University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: economics
Study type: Summer Sessions
Since I’m studying international business law at my home university, the idea of doing a semester abroad was always obvious. I also wanted to use the break after my pre-diploma to spend some time outside of Europe and improve my English. Boston was an easy choice because of its unique location (three hours from New York and the scenic areas of New England practically on the doorstep) and its reputation as a university city. The length of the two summer sessions, totaling 12 weeks, fit perfectly into the time frame of a German summer semester, so that there were no overlaps in the examination times. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see University of California Santa Barbara UCSB.
The course catalog for the Summer Sessions was online on the BU homepage from mid-December and shortly thereafter, MicroEdu sent you all the relevant application documents along with an explanation of how to fill them out. But before that you should have refreshed your vaccinations, get a letter from your bank that you have enough money available to finance yourself for a semester in Boston and check the validity of your passport. After all the paperwork is ready, the wait begins for the I-20 form that the BU issues to foreign students applying for an F1 student visa. Only when you have that in your hands (mine came in mid-March) can you make an appointment at the embassy in Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich either by telephone or via the Internet. I got my appointment two weeks later and if you bring all the required documents with you, your passport and visa should be in your mailbox in a week or two. You should be careful when paying the tuition fees. They are debited from the credit card, whereby the credit limit and the card limit must be set high enough, otherwise the whole thing fails and you only get a message from the BU a month later that the transaction had not worked. Until then you are not registered for the courses.
On site you have to report to various offices, apply for a student ID and create a computer account. But that runs without any problems because you get a detailed list to work through and the people are really friendly and helpful if you don’t find your way. It is also good to fly to Boston before the start of the semester and deal with the organizational matters so that you can then start the summer session in peace and without jetlag.
I can’t say much about living on campus because I lived with a host family. I can only recommend that to everyone, because you immediately have English-speaking contacts and know someone in Boston. I got on really well with my host sisters and took part in the life of an American family. Nevertheless, I didn’t have to give up my student life because of this and I met many people with whom I went on excursions or just went out in the evening. In terms of price, the host family was cheaper than a single apartment on campus. The disadvantage, of course, is that I had to take the 30-minute bus ride to the university every day.
I took four courses in total: Micro- and Macroeconomics at the introductory and the intermediate level. The courses had a strength of 20-30 people, two of whom consisted only of Americans and myself. Of course, this has the advantage that you make friends with American students, but unfortunately the international factor was neglected. Only in the second summer session did I meet people from Europe and Asia.
The degree of difficulty of the courses is probably lower than in Germany, but one should not underestimate the continuous tests and homework problems. If you divide the time a bit, you can do it well. Most of the professors try very hard and can always be reached during their office hours or by email. The small classes also create a pleasant learning atmosphere, so you don’t have to be afraid to ask again if you don’t understand something. However, I would advise everyone to think twice before taking four courses, as there is not a great deal of free time. Boston and the surrounding area can be explored well in 12 weeks, but there is usually not enough time for further travel. But if you still plan some time for traveling after the end of the semester, it’s not a problem.
Boston is an ideal city to study in. It’s not as crowded and big, but still has very good connections to destinations in New England and of course Washington DC and New York. Culturally, there is also a lot on offer in the form of museums and concerts. We recommend the Boston Pops dress rehearsal on July 3rd, where you can listen to the Independence Day concert for free. After all, finding a good spot to watch the fireworks is enough to do on July 4th. Also in July is Shakespeare in the Park, which features one free performance of Shakespeare each season on the Boston Common.
Not to be forgotten is the unique flair of Boston with its mix of modern and revolutionary buildings, the harbor area and the many students from the surrounding elite universities.
I had an unforgettable time at Boston University, gained a lot of experience and met people from all over the world. Many thanks again to Annika and the MicroEdu team, who answer even the smallest questions and take the time to advise. Although the high costs must not be forgotten, I can warmly recommend a semester abroad to everyone. Here we go!;-)