University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
My semester in Boston was a great experience and I’m very glad I chose Boston University!
I was there in the winter semester from September to December. I would recommend going in the winter as it gives you the chance to experience the whole impressive orientation program for all new students and it also makes it easier to get to know Americans. The weather wasn’t as bad as I expected, definitely warmer than in Berlin. All of September and part of October was midsummer and I even went to the beach. The autumn was of course cool and I was able to experience a hurricane, but it wasn’t really cold winter until I left again before Christmas. Check liuxers.com to see TRU study abroad opportunities.
The disadvantage is that you cannot live on campus in the WS. I lived in the ESL Townhouse, in a shared apartment with 2 other students. This is a kind of dorm but not affiliated with any university, 10 min walk to the biggest shopping street in Boston. The advantage is that you can book a room in advance and then don’t have to worry about finding an apartment. I felt very comfortable there. Everyone else who came to Boston with me from Germany or France for a semester lived incredibly far away from the university (very bad in a city where public transport closes at 12: 30 p.m.) and also searched forever (worth it with 4 months stay not really).
Boston University is a huge university with many different colleges. As an international student you will come to the Metropolitan College as the courses take place mainly in the evenings between 6-9. I don’t think it’s that great, but you get used to it quickly. I had three non-American professors, which I didn’t like because none of them spoke perfect English. But two of them were very nice, competent and fair. But I was totally unlucky with a professor in macroeconomics. Was not a good teacher and all the students were very dissatisfied with him. In summary, I am still satisfied with my academic experience. I made an effort in the two subjects that I want to get credit for in Germany and also got an A.
I would say “social” my semester was also a complete success. Almost all foreign students very quickly made friends under their own nationality. I placed more value on getting to know Americans or other nationalities and was therefore able to have great experiences such as a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, it also helps to know young people who have lived in Boston for a long time, since clubs, bars, etc. are very expensive for tourists. You have to know where you are going, otherwise you can easily get rid of §50 in one evening without even having bought a drink. I also got to know a lot of Asian people. A huge Chinese community and a Korean community almost as large have emerged in Boston. I would estimate that every 3 at Boston University is originally from Asia. As a result, you can eat a lot and cheaper Asian. I highly recommend a trip to Korea Town or China Town for food.
Outside of campus, however, food is really, really expensive. I am spoiled by the very low prices in Berlin and have always had to pay twice as much in Boston in comparison. However, this means that the prejudice “One gains weight in the USA” does not apply, at least to me. However, I’m not a fast food fan either;)
Looking back, I’m really glad I went to Boston. Especially compared to California, Boston has a lot to offer due to the masses of students who live there, but is “small enough” to feel comfortable. In addition, the distances are not that great and, if in doubt, you can walk through a large part of the city center.
If you have already decided on Boston University, here are a few tips & tricks for your stay:
- As a Boston University student, admission to the Museum of Fine Arts is free
- You can get a college card for the music school in Boston and then go to all the concerts for free
- During the Orientation Weeks at the beginning of the winter semester there are tons of events with food, entertainment and giveaways, most of which can be found out on the Boston University website
- The second-hand shop Goodwill (West Campus) is great if you need to set up a cheap apartment or don’t have enough money to shop anymore
- In the “Dining Hall” where all students live on campus, the food is great and very cheap if you go in the morning ($7.5). Great to spend a learning day there if you have to do a lot of homework. If you have friends who live on campus, they can even take you up to 10 times for free;)
- If you choose your courses at the beginning of the semester, you can also book a wide variety of sports courses for free, I did one and was thrilled
- You can buy Vaucher cinemas at the university, which are significantly cheaper than the prices at the box office