University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: English / American Studies, Linguistics
Study type: Summer Sessions
Since I’m also studying English to become a teacher in addition to biology, I’ve always wanted to spend some time abroad, primarily to improve my language skills. Due to the fact that at my home university a stay abroad of at least 6 weeks is obligatory for English students and I also needed 3 courses to complete my bachelor’s degree, I decided in autumn of last year 2008 to complete my missing courses, my obligatory stay abroad and combine my desire to go abroad for a while. Because of this, I kept an eye out for universities whose summer semester roughly corresponds to our summer semester. Check liuxers.com to see JCU study abroad opportunities.
With the help of MicroEdu’s great range of universities, I then clicked through the various universities and looked at which of them offered courses in the fields of American literature/culture and linguistics. Since I wanted to go to the East Coast anyway and a friend also said that Boston is really beautiful, I quickly decided on Boston. Registration at the BU then runs really quickly with the application forms from MicroEdu. I also had my vaccinations refreshed and supplemented quickly in January, so that I no longer had to worry about them in Boston. Since I spent both summer sessions at Boston University and attended four courses, I needed an F-1 student visa. To get this you have to take your I-20 to the American consulate in Frankfurt, Berlin or Munich. But this is not a problem at all if you always pay close attention to all of MicroEdu’s explanations. They explain exactly how everything works. : -)
In May we finally went to Boston. Since I wanted to settle in a bit and because I was living with a host family I wasn’t tied to moving in the housing at short notice, I flew to Boston a week before the start of university. This allowed me to stop by the International Students and Scholars Office in peace, look for my course rooms and buy my books. You can buy the books used, for example, in Barnes & Noble, which is close to the university, although I noticed in the second summer term that a comparison with Amazon is still worthwhile. However, all of these routes before Unistart do not really take much time, so you can easily do it in a single day. Especially since most of the Summer Session students weren’t there yet, but everything went a little faster for me than on the day when all the students moved into their dormitories. If you don’t know where to go, that’s not a problem either, the people at the university are all very friendly and helpful.
As already mentioned, I took 4 courses (“Reading the American Rebel”, “Introduction to Language and Linguistics”, “The American Family”, “Linguistic Approaches to Literature”), 2 per summer session, at the BU, which was great, of course expensive, but definitely worth it. The course numbers indicate which year the courses are suitable for. However, I have to say that somewhat higher courses are also feasible. I also did two courses from the high 500s (for advanced undergraduate and graduate students) and got along well. So if you’re already in your last bachelor’s semester here, you can also choose advanced courses from the area. The literature course that I attended at the BU involved a lot of homework and a lot of reading, but that was precisely what really helped me personally. I’ve gotten a lot quicker when it comes to housework because there was simply no time, because the next one was always just around the corner : -). Overall, I would say that two courses per summer session are fine, but I would definitely not recommend more, you have a lot to do and you don’t just want to learn;-). In terms of difficulty, I would say that you can definitely get good grades in Boston with a little work. I found it particularly positive that the courses are all super small, in two courses we were only 10 students in the other two 17 and 18. In addition to my normal courses, I also took a tennis course in both summer sessions,
The only thing that perhaps didn’t go so well in relation to the university is that at the end of the first summer term I found out that not enough people had signed up for one of my courses in the second summer term. So this course was cancelled. However, I had the opportunity to choose another course, which I did, or else I would have gotten the money back for the canceled course.
I can’t really say much about housing and food because I lived with a host family. The only student room I saw was really neat and clean though. Personally, however, I would always live with a host family again. I got on really well with my host parents and my two host siblings, who were only a few years younger, and I think it was the everyday talking that really helped me. The disadvantage of living with a host family is, of course, that you don’t fall out of bed and into the university, so to speak. I had to take the T—as Boston’s subway is called—about 45 minutes to get to uni every day (a monthly MBTA pass costs $59, by the way), but I personally didn’t mind.
In addition to the university, there is also a lot to do in Boston. .JFirst of all, Boston is a really super beautiful city where, if you want, you can see a lot of culture, churches, museums, etc. However, since I’m not the daily museum visitor, I only visited a few of the numerous museums Boston is also great for shopping, there are several beaches within the city (although I would recommend those a little further afield), and trips to Niagara Falls, New York and Washington are also possible. For example, a ticket on Peter Pan (bus company that runs several times a day from Boston South Station) costs $36 return.
In summary, I would go to Boston again and again, it’s a great place to study abroad. It is very worthwhile and a great experience. The only downside is that it is very, very expensive. Nevertheless, for me personally every cent was worth it. Have fun and a great time to everyone who chooses Boston. : -)