University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: literary studies
Study type: Summer Sessions
I’m studying English to become a teacher and was in Boston for a summer session to improve my English a bit just before the exam. I chose Boston University because the summer sessions were simply the best. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see University of Otago.
Registration and organizational matters
With the help of MicroEdu, the application was really completely unproblematic and easy. Every little question I had was answered immediately and I felt well prepared before I flew!
But there was quite a lot of bureaucracy there on site. You had to report to numerous offices and fill out papers. (One tip: make sure you get the vaccinations you need in good time. I had them, but not when I sent my application, which is why the health authorities got on my roof for the first few weeks there, and they didn’t really care about my German vaccination card agreed).
But once you’ve done everything, it’s really no longer a problem and the people there (from the Summer Session office) are really all very nice and helpful!
During the summer many courses are only very small. I attended a literature writing class where there were only four of us! That was good, of course, because we always discussed and wrote a lot, so it didn’t matter that there wasn’t a single American in my course (mainly Asians). My teacher was also very friendly and helpful. You could always come to her before or after class if you had questions or make an appointment with a tutor who helped you with the essays. You were definitely taken care of more here than is the case at German universities!
All in all, I would say that you have to be pretty diligent, because you get a lot of homework for each lesson, but the course content is not soooo demanding (in contrast to German university courses) that you cannot master it.
I lived in the students residence for the six weeks. The location was really really top; I was at my university in about 2 minutes. Otherwise there were really cute houses with beautiful (usually quite large) rooms. I only had to share the bathroom with my Roomy and one other girl – so we almost never got in each other’s way. In addition, the bathrooms were cleaned every day and were therefore much cleaner than I am used to in other student residences! The only thing I missed was the much praised wifi, which didn’t work in our room. So better bring a (long) network cable with you!
When the weather is good it gets really unbelievably warm in the rooms, especially if you live on the fourth floor like me. But other than that, it’s really, really good to live there!
What was also surprisingly good was the food (you MUST include the meal plan if you live in the dorms). The food isn’t that varied over the summer, but it was really always very good (sometimes also healthy : -) )..definitely better than in my German canteen.
Something that no one could tell me beforehand and that was really annoying is that there is no bedding in the dorm. That means we had to start walking late in the evening after the strenuous flight to buy blankets and pillows somewhere. So it’s best to bring your own, or think of a second suitcase (somehow you have to take the stuff home with you!).
Boston really is one of the prettiest American cities I’ve ever been to. It’s not as stressful and crowded as New York, for example, but rather a bit relaxed. But it still offers a lot. You can do a lot of sightseeing and visit the many museums, but there is always something going on in the pubs and clubs in the evenings. The only downside: The last T (public transportation) actually leaves at half past midnight! Many excursions in the area or to New York or the Niagra Falls are also possible.
If you like shopping, you MUST go to Newbury Street, that’s where I left most of my money. : -)
Which brings me to the costs. It was really quite expensive. But that’s the way it is at American universities. The courses cost a lot of money! The cost of living on site can certainly be kept within reasonable limits, after all, if you live in a dorm, your food is included. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t see the canteen food (even if it was good) after a few weeks..) Otherwise, Boston isn’t exactly a ‘cheap’ city either.
All in all it was a super nice time. I met a lot of nice people, I enjoyed my course and I really, really liked the city of Boston. Really recommended for everyone!