University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
General information about Boston
Boston is a city on the east coast of the USA with around 650,000 inhabitants, of which 200,000, i.e. a good third, are students. This reflects the atmosphere of the city well. Boston is a young city with many things to do, bars and restaurants. Due to the city’s history, there are many old buildings, churches and squares standing right next to modern skyscrapers. Just this mixture of old and newgives Boston an incomparable charm. Furthermore, the city has several large and very well-kept parks, which are used by many locals as a meeting place. Since Boston is located directly on the sea, you can spend a great time on the beach in the warm summer months or go on a whale watching tour from the old harbor to see humpback, minke or fin whales in the open sea. Check liuxers.com to see SMU study abroad opportunities.
living in Boston
Life in Boston is very expensive. There were two ways for me to find accommodation in Boston. On the one hand, Boston University provided rooms in its dormitories. However, I decided against it for various reasons. First of all, the price of the rent in the “dormitories” was very high, although as a student you have to share a room with one or two people and the bathroom is also shared with the floor. It also bothered me that I would have had to eat in the Dining Hall every day. There was a kitchen, but it wasn’t equipped, so everyone had to take care of their own pots, cutlery, plates, etc. Instead, I chose the ESL Townhousein the beautiful district of Fenway. Here, too, I shared a room with a friend, but we had our own bathroom, kitchen and a small dining area. Although the apartments are older, they certainly had their charm with their old, dark wooden floors. The location of the apartment was great. About 100 yards away is Fenway Park, baseball stadium of the Boston Red Sox, and several sports bars and restaurants are located around the stadium. You walk about 5 minutes to two large supermarkets, 20 minutes to the university and also 20 minutes to the city center and the shopping street “Newbury Street” with numerous fashion shops. You get used to walking very quickly, since everything in Boston is within walking distanceis. If a route is too far or the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are a number of bus routes that start right around the corner from the ESL Townhouse or the ‘T’, the light rail system in Boston.
It’s not just housing that’s expensive in Boston. Shopping in the supermarket, eating and drinking in bars and restaurants, and entrance fees to sights also have a high price. Any student considering a semester abroad at BU should be aware of this.
With 30,000 students, BU is the fourth largest private university in the United States. It is located in the center of Boston and stretches almost 3 km along Commonwealth Avenue. Accordingly, it is not a single campus, but rather a whole street full of university buildings, the center of which is the small church “Marsh Chapel”. The university is divided into different colleges with respective specializations and scientific areas. I myself studied at the Metropolitan College for half a year, which mainly caters to international and working students. Although this made it easy to find new friends among the internationals, you hardly came into contact with American students. It was also a pity that I didn’t get a chance to take courses at the Questrom School of Business, which not only had an excellent reputation but also offered interesting, challenging courses.
The university buildings were all modernly equipped. Also on campus were several large libraries for reading, studying, and printing, as well as numerous dining options and the Fitness and Recreation Center. This was really impressive. In addition to a modern, top-equipped fitness studio, there was also a swimming pool, basketball courts, squash and tennis courts, a running track and other rooms on 4 floors that were available for the many sports courses.
During the semester the university organized various activities for all students or especially for international students. Examples are evenings with free ice cream, Halloween “Trick or Treat around the World” with different sweets from all over the world or a typical American Thanksgiving Dinner. All activities are voluntary and the university staff have always made every effort to organize everything perfectly.
Business in a Changing Society (Prof. Halfond)
Overall an interesting course, but I expected something different from the topic. It was mainly a business ethics course, I personally missed out on critical issues and possible problems in the future. The professor is super nice and can explain things well. The grading is based on attendance, (short) homework to be given weekly, two tests and a final paper and is very good in most cases.
Introduction to American Management, Culture and Institutions (Prof. Halfond)
Also an interesting but not overly demanding course on US history, culture and politics. The grade is determined by two short papers (5-6 pages) and attendance, it is very easy to get an A or A-.
Consumer Behavior (Prof. Santino)
In this course, an A is guaranteed for very little effort, but otherwise I cannot recommend the course because I learned absolutely nothing new. Mr. Santino is actually a likeable and always helpful professor. Grading is based on weekly homework, a written comparison of two advertisements, an individual case study, 2 exams and a final team project. What sounds like a lot right away were very small projects and all of them were awarded an A without exception.
Calculus I (Kezim)
Very good course, the prof is able to explain in an understandable way but has a pretty fast pace. However, with some prior knowledge, you can get along well. Prof. Kezim is a personable, funny and pleasant lecturer. The grade is determined by smaller tests, two mid-term exams and the final exam.
Hatha Yoga for Beginners (Feldman)
To be recommended in itself, Mrs. Feldman introduces her students to the world of yoga week after week and I felt quite relaxed after each class. Overall, however, the course was too boring for me, which was more due to the sport itself than to the teacher.
- Haymarket: weekly market in Boston where you can find fruit, vegetables, meat and fish from local farmers at super cheap prices
- “Tavern in the Square” in Allston: every Thursday evening, this bar attracts many BU students, good prices and a cool location
- Borrow/buy books as early as possible via Amazon; the Barnes & Nobles bookstore on campus only had overpriced prices
All in all, I really enjoyed the semester abroad at Boston University and would recommend the BU to anyone. Boston is an impressive and extraordinarily beautiful city with lots of green space and lots of water. The atmosphere at Boston University cannot be compared to that at German universities. The students are all proud of their university and show this through a strong community, which is particularly visible at special events such as the popular ice hockey games or rivalries with other American universities.
The courses at the university are all very work-intensive, but in my opinion not as demanding as in Germany. The way of teaching reminded me of the German school system, since great importance was attached to attendance and participation in the courses.