University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
General information about Boston / USA
Boston is located on the east coast of the USA in the state of Massachusetts. The climate is comparable to the temperatures in Germany, only much more extreme. This means that it is hot for a very long time in summer and that winter definitely lasts until the end of March and is associated with a lot of snowfall. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see University of California Irvine.
I spent my winter semester in Boston, which I think is nicer because the long summer meant I was able to lie on the beach in Boston in early October with temperatures of over 20 degrees.
The city itself is very European compared to other American cities, beautiful and walking distance to all attractions. Even though the subway system is one of the oldest in North America and is not very fast, you don’t need a car to get to the university or downtown.
The Charles River flows through Boston (also directly at Boston University) and it is located directly on the sea.
Boston University is located in central Boston on Commonwealth Avenue. The university buildings and the various colleges are spread out along this street, which is about 3 km long. The buildings are very impressive and mostly built in the traditional New England style (like almost all buildings in Boston) with a very modern interior. With almost 30,000 students, the university is divided into several colleges, which is comparable to the different faculties of German universities. For example, there is the School of Management for business students and the College of Engineering for engineering students and so forth. However, students are allowed to choose different courses at each of the 21 colleges, depending on their interests and chosen focus.
As far as I know, it is only possible to take courses at the Metropolitan College via the exchange program with MicroEdu, which is intended for professionals and international students. The Metropolitan College offers a selection of courses from several fields, such as business administration, foreign languages, IT and so forth. However, the selection is very limited compared to the other colleges. As a business student, I found that very unfortunate, because the School of Management and its courses have an exceptionally good reputation and a different quality than the courses at the Metropolitan College. However, it also has an advantage, because since you only have courses together with other internationals and some professionals, I think the grading is not as strict as at the other colleges.
In addition to huge libraries and numerous food courts, there is a large Fitness & Recreation Center, which consists of a multi-story gym, indoor swimming pool, basketball courts and climbing walls. The use is included in the tuition fees, as well as sports courses that you can take part in. The range of sports courses could hardly be larger, from sailing, marathon preparation, swimming, dancing, fat burning, golf and tennis, everything is included. However, if you want to participate in these sports courses, it is like taking a regular university course, which means you have to be present and this course will appear in the transcript as passed or failed. If you miss up to two times or take catch-up lessons, you will pass these courses without any problems.
There are opportunities to take part in various initiatives, to go on excursions or to get in touch with Americans.
Additionally, through the Student Activities initiative, you can get discounts on Red Sox games, movies, theater and ballet performances, or even attend the Boston Symphony Orchestra for free.
Business Strategy (Mr Silvia)
I can unreservedly recommend the course with Mr. Silvia. I myself chose this course based on a recommendation from a student who had been in Boston a year earlier. The course is about working on business case studies and thus you can gain experience in the field of strategic consulting. You have to do a lot for the course and submit a lot of papers and reports in addition to a final project, but at least it doesn’t get boring with this lecturer.
Basic Statistics & Probability (Mr Gangopadhyay)
If you want to gain a general insight into the field of statistics, this course is very helpful. Even students who are not number experts can get good grades in this course, as the lecturer is very careful that everyone understands the content.
Advertising (Mr. Harding)
A very nice lecturer, but I think he’s been too many years out of ‘professional life’ to really learn anything. You’re sure to get a good grade from him.
International Business Management (Mr. Lee)
Definitely not recommended as the course is very boring and the lecturer speaks worse English than the Internationals.
Life in Boston
Living in Boston is nothing like living in other major cities. Even if you are right in the center of the metropolis, it never feels like it, because there are so many green spaces, parks, beautiful buildings, the Charles River and everything is very clean.
The city can be explored on foot, with the “Freedom Trail” being the sightseeing route that connects all the major sights in Boston and where you get to know the charm of this city.
I would particularly recommend the Public Garden, the Italianate South End and canoeing on the Charles River. In the evening you should go to the Prudential shopping center and enjoy the view over the whole of Boston from the “Top of the Hub” bar.
Travel and Surroundings
Since you can see the times when choosing courses at Boston University, it was possible to schedule the courses so that you only have uni three or at most four days a week. So you have enough time to explore Boston and the surrounding area.
In the summer, at least one day trip to Cape Cod is a must, a peninsula with great beaches and many small fishing towns just a few hours from Boston. But the beaches in Boston, such as Revere Beach, are also recommended.
When late fall and Indian summer arrives, New England is very beautiful, especially in the parks of Boston, Vermont and New Hampshire.
New York (4 hours away by bus), Montreal (7 hours by bus or 1 hour by plane) are also impressive destinations in the area.
When it came to housing in Boston, there were only two alternatives for me: this
ESL Townhouse or On-Campus Living. It is not recommended to look for an apartment in advance on the Internet without having seen it, such as on the Craigslist website.
I decided to stay at the ESL Townhouse because I had read previous reviews that the apartment could be booked in advance over the internet and that ESL is a large, reputable language school provider. If you live on campus you will not have the option to book a single room, you will be sharing a small room with at least one other person that is not of a good standard. Even if the apartments in the ESL Townhouse were already very worn and partly outdated, it was perfectly adequate for a semester.
During the application and preparation for my semester abroad, Katharina Freitag was always very helpful. I received precise information about when I had to submit which documents, so I never felt lost. I was always able to get help quickly with other questions about Boston and the university.
In summary, I can say that Boston is definitely the most beautiful city in all of North America because you live in the middle of a huge city and are still surrounded by nature. Boston University is a great university and thanks to the many other international exchange students, you quickly make friends from day one. Even if some of the courses are very work-intensive, I would always go to Boston again.