University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Cultural Studies, International Business Administration
Study type: semester abroad
Since it was always clear to me that I wanted to do a semester abroad in an English-speaking country, I started thinking about this topic early on. My university brought me to MicroEdu. The only question for me was whether I wanted to study in the USA or in England, but after a short time I realized that I wanted to go to Boston and looking back I’m really happy about this decision!! Check liuxers.com to see VIU study abroad opportunities.
The application actually takes some time and there is a lot of paperwork to do. However, MicroEdu gave us excellent support, so I didn’t find the whole process too strenuous. We were always reminded when we needed to have which documents ready and even now after my stay I got my transcript quickly. Thank you for your support here!
I applied in February 2012 and was accepted at the end of April.
Unfortunately, since we didn’t have the opportunity to live “on-campus” in student dormitories, I had to look for another option. I chose the ESL townhouse in the Kenmore area. The location of the apartment was really great: about 8 minutes to the tram, where the BU campus begins and only 5 minutes to the stadium of the famous Boston Red Sox. The center was also not far on foot (15-20 minutes) and of course it’s even faster by bike or tram. Unfortunately I have to say that the accommodation itself was quite overpriced for what it was! I shared the apartment with 2 girls assigned to me by the ESL team and it was a good experience too! The rooms (I had a single room) were fully equipped and adequate for the time, but everything was a bit older than the price would suggest and the staff was mostly friendly, but there were some rules that didn’t apply to a “private apartment” and that’s why you sometimes felt like you were in a student residence. Overall I have to say that the real estate market for students in Boston is completely overpriced and I felt that affordable housing in decent neighborhoods (quality of the apartment + location!!) was very, very difficult to find for such a short period of time and I am therefore satisfied with my decision despite one or the other problem. In addition, I met many students from all over the world at ESL and quickly made friends that made it easier for me to get started right from the start.
I really liked the university. It stretches for miles along Commonwealth Avenue and the Charles River. Some of the buildings weren’t the newest, but I found the corner very pretty and especially on the river side there were a lot of the beautiful brick houses that Boston is known for. The MET Student Advisors are very nice and they have hosted many events for us. You could also eat in the Dining Halls for cash. I recommend the Student Services Hall – it’s new and you can get really tasty and healthy food for very little money. The gym at the university was also huge and offered space for just about every sport. If you can, you should take one of the courses there. (We are allowed to visit up to 2 for free and the gym itself is also free for students.)
For me personally, the choice of courses was sufficient. We as “Internationals” are only allowed to take certain courses, all of which are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. But after a short period of getting used to it, I thought it was totally fine because you could do a lot in Boston during the day or sleep in after exploring the nightlife!
- International Marketing (Prof. Donna Slattery)
- Impressionism (Prof. Jonathan Ribner)
- Survey of Western Art (Prof. Milda Richardson)
- American Popular Culture: History & Humor (Prof. Joseph Boskin)
My degree is interdisciplinary, so I took different types of courses, which I loved. In the business administration/economics courses, the majority of the students were also “internationals”, which was good, but there were few Americans. In my other courses, on the other hand, I was usually the only non-American, which was by no means a problem. The level of the courses is definitely feasible and you always have to do a lot of essays or assignments, but you don’t have to spend weeks preparing for your final exams, as is usual here. The professors were all very nice and always helpful. My art history courses have given me the opportunity to visit the city’s great museums quite often! Overall, all courses were very practical and mostly interesting. (of course there are also boring hours,
I absolutely love this city. She has a lot to offer. It has the typical (and practical) facets of a big American city, but if you walk just a few blocks further, you’ll find yourself in Back Bay, for example, and the numerous brick buildings make you think you’re in London. The harbor around Faneuil Hall, the Italian North End and Cambridge give this city a very special charm that makes you feel right at home. I think that Boston is an extremely dynamic and young city due to its many universities. The nearby sea and many parks make Boston particularly attractive. The city’s nightlife is also worth mentioning, but unfortunately the U21 alcohol ban and the associated access to clubs/bars is very strict, so I recommend that if you are not yet 21, It’s worth considering whether you’re going to do your semester abroad here because, as I’ve seen from friends, you’re quite limited in terms of activities. The closing time at 2 a.m. and the sometimes higher entrance fees take some getting used to for us Europeans over 21, of course. If that is still too early for you, you can meet friends in one or the other apartment and end the evening there in a typically American way with “house parties”…! That’s how most American students celebrate there! If that is still too early for you, you can meet friends in one or the other apartment and end the evening there in a typically American way with “house parties”…! That’s how most American students celebrate there! If that is still too early for you, you can meet friends in one or the other apartment and end the evening there in a typically American way with “house parties”…! That’s how most American students celebrate there!
A special advantage of Boston is of course the proximity to other great destinations: trips to NYC, Cape Cod, Niagara Falls and many more are actually a must and also cheap! (Bus to NYC 10-30 dollars (e.g. Greyhound)). You should also not miss a visit to a game of the Boston professional teams.
In closing, I have to say that I really enjoyed my time in Boston and am already getting a bit “homesick” thinking of all the great experiences and people I met there! Anyone considering spending a semester in Boston should definitely do so!!!