University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: Summer Sessions
Period: 05/2019 to 06/2019
Hello everyone, my name is Ann-Pascale (25). I’ve spent the past few months in beautiful America as part of my summer term at Boston University. In the following I will tell you a little about my exciting and instructive time there. Check liuxers.com to see UNSW study abroad opportunities.
- Why I chose Boston
Boston as a city was totally attractive to me right from the start, because on the one hand Boston is pure America, but on the other hand it is very European and offers all the advantages of a student city . You quickly notice that there are a lot of students on site due to the many different colleges and universities in the city. For example, the famous Harvard University with its beautiful campus was only a few minutes’ walk away along the Charles River. In addition, Boston as a city has a lot to offer: historical with the Freedom Trail and the Boston Tea Party, but also with many restaurants that offer fantastic food for all tastes and invite you to go out. A special highlight in the city are the Roof top bars which offer a fantastic view over the entire newly developed waterfront. A little tip from me: I did a city tour with a local guide right at the beginning of Boston, who was able to show me the best spots in the city straight away. This way I immediately had a good orientation and an inner to-do list of what I still wanted to see in Boston over the following weeks.
- The choice of the Metropolitan College of Boston University
I took business courses at Metropolitan College, Boston University, as part of my final semester of my Masters in Business Administration . The Metropolitan College is one of the business schools of Boston University. It is particularly noted for its high percentage of international students. During my summer in Boston, it was estimated that around 80 percent of the students came from Asian countries. There was also a relatively large French community, as Boston University has a network with a number of French partner universities. The proportion of German students was relatively small, so that one was not too quickly tempted not to converse in English. Another benefit for me was the unexpected opportunity to improve my French with my new local friends. A small disadvantage, however, was the fact that the expectation of getting in contact with many actually American students could not be fulfilled. Anyone who strives for this should either choose another business school (e.g
The Boston University campus is equipped with high-tech equipment. There is free WiFi everywhere, plenty of seating and study options, a modern gym and good connections by train or the free university shuttle buses.
- My summer term courses at Boston University
Summer courses are generally designed for small groups of around 15-30 students. The American teaching concept differs greatly from German learning and is much more school-based. There are grades for oral participation, weekly assignments with written elaborations, oral presentations and a final exam, which then, in contrast to Germany, usually only accounts for 25 percent of the overall grade. The weekly workload is therefore usually significantly higher than in Germany, since the courses are otherwise held over an entire semester. I did the summer session with the aim of explicitly improving my soft skills. That’s why I have a leadership skills course and a Course on negotiation strategies taken. I know that no matter what job I choose to do later, it will definitely be relevant to be good at those areas. The summer session was therefore a great addition to my other professional skills, which I was able to achieve with my studies in Germany.
I particularly liked the “Negotiations and Organizational Conflict Resolution” course. The lecturer had a lot of experience in this area and had worked in different companies for a long time. He shared his own work experience with us in various cases, which I found very exciting. However, the level of the course turned out to be very high, since the lecturer, Vivek Marya, otherwise teaches at Harvard, among other places, and is therefore of a certain level. The course was very interesting because through role-playing we got into situations in which we had to resolve conflicts and learned different negotiation strategies that help us, especially in our professional lives, but also in our private lives.
I also took the Leadership in Management course. This course requires a mandatory trip to the Sargent Center for Outdoor Education on a pre-arranged weekend. This is a camp originally designed for women, which is now used by Boston University to teach team building and leadership qualifications in seminars. The Sargent Center is scenically located in the middle of the forest by a lake. We traveled together as a course by bus and stayed in wooden huts right on the water. Far away from civilization, we learned different team building strategies.We walked in the woods with GPS and compass, made campfires and tested our balance on different ropes. On the last day, the high ropes course was on the agenda, where I overcame my own limits despite my extreme fear of heights, only to be able to take a cable car across the forest at the end. The weekend was very nice, also to get in touch with the other students and to form friendships. I’m meeting some of the girls from my course in Zurich in a few months and I’m really looking forward to seeing them again. Such experiences weld together more than just learning in the classroom.
- Recreational Activities and the Boston University Summer Term Team
The Boston University Summer Term Team organizes numerous events during the summer months to make it easier for students to connect with each other. At the beginning of the summer session there was an onboarding day where we received all the information. Everything was very well structured and despite the many forms for visas and vaccination certificates, as international students we always had competent contact persons at our side. I also had a personal mentorby my side, who always helped me very quickly with all my questions. This structure and the fact that the Metropolitan College is used to a large number of international students helped me to get through the first organizational days relatively smoothly.
The Summer Term Office team organized interesting activities every weekend. For example, on Memorial Day we went to Boston Common for a picnic, a beautiful large park, went bowling in the evening or made a trip to SoWa, a recommended art and vintage market that takes place every Sunday. We also went kayaking on the Charles River, the Wrentham Shopping Outlet and watched the legendary Boston Red Sox baseball game at historic Fenway Park Stadium. I thought it was great that I quickly made contact with other international students thanks to the many offers. Because who doesn’t know it: Approaching strangers is never that easy at the beginning. I was able to try out activities in the group that I might not have done on my own. When I’ve been out on my own, I’ve mostly explored the best coffee roasters in Boston, as I’m a big coffee fan. I also signed up for a yoga studio for the time and did a whale watching tour. When choosing accommodation, you should make sure that you live as close to the university as possible so that you have short distances and can benefit from the wide range of student offers in the area. For example, I lived in an apartment with another roommate right next to a large park.
- Travel and Surroundings
I was very fortunate to have three weeks off before the Boston Summer Session started. I first flew to the west coast of America and traveled there from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Afterwards I was in New York for a few days. On the weekends I went to the leadership camp in New Hampshire, among other things. At the end of the trip, there was my personal highlight: driving the rental car to the beautiful peninsula of Cape Cod, where there were fantastic beaches and great bathing resorts. The six weeks flew by, so unfortunately I had to prioritize what I wanted to see. Friends of mine have also traveled to Niagara Falls or Washington DC. These destinations are still on my bucket list for the future, because one thing is certain: I will definitely come back to Boston again.
- Closing words
I would recommend a stay in Boston to anyone who is at least 21 years old. America is truly beautiful, but under 21s aren’t even allowed to go bowling in the evenings, which severely limits the flexibility and variety of activities you can do. If you also prefer the beach and hot temperatures, you should perhaps opt for the west coast of America, which I also really liked in advance on vacation.
Boston University has an excellent reputation and offers everything I expected. Unfortunately, the stay in America itself and the tuition fees are very expensive, which should be taken into account when planning. For example, there is the possibility of securing financial support with the help of scholarships. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that application deadlines require some advance notice. For example, I still had to refresh some vaccinations and first take a TOEFL language test in order to be able to apply. In addition, you need, for example, proof of performance in English and international health insurance. The application itself for the Summer Term 2019 started on January 15, 2019. I received positive feedback via email within a few weeks and received professional support from Colllege Contact.
My tip is also to follow Boston University on their social media channels, for example, in order to get a better overview of the campus and the offers on site before you arrive. This may also make it easier to make decisions when choosing a subject. The range of subjects is large. However, not all subjects are offered in Summer Term I and Summer Term II. It is best to inquire about this beforehand on the university’s website. I also had the problem that the dates of the two subjects I had initially chosen overlapped, so I had to change my choice again. A big plus is the option of being able to look at several courses on site in the first week and only then having to decide which courses should finally be taken. However, it is important to ensure that the specifications of the F1 student visas continue to be met and at least 8 credits are successfully completed in the six weeks.