Why did you choose this program?
My first concern was the language of instruction because I can't speak German. Additionally, none of the credits that I earned during my summer abroad were going to apply towards my (Education) major, so I didn't want to be gone an entire semester and lose ground toward my diploma.
This program worked for me because the classes were in English and I was only gone for eight weeks over the summer.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My program provider was IES Abroad, which has its own institute near the actual university in Freiburg. Therefore, we had our classes at the institute rather than the university.
IES Abroad was great; they set up our housing, tours of the city, orientation, transportation passes, field trips, and Intro to German classes. I had to coordinate the flight into Germany and commute to Freiburg on my own.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
-Bring good walking shoes, and pack for all weather! When I heard that Freiburg was "the sunniest city in Germany," I skimped on warm clothing. Big mistake! It was an unusually rainy summer, and I had to buy a coat, new shoes, and an umbrella when I got over there. Don't forget to come with an open mind.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Classes are five days a week, usually getting out around noon so that your evenings are free. For lunch you can catch a tram home, pop into one of the many cafes, or eat at the Mensa (university cafeteria).
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?
The thing that I was the most afraid of was that after all the planning and saving and begging for my parents to let me go, I would get over there and be miserable for 8 weeks. So I just prayed so hard that I would make friends and have a great time... and I did!
I now have ten new friends and consider it the best summer of my life. You just have to convince yourself that if it's meant to be, it's meant to be.
What was your favorite part of studying abroad in (your country)?
The food was amazing! It's so much healthier than American food, and I really miss German classics like spaghetti eis and eiskaffee..