University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: Summer Sessions
My decision to spend a semester abroad in Boston was made at the end of January. Thanks to the support of MicroEdu and the very transparent registration requirements of Boston University, I already had confirmation from the USA in mid-February that I would be able to participate in Summer Terms 1 and 2 for the courses “Leadership in Management” and “Competitive Strategies for Dynamic Environments “ am accepted and registered. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see University of New Brunswick Saint John.
Due to the early registration, there was enough time to take care of the further preparations for the US stay in Germany. Because the two courses were spread over a total of 12 weeks, the “tourist visa” was sufficient, and I was spared the additional trip to a US embassy and the cost of the visa. Nevertheless, I can recommend starting and planning the preparations early, especially the fulfillment of the vaccination requirements of the BU takes some time.
The somewhat outdated single apartment in BU-Housing was not a luxury accommodation, but with a few accessories from the nearby “bed, bath & beyond” it was almost comfortable and absolutely sufficient for a 3-month stay. The apartment consisted of a bathroom, a small hallway, a spacious main room and a small kitchen. With the exception of the furniture and kitchen appliances, the apartment is empty, which means that all everyday items (duvets, pillows, crockery, cutlery, etc.) must be brought with you or bought. The unbeatable advantage of BU housing is its proximity to the university (5 minutes on foot) and to the city center (15 minutes on foot or 7 minutes by train).
The courses at the BU were very international in my subjects, about 30% of the participants came from Asia, about 30% from Europe and about 40% from the USA or South America. This guaranteed interesting class discussions with very different perspectives on the topics. Both courses were very practice-oriented and characterized by a high proportion of discussions about case studies from well-known companies. Since each of these was a graduate course, the professors placed less value on purely imparting and querying theoretical content. Active participation and the representation of one’s own point of view were required – both in the classroom and in the weekly case studies, mid-term and final examinations.
The highlight of the “Leadership in Management” subject was the three-day stay at the Sargent Center, a camp for outdoor education at the BU. Here we had a lot of fun gaining experience in achieving common goals and leading an international group and finally testing our own limits in the high ropes course. All in all a great weekend, including a campfire and marshmallows, which in Germany is rarely found in a university curriculum.
In Summer Term 2, “Competitive Strategies for Dynamic Environments” was on the agenda. Here, based on case studies from the Harvard Business School, the competitive behavior of internationally renowned companies such as Wal-Mart, Porsche, Ikea and others was analyzed and discussed. Everything was very practice-oriented, the theoretical basics were only marginally introduced. In this subject, it was particularly exciting due to the international composition of the participants. the reasons for the failure of Wal-Mart in Germany are assessed very differently by Europeans, Asians and Americans…
I can recommend dividing the courses into 2 summer terms. Despite the appropriate preparation for the lesson dates and exams, there is still enough time and opportunity for the other offers of the BU. The university also offers a lot of culture in summer and an almost perfect infrastructure for a wide variety of sports. Courses specially tailored to the Summer Terms make it possible to get to know the usual sports such as climbing, golf, sailing and rowing. In addition, the Summer Term team around Yolanta offers good support in all situations and organizes joint events for students abroad.
But there is also a lot to discover in Boston and the surrounding area itself, the city center offers a lot of culture, but also a lot of relaxation and fun in the parks, on Newbury Street, on the Charles River and in the relevant restaurant and bar districts. There is a lot to experience. The Boston sports teams can be found on almost every corner in the city, with the Boston Bruins, the Boston Celtics, the New England Patriots and of course the Boston Red Sox you are represented in all sports with top teams. Summer is dominated by baseball and Fenway Park, the “home of the Boston Red Sox”, is in the immediate vicinity of the BU housing. You can hardly escape the “Red Sox nation”…
New York or the scenic destinations on Cape Cod and Maine are ideal for short weekend trips or between Summer Term 1 and 2.
I really enjoyed my time in Boston and at Boston University and I can wholeheartedly recommend the study abroad program despite the associated costs for the courses, teaching materials and accommodation.