University: Boston University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
About a year before my planned semester abroad, I started researching intensively about study opportunities abroad. Since I really wanted to go to an English-speaking country to improve my English, Great Britain was too close and Australia too far away, my search was quickly narrowed down to the USA. I’ve been to the West Coast before, so I thought I’d head to the East Coast and came across Boston University (BU) on MicroEdu while looking for suitable colleges. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see University of South Australia.
My first step after deciding on the BU was to register for the TOFEL test, which was a prerequisite for acceptance. At the same time, I started organizing all the documents for the application (around mid-summer 2018). MicroEdu was a great help with this. Whenever I had questions, I was helped reliably and promptly. I sent off my application at the end of August and was accepted at the end of October. As soon as I was accepted, I applied for the visa in Frankfurt and received it in early December, a month before I left for Boston. Overall, my application phase went smoothly and most of the work was actually compiling the application documents.
When I told my friends and family that I was going to Boston for the semester abroad, the first reaction was usually “What about winter? Isn’t it freezing cold there?” After five months of experience I can confirm, yes winter in Boston is bloody cold! But the other internationals and I didn’t let that stop us. Boston is an incredibly great city, which is also worthwhile in winter. And if you get bored in Boston, New York is only a four-hour bus ride away.
Studying at the BU
I was lucky enough to only have to get 25 credits in Boston for my German degree, which means I only had to take three courses at the BU. Since the MET program is aimed at professionals as well as international students, most of my courses were in the afternoon.
The course level varied greatly from course to course, but I felt it was below the German standard, but a lot was expected in terms of diligence (homework, exams, presentations). Even if it was sometimes less “demanding” than at home, I took a lot with me due to the strong practical orientation (we did many case studies).
The basic course of study went well. The entire study visit was clearly structured. My only criticism is that the BU and especially the MET program could have done more to integrate the international students. Although BU has many international students, more could have been done to bring them together.
Living in Boston
For my five-month stay in Boston, I lived in the BU’s dorm. All Internationals live in the same dorm on the Fenway Campus. Although Fenway campus is farther from Central campus (20 minute walk), the Boston location is ideal. Within minutes you are at the T station downtown and the neighborhood itself is home to Red Sox Stadium, as well as numerous restaurants and bars. I shared my room in the dormitory with a very nice roommate and for the limited time the shared bathrooms were fine.
With on-campus housing, you are automatically part of the meal plan. This means that you eat in the canteens and restaurants of the BU. The food is really great. There is plenty of choice and, above all, many healthy menus. Even if the hall of residence is expensive (sometimes even more expensive than an apartment), I would definitely do it again and recommend it to everyone. You make friends faster and spend every free minute in company. In addition, you live so close to the city center, where life is otherwise too expensive for students.
Free time and friends
From day one I felt comfortable in Boston and especially with the people I studied with at BU. I had a great mix of international and American friends with whom I spent almost all of my free time. Since I only had a few German acquaintances, I actually spoke English for most of the semester abroad. Since I only had uni on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, I used almost every weekend to travel. I’ve been to New York, Toronto, Seattle, Vancouver and numerous small coastal towns around Boston with my friends.
A semester abroad in the USA and especially in Boston is expensive. In addition to tuition fees, housing and insurance, the cost of living is a cost factor (Boston is one of the three most expensive cities in the USA). At least I had the right not only to study abroad, but also to experience something and unfortunately that is usually expensive in the USA. I therefore advise against Boston for anyone who wants to do an inexpensive semester abroad.