fellow students to the program staff to your host family. The field trips, including a full week of orientation and an extraordinary weekend in Prague, are planned and led by the program leaders so you can focus on learning and appreciating your surroundings. This program is perfect for first-time travelers. Parents should have no worries about sending their children abroad because Studienforum takes care of all of the logistics, while still allowing you to gain independence. If you are going to study abroad, this is the program to use!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Incredible Experience!!

This program is phenomenal. I would recommend it to anyone. What is wonderful about it is that it caters to your needs as a student. Whatever your major, there can be an internship found for it. Arts, politics, economics, history and language are all explored not just in the classroom, but on weekend excursions to multiple cities throughout Germany and the surrounding countries. Whatever your personality, a family will be found to welcome you. You have ample time to explore and experience Berlin on your own. Though you are of course first and foremost a student, there is plenty to be explored in the city. You are given plenty of freedom as to how you spend you time after classes and evenings. The program director will welcome you into his home for lavish, incredible meals, and the student coordinators will treat you to fun evenings out on the town. It's more than an study abroad program, it's a life experience in a city that has something for everyone, no matter who you are and what you are interested in. What I would recommend to anyone on this program is to make friends in the city. I am beyond grateful that I went!

Social Life:
My advice to anyone would be make friends. Meet Berliners who can show you things. Use the internet to your advantage. Find social groups and meetups that interest you and are open to newcomers. I was surprised how welcomed I was into a wide circle of friends.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Life Changing Experience! Give it a try.

I will do my best to explain this extraordinary program. I have always wanted to study abroad; I just did not know what country I wanted to experience. After speaking to fellow participants of this program, I was sold! I made a visit to my advisor, handed in my application and even had time to apply for the Gilman International Study Abroad Scholarship. To my surprise I became a recipient of the scholarship and was now ready to embark on my new experience.
When arriving to Berlin I did not know what to expect, so I arrived with a clear open mind and little expectations. My host mother was amazing! She was truly there for me in anyway possible. Studienforum Berlin really did a wonderful job with my host family placement and I am grateful to have created such a strong relationship.

The classes that I took were: History, Peace and Conflict, Sustainability and German class. It was great to experience education in a different culture! All of the professors that teach these courses have a commendable education background and proved to be very knowledgeable in their field of interest. These courses are challenging and yes you are expected to read for homework. This study abroad program forces you to challenge yourself and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Aside from taking classes, Studienforum Berlin provides wonderful excursions for all participants in the program to take part in. I had the opportunity to travel to Dresden, Weimar and Prague just to name a few. There were about seven excursions planned and these excursions were incredible. They are included in the tuition paid out for the semester. No other program can top that!

One of the main reasons I decided to take part in this Berlin Program is because it offers an internship component. I had the opportunity to work for a successful business in the heart of Berlin’s business district Potsdamer Platz. I received hands on experience in Sale Marketing. I was given “real work” to complete and deadlines to meet. This internship has helped me realize what I enjoy doing and also has helped me figure out the career I want for my future.

Over all, this program has helped me to figure out who I am. It feels great to know that I can live and adapt to different cultures. Lastly, I want to thank the Studienforum Berlin Staff for making this experience truly life changing and for supporting me every step of the way!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

The best thing I could have ever done for myself

Life changing, exciting and so worthwhile! You get so much more out of this program than you could ever expect. Berlin is a fantastic city with so much to offer. Living with host families is an amazing experience and getting to participate in an internship is awesome! I could go on and on about my experience, but you should probably go and have one yourself!! :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

One of the Best Experiences of my Life!

Without a doubt, Studienforum Berlin is the best study abroad program that I have ever heard about. The program directors are absolutely great and the student leaders were awesome! Every aspect of this program has been given so much attention to detail, that my entire 4 month stay was flawless. I cannot imagine any other program running better than this. I am SO glad I decided to study abroad in Berlin.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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This program is perfect for those who are...

This program is perfect for those who are not yet a German speaker. Students get a vast amount of personal attention from the professors, peer mentors, and the heads of the program Herr and Frau Jacobsen. These two hold the program together and will do pretty much anything within reason to make your study abroad experience fantastic. Berlin is a wonderful city for people who want a cosmopolitan feel but really enjoy beautiful outdoors areas and a less hectic atmosphere than some of the other large European cities.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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I entered this program with a variety of...

I entered this program with a variety of x-factors: I wasn't a student at Nazareth, I was already in Europe for a few months before the program commenced, and had lived in Berlin for the first ten years of my life. Needless to say, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I had googled for 'studying in berlin', and this is the first program that came up, so I went with it!

Having already known the city as a child, I was going into last fall with a combination of reassurance and uncertainty. While I am fluent in the language, I have lived in a tiny Midwestern town for the past decade, and it's left its marks. I was first off appreciative that there was such an emphasis on getting to know the city. This was accomplished through class field trips, course-related outings, and a strong emphasis on 'getting out there' on one's own. This is also how I got to see more of Berlin's surrounding area; not necessarily something I would have done on my own.

The classes of SFB were overall some of the more interesting ones I've had. The professors were knowledgeable in their areas, and the fact that each of them had lived their subjects in various ways (german music, business in the EU, history) made them more credible, in a way. The three-hour class times were a bit wearying at first, but I got used to it by the end.

One of the best and most challenging opportunities I had through SFB was my internship at the German State Opera. I'm a voice major, but had been thinking about pursuing other things after graduation this year. The internship not only enabled me to get an inside perspective on the field, but also reaffirmed that this is something I would like to do with my life. It was quite a gift.

One thing I do want to mention, though, is that it is a bit more difficult for people with minimal German skills to find their way in a professional situation. A lot of the friends I made highlighted this fact, though saying that it wouldn't have changed their decision to come. I guess what I'm trying to say is...don't expect your time in Berlin to reflect a similar program in an English-speaking country. Which doesn't mean that you shouldn't try it!

I've probably rambled on for long enough, but I'll just say one more thing: the experiences I've had with people, initially strangers, were some of the most rewarding ones of my life. While I can't guarantee that all groups will look the same, my advice would be to just go for it, if there is any question. You never know what's going to happen, and even if it doesn't live up to your expectations, you can still gain a bunch from it. In my case, it was better.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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Best choice I have made in my life, no doubt....

Best choice I have made in my life, no doubt. Enriched my understanding of the world, to put it very simply. Cultural exchange of art, architecture, music, history, and pretty much anything you know from home or elsewhere, it has a counterpart in Berlin. In addition to all this, just as our own homes have unique things to offer, so does Berlin. The only problem is, you might not want to come back...

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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I could go on for a very long time about...

I could go on for a very long time about the Studienforum Berlin Program. It was an amazing experience. Everyone involved in coordinating the program goes above and beyond all expectations and they make the semester run smoothly. The directors of the program organize weekend trips that were probably the most fun parts of the semester. There was a week break in October that gave everybody time to travel where ever they liked. A group of us went to Italy, stayed in hostels, and saw the sights. The way the classes are set up allow you to still have free time during the week to be able to enjoy the city. There is always something to do in Berlin. The group of us that went last semester really felt like a family by the the end. We all got along great and had a lot of fun together. Julia, the student coordinator is amazing. She travels with group on all of the excursions and hangs out on weekends. You can talk to her about anything and shes always there for you. The director and his wife in Berlin are great people. They do everything in their ability to ensure that you have an incredible experience abroad. They match you with great host families and do everything in their power to find every person a month long internship suited to their individual interests. Berlin was amazing and I miss living there so much. I will live there again some day soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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When I signed up for Studienforum Berlin,...

When I signed up for Studienforum Berlin, it was a spur of the moment decision, but it turned out to be the best thing I have done in my undergraduate career. I was hesitant at first to join this program, because I didn't know any German and I didn't really want to be gone for an entire semester of my senior year at Nazareth College. While I was in Germany, I not only picked up some of the language and the culture between my classes and living with a host family, but I met so many wonderful people, visited a few of the countries within Europe, and even had an internship in the German Bundestag. This program is extremely well run, with excellent professors and mentors, and I learned and grew more in this single semester than in my previous three years at Nazareth combined.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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Studienforum's Berlin program is great. ...

Studienforum's Berlin program is great. As a German major, I improved my language skills a lot by staying with a German family and meeting new people in the city. The program is also great for those who don't speak any German at all. A few of the other students in my group didn't and they still had a really good time. The three elective courses are all taught in English. I really liked every class I took (Peace&Conflict, Literature/Film/Theatre, Music: Mozart to Mahler) and learned a lot about German history and culture. The German lessons however are all taught in German because in them there are people from all around the world (who don't always speak English!). I met people from Sweden, Spain, Iran, Thailand, Japan, Canada, Argentina, Georgia, Russia, Switzerland, and the UK. Berlin in general is a great city to study in; very multi-national and full of historical sights, museums, Opera houses, theatres, etc. Another nice thing is the transportation system. Before going to Berlin I didn't learn the proper vocabulary for buses and trains, but I still found it much easier to get around in Berlin than in NYC. Studienforum is also very helpful and with this and provides you with maps and directions between your host family's house and everywhere you'll need to go. My time in Berlin was definitely a very unique and valuable experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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This program was one of the best experiences...

This program was one of the best experiences in my life. I decided to study abroad on a whim, knew absolutely no German before going and managed to make it home in one piece, and learn quite a bit of the language and culture through SFB. The classes were instructed by great educators, most with a Ph.D in their field of study, that made the classes interesting and fun. The course selection allowed for someone working towards any U.G. degree to have a course load that would transfer and count towards their home university's requirements. The best part of the program by far is the immersion into the culture with the use of excursions and Julia, the worlds best student coordinator! With the coordinator, you go out and do the typical things German students would do in Berlin, as to not feel like a tourist for your stay. She is also there for anytime you have questions, like say your mom sends you a package and doesn't write the contents on it and you end up at the customs police trying to explain yourself and get your package from them! Not saying that happened to me, but should it happen she would be there to help! Along with the city of Berlin outings and help, the excursions, led by Julia and other tour guides in each city, allow you to see many different parts of Germany and Europe. The Program coordinators also help out a great deal in making you feel welcome and at home while in a different country. With welcoming and farewell events, along with a Thanksgiving feast to-die-for, a sense of home and family is felt from the very beginning of the program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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As a former student at Studienforum, I found...

As a former student at Studienforum, I found the program to be very much worthwhile program that exceeded my expectations of the study abroad experience. The small group/class sizes allowed me to develop close bonds with the other students and the student coordinator, as well as the program director himself, Dr Hanns-Dieter Jacobsen, who not only taught one of the classes, but took an active role in getting to know each of us on a personal level. Giesele Jacobsen, wife of Dr. Jacobsen, took the liberty upon herself to match each student with a host family based on their needs, interests and personal preferences. I would personally recommend living with a family (I loved mine!) as it afforded me the opportunity to interact with children and parents on a day to day basis outside of the academic sphere, where I could pick up on cultural nuances, practice my language skills, and build lasting friendships.

The short of it is, if you would like a program that offers small class sizes, teachers who take an active interest in your study abroad experience, and the opportunity to travel (program took us to Poland, Prague, Dresden, and others) I would highly recommend SFB for you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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Choosing to study for a semester in Berlin...

Choosing to study for a semester in Berlin was by far one of the best decisions Ive ever made. The 10 other students I traveled with have become my best friends; I wouldnt trade the experiences we had together for anything.

The Studienforum Berlin e.V. program itself was phenomenal. Whether we took a simple trip to a museum or traveled to the Czech Republic for a weekend in Prague, I was never disappointed with the experience. Each excursion planned by the program was well structured and not only educational, but fun.

If you have the opportunity to travel to Berlin through this program, I would not hesitate for a moment. It is with complete sincerity that I say my experiences in Berlin have changed me as a person for the better.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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I would just like to simply mention that...

I would just like to simply mention that Studienforum Berlin was a life changing experience that I believe everyone should enjoy and experience. As a result of the program, I was not only able to make friends from another college (most of the participants were from Nazareth College and I go to SUNY Buffalo), but I was also able to become friends with Germans living in Berlin (I still keep in contact with these people till today). Along with friendships, the program took us on trips to other cities (Prague, Dresden, etc.) and tours of Berlin. Also, all of the participants were able to receive internships for a couple of weeks near the end of the semester that was suited to thier major and liking. This internship is definitely a good resume builder and highly looked upon. I would like to thank the directors and participants of the program for making my stay in Berlin enjoyable. I highly encourage all those that have the opporunity to go experience this program to take advantage of the opportunity.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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The Berlin Study Abroad Program through Studienforum...

The Berlin Study Abroad Program through Studienforum Berlin, was the best and most educational time of my life. I would do it again in a heart beat. I would recommend this opportunity to anyone, German speaking or not, it doesn't matter. You not only learn the language, but a whole new culture and lifestyle which I think is very important. The host family I was put with were amazing. They treated me so kindly and would do anything for me. All of the faculty and staff were so caring for all of our needs, no matter what it was. I was able to make Berlin home, and I miss it very much.
I could never thank Studienforum Berlin enough for everything they did for me and all of the students. They are the most generous and caring people I have ever met.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Life Changing

The Berlin Residential Fall Semester Program is fantastic! I truly believe no matter who you are you will love this program. Berlin itself has many things to offer. If you're thinking about it.. it's defiantly worth it! *warning: program may give you the travel bug*

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Go

Studying abroad changed my life.
I learned things about myself that I never expected would change.
I was challenged in ways that I never thought I would experience.
I had my eyes opened wide to another life on the other side of the ocean.

Whether it is through this program or another one, if you have the chance, you need to take it and study abroad. No matter what, make sure that you do it.

With that being said, let me tell you why you should choose this program:

1. Berlin has my heart. And you will fall in love with this city too. Do you like going to the park? Berlin is filled with parks (and peacocks if you know where to look). Do you love history? Berlin is filled with museums in every section of the city. I find Berlin to be the most historically interesting city in the world. Do you like music? Opportunities await you everywhere. From world-class orchestras at the Berlin Philharmonic to jazz artists in the basement of a bar, there is always something playing somewhere for anyone. Do you like partying? I do not party often, but if you do, I guarantee you will find a place to dance/drink/what have you until 6 in the morning and walk home to nearly see the sun rise (Because I did). Also note: In Berlin I felt completely safe as a 21 year old girl walking home alone. Do you like Christmas? Berliners and Germans in general know how to Christmas. By about the end of November there are Christmas markets everywhere in Berlin and they are usually open everyday, so if you love festivals, Berlin is the place to be. This list could go on for a very long time.

2. Dr. Jacobsen, the program director, and his program coordinators are amazing. If you ever need help with anything, they will go above and beyond to help you. They will take you on unforgettable trips. They have written into the program an entire week off from studying, so that you can travel and see more of Europe during your stay in Berlin! They will work their hardest to find you the best internship for your personal interests. I, a double major in Mathematics and German, had the opportunity to intern at a highly prestigious and respected research institute in the heart of the city, all because of Dr. Jacobsen and his staff's hard work and connections to organizations around the city. And I absolutely loved my internship. Through no other program will you find such dedicated, helpful people and the grand opportunity of an internship that will teach you so much about yourself and your career interests. This list could also go on for a very long time.

I could write a doctoral's thesis on why you should apply for this program, but you don't want to read that much writing. Simply put, just go. Go on this program. I have no regrets about going on this program. Everyone who comes home after this program speaks about it afterwards with stars in their eyes. The same will happen to you if you decide to go too.

Do not hesitate to ask them questions. They will love to hear from you. And it is important that you ask them anything that is on your heart.

I love Berlin. Go.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best decision ever

One of the best choices I made. Being able to travel and study in Berlin through Studienforum was simply amazing experience. Everyone involved in the program goes beyond expectations and the program coordinators made this program goes very smoothly.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

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Zurückblicken

When I first mention my latest study abroad experience, the question I get most is, "Why Berlin?" I never really know quite how to answer. Why did I choose Berlin? I was a French and Political Science double major. I got into French because my family happens to have French Canadian heritage, because I happen to live on the Canadian border, because it happened to be one of the two languages my high school offered. Interest in French brought me to study in Belgium in high school, so I suppose that Berlin came along in a similar way. It just happened.

I had always had an interest in learning both French and German- both are part of my heritage. French was more possible, so that was the path I followed first. But when I had the opportunity to take a German class while studying in Belgium my senior year of high school, I jumped at it. I continued to take classes at Nazareth and having already been abroad, I couldn't wait to go again. I originally wanted to study for a year in Germany, but Nazareth just happened to have this program, all credits happened to transfer, I happened to be too lazy to go through another program, and....well, I ended up in Nazareth's Berlin semester program.

A lot of things changed from what I had expected of the program. I had the highest level of German in the group and as I was planning to pursue a minor in German, I hoped to meet German students and really immerse myself in the language. I didn't quite realize how much time we really spend with the other Nazareth students in the program, especially at the beginning. What I realized even less was what a difference that would make in my semester. I ended up making some really good friends in my fellow Nazareth students and, although I never did meet many German friends, I had an absolutely wonderful host mother with whom I only spoke German and I was the only Naz student in my German class at Die Neue Schule and there too we only spoke German. I also opted out of the internship and continued class the entire semester instead. I ended up taking the B2 level exam and passed. That opens up an option to later study in a German university.

As I say, a lot of things changed for me. My German ended up getting to be quite good, though in a different way than I had expected. Taking classes all semester (without a break) meant that I didn't travel as I had planned to, but instead I ended up discovering more of Berlin. Because of the classes, I decided to declare a major in German rather than just a minor. And, as I've said, spending time with my fellow students meant that I have friends to return to Nazareth with.

This is an excellent program especially for those who have not studied abroad before (and even for those who have). There are so many opportunities in Berlin, and sometimes it seems like there are too many. Just don't wait for the opportunities to be handed to you, you do have to go out and find some yourself.

The program is very welcoming and does a good job acclimating students to the new culture while keeping some customs from home. The only thing I would ever add (and this is coming from a language major, so I'm definitely biased) is more German language classes. While it is possible to survive in Berlin with just English, having even a passable knowledge of German makes the experience that much better.

Thanks again, Studienforum. I'll be back to Berlin someday.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

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An Experience I Never Expected

Originally, I wasn't going to study abroad in Berlin, I was wishing to go to Florence instead, I'd actually already taken two semesters of Italian in preparation. That plan fell through and I thought I wasn't going to go abroad at all during my four years of college. But around March, I stumbled into Dr. Hopkins office and was convinced into making the best snap decision I've made thus far. Going to Berlin.
Berlin wasn't what I expected. If you want easy classes to breeze by in without paying attention, this isn't for you. If you want to be immediately hit in the face by beautiful old architecture and, this may not be for you either. You have to dig for the culture in Berlin, it's there all around you, but it is up to you whether you will grasp onto it or not, whether you will let more of it sink into you while you're there or not.
The Berlin program is an experience that you have to work at. You may not walk out your door every morning and think what a different beautiful place you are in. Sometimes you will be annoyed because your bus is 20 minutes late, sometimes your class will go on longer than expected and you will sit stewing in your seat, and sometimes you'll look up and think you are in a normal city, but never be fooled, you are not.
The classes that I took in Berlin only reinforced my questions, and my desire to explore the city and pick my host mom's brain. History was literally lived by people everyday. Stereotypes still existed between east and west Berliners, two cultures emerged after the wall, host family's parents had possibly fought in World War II. How amazing to see these things yourself. How history actually collided with reality in front of your eyes, if you let it.
I visited Florence on my break in October and though it was one of my favorite cities, I left with a smile on my face, not because it was lovely, though it was, but because I was glad I hadn't studied there. Though culture hits you in the face there, I loved the underground, magnetic beauty of Berlin. I loved how history was evident in a different way, the good and the bad.
Though I'm probably rambling on as I tend to once I get going on this topic, it's all for one purpose: to convey my deep gratitude to the program for being in existence, to my hose family for making me feel at home, and to Berlin: for not being a place that always comes easily to people, for giving me that feeling of being awe-stricken, and for teaching me things that I never expected, and wouldn't have if I had not been open to learning them. Every person gets something different out of an experience like this one. It all depends on what you let yourself open to, what you want out of it, and who you are or intend to be. I hope that I have grown from this experience and that I will be back one day to Berlin.

Living Situation:
I have to add a section under this because I had the most amazing host family ever. I couldn't gush enough about my host mom. She was always willing to help whether it was trying to reduce my fine for having a one day expired S-bahn ticket (got it reduced from 40 to 7 euros because of her letter), driving me to the airport at any hour I needed, or bringing me snacks and tea in bed when I was ill, she really made a home away from home for me.

Cultural Immersion:
Cultural immersion is something I fully believe has more to do with the person than the place. I did a lot of travelling while I was in the program. I traveled to four different countries outside of Germany besides those set up by the program and if there is one thing I learned, it's that you make your own experience. Where you go and what you decide to do defines what kind of cultural immersion there will be. If you decide not to learn from your host family, that's your prerogative, if you decide not to go out into the city, talk to people, find out where to go, ask questions, be curious, and study the city, that is your choice. I found it sometimes difficult to get the cultural experiences I wanted out of Berlin, but that was mostly because I didn't know where to go or wasn't asking enough questions. It was on me, not on Berlin. The more time that I stayed there and the more culture I observed and was a part of, the more I learned this. Time and what you're willing to do are some of the biggest factors in cultural immersion. Immerse yourself.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Go for it.

Like most things in life, what you put into studying abroad directly correlates with what you get out of it. The program is set up to provide you with enough structure to keep things moving (excursions, dinners, concerts), and enough freedom to allow you to really make the experience your own. Balanced is a good word.

It was easily the busiest semester I've taken so far, but I loved every second of it! The value of the program extends far beyond the books and the classes, this sort of experience simply can't be replicated at home. It really "adds to you" as a person, in a way. Tough to describe, but when you go there and back, the changes become apparent.

The Studienforum staff are delightful, and pleasant to work with, and throw such nice dinner parties. Berlin is a fantastic city as well, I'll fondly remember my time there. I loved the program, I truly hope it continues for the sake of the students.