PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

Berlin Residential Fall Semester Program
Studienforum Berlin e.V. Header Image Studienforum Berlin e.V. Header Image

Berlin Residential Fall Semester Program

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Awesome time in Berlin

I had a great time in this program and learned so much. It was a great learning experience and cultural experience that is not going to be forgotten. I had a great time in the program and it should continue to be a great program.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    2

Abroad in Berlin

This program was really unique! We lived with host families assigned to us by the program, which wasn't a perfect match but worked. They then had you attend German courses which I would have preferred to continue since I knew no German before arriving in Berlin (And I had been told it was ok because most people also speak English but I had a hard time finding people who spoke English). We also chose from a list of classes and took three total. This was just the right amount of work for also being abroad. The classes were long but worth having once a week. The program provided opportunities for group travel throughout Germany and to Prague as well as a day trip to Poland (which would have been nice to make into an overnight trip). There was time to travel on the weekends on your own accord. Overall the experience was great! The student coordinator was excellent, friendly and helpful and the program did their best to be there for you! I appreciated everything very much

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Don't pass this up!

I can honestly say this program was a life-changing experience and gave me a new outlook on the other side of the world. Learning German, walking all over Berlin to see historical sights, an excursion to a different cities every other weekend, healthy eco friendly delicious food, an efficient transit system that you can rely on, host families that not only take care of you but also treat you like family, and once its all over it feels like a dream that you want to keep on reliving. If you have an opportunity to go to Berlin take it. Its a real game changer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Incredible

It open my eyes to a different way of thinking/living. Not only did I learn about the history of Berlin but I got to walk around to the actual places history took place. Not only did I read about German literature, such as plays, but I got to visit places where they were first performed. Not only did I get to learn about the environmentally conscious actions Berlin takes to reduce pollution but I got to be a part of it as well. This experience made me proactive and want to try and open other people's minds back home to what I have learned.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    7

A semester well-worth it

Organization and Helpfulness: Beginning from the first day everyone involved with the program was more than helpful. As I arrived at the airport a representative was waiting to drive me personally to my host family. From there I was given my first German meal and realized very quickly that I was never going to go hungry. That first week was very casual with a walking tour and a Planned trip to Dresden. It was a lot to take in, but was planned effectively and had almost a casual feel to it. I was always told well in advance of where and when I needed to be someplace. On top of this the program was always willing and ready to help me whenever the help was needed.

Safety: I never felt scared or threatened in Berlin even during the nighttime. I can remember walking home from an event or a friend's place and feeling completely safe. Berlin in and of itself is also a very clean city, often you’ll see people walking down the street and picking up trash that did not belong to themselves, nonetheless they pick it up because they believe in bettering their city. Berlin is also a city full of greenery; around every corner you will find a park or a garden.

Living expenses: The most expensive thing that you will ever have to pay for is the transportation pass. However, this will cover all transportation for all of Berlin and very quickly you will discover that it is worth it. As for food, compared to other major European cities eating out is very cheap. But really with the program’s agreement with the families you don’t really have to worry about the meals except perhaps lunch. Personally I had a bonus living with a chef. Each day I was greeted with different foods that I had never experienced before coming to Berlin.

Language: Before this program I had not taken any German courses but I felt that I was really able to dive into the language with this program. I felt that as for an English speaker it was quite simple to pick up and understand. I personally never felt too lost. As for the classes I found them all to be well coordinated and entertaining.

Excursions and field trips: I can't even begin to choose between my favorite. Each and every one was thought through and allowed insight on both the history and the culture of Germany as well as other surrounding countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic. Each and every city had it's own character and life to it. I never felt like I was repeating trips.

Internship: At the end of the semester, the school creates a specialized internship relating to your career. For me I am a History major and was given an internship working with an online database working with primary sources. This experience is something that has helped shape my future career.

Relation to my career: Studying abroad in Berlin gave me the ability to experience History as I never have before. Taking into consideration all of the trips, language skills, interactions with people of a different culture, and overall life in a foreign country, I have gained a new perspective on what it means to understand history. It’s not about learning facts and dates in the past, but about how these facts and dates effect how people live their daily lives in the present.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

I'm ready to go back!

My major and minor requirements have left me with a very strict schedule. The Berlin Residential Program fit perfectly into the fall semester of my junior year. It's a big decision, but I wouldn't change a single thing about the choice I made. My host family was fantastic-I still stay in touch with them and they have welcomed me back to their home any time I would like. The classes were focused on Berlin, so we were able to learn material and then go see it for ourselves. We received plenty of free time and also many excursions that, for me, were some of the best times. I would do this program a hundred times over. I love everything about Berlin; its safe, friendly, easy to get around, and cheap :) I also gained the best experience I could've imagined from my internship in a hospital. If you're on the fence, GO, there aren't many opportunities like this one and there is no place like Berlin.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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

7/ 10

  • Academics

    4

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    8

Costly, but worth it if you know what you're doing.

I argue that study abroad programs are a vital part of the college experience and are effective in shaping open-mindedness--a necessity for a GOOD liberal arts education. Yet, would I pay such exorbitant fees to have a great experience? I would, and did, but your answer may differ.

Here are the highlights of this program so as to sway your decision:

1. Berlin. HELLO! It's Berlin people. You stay in this amazing international city for 3 and a half months. Spend your free time wisely and you will become well-acquainted with both German culture and Berliner culture (the two are vastly different in many regards). It's the best of both worlds, but here's the rub: if you don't know what you're doing in Berlin, then stay home because it will be a waste of your time and money. And it will be a waste of time for the program directors who work tirelessly to plan every detail so that even the simple act of getting a workable phone in Germany is taken care of. If you've ever travelled internationally, you know that it is the simple things that are the most difficult to manage. Studiumforum takes care of those details so you can enjoy the freedom of learning and engaging with a beautiful new culture. If you want to know more about Berlin, its traditions and culture, then go because I simply can't describe it well enough in a short review.

2. You can get by with English only. You shouldn't, but you can.

3. Excursions provide the historical context that you need to understand such a complex city. Each excursion is related to your courses and VERY relevant to your experiences, right from the language down to the doner. These day or weekend long excursions are informative and provide a little free time to explore new areas of Germany. You will pay thousands more for these trips as a tourist and simply will not get the closeness that you do via this program.

4. Networking. The program director opens up his connections and throws you opportunities, seemingly out of thin air. During the last month or so of your stay, you will intern somewhere, doing something. The possibilities are endless: from Opera houses to Human Rights Institutions. If you're smart (which you are since you decided to continue reading my hastily made review) you will take advantage of the opportunities that the internship provides. Oh, and outside of the internship right? Every situation is a networking opportunity, but you know this.

Convinced?

Study abroad programs instill something that every honest teacher strives for, well-rounded thinking. You are forced to accept new rules and values that will conflict with your own, no matter how simple or how grand. In terms of good study abroad programs, I'd say this one is close to the top, at least, from my own experience. Again, just remember to weigh your options. Is it worth the money? Well, if you're already paying thousands of dollars on tuition (if you're a NAZ student, this program is the same price as your tuition + housing, sorry commuters) then why not?

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & 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 & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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 & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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 & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    7

Very rewarding summer in Berlin.

Wonderful summer full of experiences I would have never gotten to experience. Berlin is a wonderful place to study abroad, however it can be overwhelming and Studienforum offers a wonderful support system so one can get the best out of the experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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 & Safety

    9

  • Community

    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

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

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

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

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 & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    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

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Excellent Program

I had a great time throughout the program and learned so much about the city and German culture. The program was very professional and ran smoothly. It was okay that I had only a little prior knowledge in German language, however, I would suggest learning as much as you can before to make your experience even better. Overall one of the best experiences of my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

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

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

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.