University: Boston University
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: law, literature
Study type: Summer Sessions
After I passed my legal major after the 5th semester in February 2017, I decided to take the 6th semester off and looked around for internships and opportunities to stay abroad. I wanted to leave the European continent for the first time before the Repetitorium, preferably to the USA, but I didn’t like the prospect of traveling alone. I had already heard about MicroEdu from an information event at the WWU in Münster, and I knew that American universities often offer summer programs, including for international students. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see University of New Brunswick Fredericton.
Choice of university
I once wrote an e-mail in which I explained the course of my studies so far and my desire to do a summer school at a university on the east coast of the USA. A response was promptly received with an opportunity to set up an in- person appointment, university suggestions, and links to their website to view the summer school programs. I immediately liked Boston, of course also because of the university ‘s good reputation, but also because of its location on the east coast and because of reports from friends who had already been there.
I then decided to do a course that has at least a little something to do with law ( Criminal Justice ) and a literature course (Rise of the Novel, British Literature) because I’ve always been interested in literature and I got excited about the course promised to improve my English through reading, understanding texts and writing my own skills.
Application process and preparation
The application process was very easy because MicroEdu organized everything, checklists were provided and help and support was always available with problems or questions. Of course, an application always involves effort and bureaucracy – visiting the embassy for the student visa and ensuring all vaccinations are annoying. Furthermore, you only need a valid passport, proof of previous academic achievements (preferably in English) and the language certificate from the DAAD only costs a few euros, is actually always offered at the university and is also very easy to do!
After the acceptance came, I took care of the flights and accommodation on campus. I lived in the dormitory of the university (double room, 4th one bathroom) – but since you don’t have a kitchen or your own possibilities to cook, I would recommend the apartments (4 people share a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room, similar) recommend. Even though the food in the Dining Hall (breakfast, lunch and dinner) is varied and, being set up as a buffet, is also filling for everyone, the opening times (morning only from 7-9 and dinner only from 5-7pm) were sometimes an obstacle, or just the desire to cook at home and eat at a series.
The rooms were as you would imagine them to be in dormitories – sparsely furnished, but perfectly adequate for 6 weeks, especially if you travel a lot anyway…
I really, really liked Boston University itself ! The gym is super modern, huge and includes everything you can imagine and want. There is a medical center at the university, so that you can get very good medical care directly if you are not feeling well. The university has several canteens, Starbucks, convenience stores, smoothie shops and subway on campus, so you will definitely get full!
The library is very large, equipped with PCs and printers – the only criticism is that it is cooled down to arctic temperatures in summer thanks to the air conditioning…
The size of the course was similar to the class, about 30 people, and the professors were very nice, funny and focused on a good course atmosphere. In my courses, a lot of value was placed on participation, so that you also had the opportunity to try out your English. The amount of work was also limited. It was important to me not only to be present, but also to take something with me from the courses, so that I always did my “homework”, wrote papers and prepared myself for the midterm exams and was satisfied in the end with good grades I finished the summer school – but I’m sure you could have passed the courses with much less effort if you didn’t care about the grade at all.
I chose and scheduled the courses so that I only had uni on Mondays and Wednesdays – perfect for traveling the east coast on the weekends… which is also highly recommended! I spent a weekend in NY, a weekend in Washington DC, did a road trip up the east coast to New Hampshire and Maine and ended up in Miami for 4 days. It is recommended to take the bus to NY (very cheap and only takes 4 hours), I flew to Washington and Miami (if I booked in good time, although I only planned everything quite spontaneously in the USA). the flights are all affordable)! All trips were very enriching, super beautiful, and incomparable, so I warmly recommend all destinations to everyone!
Nevertheless, I could have spent more time in Boston, because the city has everything you could wish for : open-air concerts right on the Charles River at the Memorial Shell, open-air theater on Boston Common, the best Shopping opportunities on Newbury Street and in the huge malls, such as the Prudential Center, which also features a sky restaurant and an observation deck overlooking the Boston skyline, the beautiful harbor with restaurants and cafes, sports facilities on the Charles River (kayaking, sailing, rowing etc.), baseball at Fenway Park (which is a few minutes’ walk from the university), as well as historical sights (on the Independence movement and the Tea Party) – there is something for everyone!
The university and the International Office are also very nice here, offering a day at an outlet center, a visit to a baseball game and a day at the beach in Maine, and the Summer School Facebook group often offers other activities or people meet to do something.
The city is beautiful, it’s the perfect size and there’s a university on every corner with lots and lots of students. Only the nightlife was not really convincing: The clubs and bars close pretty early for German students (around 2 or 3 a.m.) and of course you ALWAYS have to have your passport with you, no matter whether you buy alcohol in the supermarket or in a bar want to go – the person is definitely not enough. So if you want to party more, you can live it out in New York or Miami, Boston is rather quiet in this regard.
As far as the costs are concerned, you have to be prepared for the fact that a summer school in itself costs a lot of money, and of course you can also spend a lot of money when traveling and going on vacation. But it was definitely worth it to me: to have attended an American university, to have improved my English, to have met people quickly and easily at the university with whom I can then spend time and travel, and in the end 6 To have had weeks of “holiday” that you can put on your CV.
Finally, I would recommend attending the first informational event of the International Office, where all the new students are present, to meet people (there are aoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooveeding!) or yourself best to get put directly on the MicroEdu list and get the names of the other students studying at the same university and get in touch with them – a very good idea and help from MicroEdu!
All in all, I had an unforgettable time in Boston, at the university and on my travels, would do it again at any time and can only more than recommend it to everyone who is considering doing a summer school there !