University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Study type: Summer Sessions
Shortly after my studies, I toyed with the idea of going abroad again. However, the stay abroad should not be longer than one semester. The MicroEdu website came in handy for me to find out more about the concept of the summer session. Since I was looking for a university in an English-speaking country, only universities in England, Canada or the USA came into question. Ultimately, I chose Boston University because I was impressed by the comprehensive range of courses, the location and the history of the city. Check liuxers.com to see UTS study abroad opportunities.
I found out about the summer session program at relatively short notice, so I sent my application documents to MicroEdu at the end of March. At Boston University, I decided to take a course at the College of Communication that was to start in mid-May and was therefore one of the part-time students. Since, as a part-time student, I didn’t need a student visa, a TOEFL test or proof of sufficient financial resources, the application process was relatively easy considering the short time. My thanks also go to Annika’s comprehensive advice, who helped me with even the smallest questions. However, one should note the vaccination requirements of Boston University, as these can take some time (hepatitis vaccination, etc.).
Once I was registered at Boston University and got my U-Number, I was able to apply for housing. For this I had to fill out the Summer Assignment Interests Form, the Summer Residence License Agreement and enclose a check. The processing time of the check at the bank should not be underestimated, as this can take some time! In the documents for the application you can choose different types of housing. I opted for a dormitory-style apartment and attended the university’s compulsory dining schedule. Since the dormitory-style apartments do not have a very small kitchen in the basement, you have to decide between 10, 14 or 19 meals a week. I opted for the 10 plus meals option. For me it was enough. Initially, the dining options in the Dinning Hall seemed very extensive. However, in the end I was glad not to have chosen the full board of 19 meals a week, so that I could have other food on my plate. 😉
I arrived in Boston about a week before the start of the summer session and took care of all the organizational things for the first few days. Everything was very relaxed, I reported to the ISSO, had my Terrier Card made and the university e-mail account set up (including access to W-Lan). Don’t forget to pay for the accommodation – everything was ready.
On Monday, the first day of the summer session, all students were able to move into their accommodation, the seminars only started on the Tuesday after that. The day of moving in was very unusual and stressful. You had to go to the Towers, where the Summer Residence Office was, and wait to move in until the house/apartment in question was ready to move into. Since the rooms were all cleaned beforehand and the BU students had to move out of their rooms and into new rooms, the process of moving into the room was a bit stressful. Many people were waiting for their rooms and there was constant coming and going of students. All in all it was an interesting experience in my new American college life.
Since I received an e-mail with my address from the Summer Residence Office a week before moving into my room, I already knew where I would be staying. However, when I moved into my dorm and entered the house, I was very impressed – a beautiful old, typical Boston, brownstone house with an imposing entrance! The rooms are furnished with a chest of drawers, a small desk with a chair and a bed frame with a mattress (bring your own bedding or buy it!). Very spartan, but perfectly adequate for the 6 weeks. My summer session could begin!
My course at the College of Communication started on Wednesday, which is only a 3-minute walk from my dorm thanks to on-campus living. Since I was attending an undergraduate course, it wasn’t particularly difficult. But when I heard the cost of the four books I needed for the course, I was shocked. All in all it should cost $400. I agreed with the lecturer and only bought the main work for the course. Of course you can buy the books at Barnes & Nobles on campus (convenience points are accepted everywhere on campus – at Barnes & Nobles, Starbucks, Subway etc.), but Barnes & Nobles is very overpriced. So I decided to order my book through Amazon and have it delivered to my inbox – the book was a whopping $30 cheaper on Amazon and it arrived 2 days after ordering!
The Boston University campus is really beautiful, well-kept and walkable. Dinning Hall, Fitness Center, Libraries, George Sherman Union with Bank, BU Police – it’s all there. There are many small parks on campus, but the place ‘BU Beach’ should not be taken too literally;o).
The city of Boston has a unique flair, with all the beautiful brownstones, the harbor, the oldest subway in the USA and the high-quality educational institutions. The city is not too big and not too small, just right to feel very comfortable. A visit to the Berkeley Perk Café (69 Berkeley St) is highly recommended if you want a change from the university meals. The café has a nice atmosphere, far away from franchise restaurants, you can feel real American everyday life. The service is very good, the offer and the prices are very fair.
Also recommended is the bar Dugout Café (722 Commonwealth Ave) directly on campus. Each soft drink is $1 and long drinks are also very cheap + free popcorn.
If you choose to live on-campus, be sure to catch a Red Sox game as Fenway Baseball Stadium is just around the corner.
Boston/Revere also has a beautiful beach with very fine sand. There’s nothing better to do on a hot day, unless of course you have a course, than take the blue line of the T to Revere Beach/Wonderland and lie down on the beach and go for a swim.
Despite the slightly higher costs, I can recommend the Summer Session at Boston University to everyone. Boston is a great city, Boston University offers great service, brushing up on the language and meeting new people – I really enjoyed it all. In the sense: Have a good one!