Studienforum Berlin e.V. Participant Reviews
Wonderful internship in Berlin!
Submitted by Fiona - University of Pittsburgh | August 11, 2017
I am so grateful for Studienforum Berlin's dedication to finding an internship tailored to each student's interests; the placement I received this summer was so fitting! In the months leading up to the internship, Studienforum Berlin's staff was in constant communication with me--updating me with new information, responding quickly to emails, being eager to answer all questions, and going above and beyond anything I could have expected. This individual consideration continued throughout my time in Berlin. The organization is very personal, and I am thankful for the many friendly interactions I had with the staff. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for internship and housing placement in Berlin.
Abroad in Berlin 2017
Submitted by Brian Harris - Mississippi State University | August 08, 2017
I had a great experience! I've met so many cool people, I've gotten to visit 12 cities within 10 weeks, and I even managed to receive a C1 certificate that will allow me to study and work in Germany. The program was great. I just wished that I could've gotten the weekend travel excursion itineraries a little bit earlier. I also felt quite overwhelmed with all of the daily excursions. They were well worth the experience, but I couldn't balance school work and studying because I was always so exhausted after the daily excursions. I just always felt like I was on the go, and that there was never any time to relax. However, all of the excursions were great! The program was well organized, and the Studienforum Berlin's staff is amazing.
Awesome time in Berlin
Submitted by Tanisha Gilbert - Nazareth College | January 11, 2017
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.
Abroad in Berlin
Submitted by Emma - Nazareth College | January 11, 2017
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
Don't pass this up!
Submitted by Demitri R. Payne - Nazareth College | January 11, 2017
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.
Submitted by Faith - Nazareth College | January 11, 2017
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.
A semester well-worth it
Submitted by Robert Warren - Nazareth College of Rochester | January 11, 2017
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.
I'm ready to go back!
Submitted by Alexis Bell - Nazareth College | January 09, 2017
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.
Submitted by Carrie - Nazareth College | January 13, 2016
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*
Costly, but worth it if you know what you're doing.
Submitted by Ethan K. - Nazareth College | December 17, 2015
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.
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?