USAC Germany: Lüneburg
91% Rating
(16 Reviews)

USAC Germany: Lüneburg

In Luneburg, a beautiful, historical city dating back more than a thousand years, USAC students study intensive elementary, intermediate, and advanced German language. The USAC program is located at the Leuphana University Luneburg (formerly University of Luneburg), where you can participate in university activities and clubs and become acquainted with local students.

You can also take elective courses, taught in English or German, in subjects such as political science, anthropology, economics, and speech communication, and qualified students can apply for a work-study grant or for an internship at a local business. Field trips to regional sites of interest, for example to Hamburg, Schwerin, and Lubeck, are included in the program, giving you opportunities to learn more about the country, the history of the area, and the German people.

Highlights
  • Live in a vibrant university town and a beautiful medieval setting just 30 minutes away from Hamburg
  • Join in a wide range of extracurricular activities on and off campus and take advantage of the study and bus pass which is included in the program fee
  • Feel at home with the help of local students and language partners
  • Enjoy field trips and the tour of Berlin, where you can explore its history and exciting and diverse cultural life
  • Renewable Resources students (graduate and undergraduate) interested in study abroad should consider direct enrollment courses at Leuphana through USAC
Locations
Europe » Germany
Program Type
Provider
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Summer
Accommodation
Apartment
Host Family
Language
English
Steps
Online Application
Other Locations
Luneburg

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    76%
  • Support
    84%
  • Fun
    79%
  • Housing
    86%
  • Safety
    98%

Program Reviews (16)

Default avatar
Cami
Female
Moscow, ID, USA
University of Idaho

During Deutschland

10/10

I studied abroad with USAC during Fall 2016. I was in Lüneburg, a small town about thirty minutes outside of Hamburg, for four months and I learned more about myself and my culture during that time than I ever expected to. In my opinion Lüneburg was the perfect city to study in. It was small enough that you weren't surrounded by tourists and people who were going to be speaking English, but close enough to a big city that it was easy to travel around and find the resources that you needed.
I stayed with a host family that quickly became like a real family. Choosing this housing option made my experience better than I could have ever hoped. It really gave me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the language and the culture. USAC offered multiple different housing options, though, so if this hadn't been the best choice for me it would have been easy to find a new situation.
The classes were awesome! I did the language intensive program, so I took four semesters worth of German classes in the timespan of one semester helping me finish my minor. It might sound scary, but it wasn't! The teachers are very good and very understanding and you can even go study without any prior German language experience!
USAC also provided multiple excursions to other parts of Germany so that we could branch out and see the rest of the country. Even when they didn't have USAC sanctioned events, there was multiple three-day weekends that you could use to go all around. I was able to visit Spain, Copenhagen, Munich, Italy, Amsterdam, and London during my program which was an unbelievable opportunity.
Overall the support and opportunities that USAC gave me made this the best possible experience. I highly recommend studying through USAC if you want a program with a lot of support and options. Now it's time to plan my trip back to Germany!

How can this program be improved?

A couple more opportunities to make friends with the German students studying at the university would help a lot with maintaining the language after leaving.

Default avatar
Kristen
Female
22 years old
Fort Collins
Colorado State University

Great Weekend Excursion

8/10

We took a weekend into Berlin for a couple days. We stayed in a really nice hostel and were close the public transportation. This weekend was so much fun. Everyday felt like we were in a new city. Berlin was so awesome and beautiful and much to offer to everyone. I loved how USAC gave us a range of things to see an experience while we there for such a short period of time. It was definitely one of my top weekends. We even went to a beautiful concert inside the Berlin Dome! An experience I will never ever forget.

How can this program be improved?

Better communication.
I love Lüneburg, my host family, most of the people in my program, but I'm not a fan of how USAC has organized this program. We are at a University that doesn't begin till a month and half after ours starts. Our interaction with the Germans is for a short period of time. Also, the orientation was horribly planned. It took three days and they still had us go out and do some complicated tasks in a foreign language with hardly any assistance. The residence directors are very nice, and I can tell they mean well and try to help out the students, but they are not the best communicators which makes this whole process a little more overwhelming. On the academic side, the teachers for the non language class are not very organized, and there classes require a lot of work and the assignments are very vague. It's confusing to know what exactly should be done and classes are once a week which makes it even more hard to know what is expected.
I love being here in Germany, and I am incredibly thankful for the experience. I just don't like how this particular program was organized. At the same time, that isn't ruining my time here. It's just something I think could be improved.

Response from USAC

Hi Kristin,
Thank you for your feedback. I’m so glad you had a great time in Berlin! We appreciate hearing how our programs can be improved. Feel free to email me with more specifics at [email protected] as we would definitely like to smooth out any organizational issues you experienced for our future students.

Danielle
Communications Specialist

Default avatar
Megan
Female
23 years old
Nevada

USAC Lüneburg Semester Program

10/10

Lüneburg is the perfect city for study abroad - small and local, but with a huge population of international students. Every Wednesday night my friends and I went downtown to the pubs for karaoke, a döner, and a beer. I felt safe enough to walk or bike back every night.

The town is absolutely beautiful- cobblestone streets, decorated rooftops and three huge cathedrals. They have a farmers market with meats, cheeses and fruit every weekend, and bookstores, bakeries, or restaurants on every corner. A short train ride away is Hamburg, and the student ticket we get as part of the USAC program makes travelling to the bigger city (and all of Lower Saxony) free.

The courses USAC offered were a bit insulated from the main school, but still offered a good chance to learn German. I also took a course on Germany under the Third Reich, which had field trips to several locations of note around Lüneburg and gave me a new perspective on the war and German culture.

I absolutely recommend this program to anyone interested in learning German, living somewhere beautiful, or just wanting an adventure. You won't regret it.

Default avatar
Jesus
Male
25 years old
Reno, NV
University of Nevada Reno

Best Time of My Life

10/10

This was such great program and I would do it again if I could. Lueneburg as a little town in the state of Niedersachsen. Even though it is a smaller city, there is always something to do. And if you prefer big cities, Hamburg is a thirty minute train ride away. And the best thing is that it is free! You are given a student transportation card that lets you ride regional trains and buses for free! So you're able to spend a day in Bremen, Hannover, and many more without spending money on transportation.

The German tracks are intensive but not too time consuming. Typically you go to class Monday - Thursday and have tests on Friday morning about every other week.

Housing really depends on what section of the city you get. There are dorms next to the University, near the city center (30 min walk to campus) and some that are far (William-Watt-Straße is one that I remember).

How can this program be improved?

The biggest improvement that can be made is integrating the US students with the German students. I know that this is a hard task because the Fall semester begins mid-October in Germany. So that doesn't allow for students to have classes together.

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Lizzie
Female
30 years old
Danbury, CT
University of Nevada

Loved it!!

10/10

Luneburg is the cutest little medieval town! It's one of the safest cities I've ever lived in. The classes are great and there are tons of opportunities to speak to Germans to improve your skills. I never had a class in German before going and by the time I left I was carrying on long winded conversations with the locals. One of the best parts is as a student you get free train travel anywhere in the state. I went somewhere new every weekend for free.

I had my passport stolen in Belgium and the staff was so helpful and supportive. I had to go to the US embassy in Berlin to get a new one and they set up everything for me.

Christmas in Germany is so so so fun! If you're only going for a semester, I definitely recommend the fall one!

How can this program be improved?

More integration with German students. If you're there for a year you can do a tandem project with a German student, which was great, but if you're only there for a semester it's really hard to meet German students.

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Alejandro
Male
24 years old
Sao Paulo
Alabama State University

USAC Lüneburg

9/10

I had a great time in Lüneburg! Lüneburg is a small town near Hamburg with a beautiful old down town. I met so many cool people (most from the us though ;) ) I did not have as much contact with germans because I lived and studied only with students from usac. I wished i had met more germans. The courses were good, i learned so much about european culture and history.

How can this program be improved?

I did not like that USAC was unable to provide enough housing offers in time. Many of us had to change housing after a few weeks. I would not chose USAC housing again.

Default avatar
Kallie
Female
24 years old
Arlington, Texas
University of Texas- Arlington

My year in Germany

10/10

I really loved this program. When signing up for the program, I listed that I preferred to live on campus. I originally wanted this option because I thought it would be easiest, and because for those of us who aren't morning people it's faster! I do not regret this decision at all! I lived, literally, across the street from the school and it was really nice, especially when there was 2 feet of snow!

My day started, I woke up and went to German class, followed by 2 other classes. It was really nice because I was finished with my school days pretty early in the day. After class, my classmates and I would go eat in the Mensa with other international students and some German students as well. We would then do whatever else needed. I went to Pennymarkt, which is a local grocery store, to get food normally two or three times a week. It's really close to the university, probably about a 4 minute walk, at the most, so extremely convenient. We had classes only Monday through Thursday, Fridays were reserved for tests, which wasn't every week.
Wednesday nights we typically went out to the city and went to the bars and clubs with other international students. I'm not too sure why, but Wednesdays were the days that we noticed lots of the Germans out as well! It was really fun and became a tradition in our group.
The only downside of living on campus, is getting home after going out all night. The first semester I was lucky enough to become really good friends with someone who I would always walk home with, but during the spring semester I typically either rode my bike home, or walked alone (which I don't entirely recommend). Lüneburg is a very safe city. I never feared walking alone at night, like I do here in America.

This truly is a great program and I recommend it to every person in the German department at my University. It's in a small enough town to where you are forced to speak German, but is also only 30 minutes away from Hamburg, where you can go shopping, visit the Reeperbahn and even see HSV play!

How can this program be improved?

If there was one thing about this program that I would change, it might be to integrate us better with the other students at this university. We had our own classrooms in a certain building, so any meeting of the German students we had to do on our own. We did, however, have the opportunity to have Tandem Partners, where we would meet with German students and speak for approximately 30 minutes in only German and 30 minutes only in English.

Default avatar
Jenn
Female
24 years old
Maryland
University of Maryland

Affordable, Educational, Immersive

10/10

Lüneburg is a beautiful town with tons of medieval charm. It's small, but has easy access to larger cities like Hannover and Hamburg. One of my favorite things about this program is that student IDs give you access to the regional train within Lower Saxony for free - just watch out which train you catch to Lübeck because if you take the wrong one, you'll get a pretty hefty fine.

The classes were intense and involved a good amount of work outside of class. Not exactly what you want when you study abroad, but my German improved so much as a result. The professors were great and the classes small enough for a good amount of one-on-one time.

The buddy system is helpful - it's an easy way to befriend a local and get a little more cultural insight. I still occasionally speak with my buddy. We also met other international students (mostly USAC), which I didn't expect since I went for a summer session. The staff made us aware of on-campus activities and student organizations we could join as well.

The group I went with is still friends and we try to schedule reunions.

How can this program be improved?

Orientation is a bit long. More breaks would be helpful. Also clearer explanations on public transportation/train system to avoid confusion/getting fined.

Default avatar
Lindsay
Female
24 years old
Alliance, Ohio
University of Mount Union

Three and a Half Months of No Regrets

10/10

Every day in Germany was a different experience. Nothing ever remained the same or was boring. I will never forget the moments where I thought I understood the culture from the classes I took, and yet was proven wrong when being surrounded by it (the best example being when I forgot one has to buy plastic bags when grocery shopping). They may have been slightly humiliating, but I adapted; I learned. And that is the point of studying abroad: to step out of the comfort zone of the home country and witness a whole new world. That way, the outcome is a well-rounded individual, with more than a year's worth of stories to tell to family and friends when returning home. I myself have traveled throughout Germany, including Berlin, as well as outside with a trip to Rome and Stockholm. I came, I saw, but most importantly; I grew with knowledge. At first, studying abroad was a large step for someone like me, with very little travel experience. In the end, it became an adventure that I would gladly relive and experience over and over.

How can this program be improved?

As I reflect back on my experience, it is hard to determine how the program itself could improve, for there are many positive aspects of it. However, one improvement I would mention is the load of homework potentially given to students. When saying that, I would like to make a brief note that I am not saying the homework load was "absolutely horrendous;" yet there have been days or weeks where I had no choice but to stay inside and work from the end of class until I went to bed. It is understandable that the classes and coursework are vital, especially when studying the language. However, it is better to go throughout the city and practice that language, and experience culture, instead of reading lessons and doing worksheets.

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Danielle
Female
24 years old
Las Vegas, Nevada
Other

Best Moments of my Life

10/10

Studying abroad in Luneburg, Germany was honestly the best experience of my life. I'm sure you hear people saying that about studying abroad all the time. But this city and the people were amazing. From the culture, to the food, to the people and the location. It was so fun and I learned so much. I learned a second language and a different way of life. I definitely would suggest it to anyone who is thinking of going abroad!

How can this program be improved?

Intermingling the USAC students more with the students of the university and native speakers.

Default avatar
Jamie
Female
24 years old
United States
Texas A&M University

What a Great Experience

9/10

I felt like I learned an immense amount while I was in the program both from daily living and interaction within the community and academically. The instructors were excellent and accommodating, always willing to work with students individually to make sure that everyone was learning. We had tests an quizzes frequently and the academics were rigorous, but not unreasonable. The community in Luneburg is amazing and I honestly had a hard time leaving.

How can this program be improved?

I would change the housing arrangements so that they were more standardized for the students. Some people loved their situation, but some of them were awful.

Default avatar
Desirea
Female
24 years old
Denver, Colorado
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Schönes Lüneburg!

10/10

Luneburg is a gorgeous city! For a person who is travelling out of the country for the first time or who is uneasy about being in a big city will adjust comfortably here. It is one of the few cities in Germany that remained untouched during WWII which makes this city very special. It has that cookie cutter village feel, and the people are very friendly. It is located very close to Hamburg, and with your transportation pass you can travel as often as you want as well as other Niedersachsen cities. This program offers you a German buddy to show you the ins and outs of the city/culture. I was extremely thankful to have my German buddy and to this day we still keep in touch. The time I spent in Germany has greatly improved my German because I got to practice it everyday. Twice out of the semester the program gave us long weekends, which allowed us to travel to different cities. My friends and I visited Amsterdam, Munich, Cologne and Dusseldorf. Included in the program fee is a week trip to Berlin! We had a tour guide and we got to see all the important historical sites. This had to have been one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me. There is so much to do and see in Berlin. One tip I would give to students would be to pack less, even though you think you will need a lot this is far from the truth. What you bring is what you haul. Having to haul your suitcases through the city which was paved with cobblestones was a nightmare! I wish I would have packed less. Overall this program is fantastic! The opportunity to not only see a different country but to experience the culture is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have made friends and memories to last a lifetime. I am always reminiscing about the great times I experienced in Germany. I would highly recommend this program to any college student.

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I would change about this program is the site of my apartment. It was directly on campus. Since Lüneburg is such a small city, the buses stop running in the evening. So when I came home from another city or a friends place I would have to take a 30 minute walk back home which was a hassle considering I would have to do it quite freqently.

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Travis
Male
24 years old
Chesapeake, VA
University of Georgia

Brilliant Experience

10/10

Lüneburg was the perfect town for an American to sstudy abroad in. With the population just under 100k, it is small enough that you can see everything, yet large enough that you're not stuck in the same section for the whole time. It is also near enough to Hamburg, if one would like to get lost in a larger city.

The university staff is quite willing to help with anything you need. Contance, my German language teacher, was excellent, as were most of my other professors. I cannot say enough how perfect the program was as a whole.

How can this program be improved?

I would have it so that the Americans took a German semester there instead of it lining up with an American University's semester.

Default avatar
Kara
Female
24 years old
United States
University of South Carolina

Best Decision of My Life

10/10

Studying abroad in Germany was one of the best decisions I have ever made. USAC does a great job of helping you meet everyone in your program as well as other German students. You get paired with a buddy who helps you out the first few weeks and some become your friends for the semester.
I took German here and the class was difficult but not too bad. Attendance is required but if you go to class you will be fine. All of the USAC staff is extremely nice and helpful.
Through USAC I made some amazing people who I now call some of my best friends.
Lüneburg is perfect if you are looking for a small city that is still a city. There was always something to do or something going on. Hamburg is only a short train ride away and you get to ride the train for free with your student ID. Hamburg has one of the best night life in all of Europe and you are sure to have a great time. It was one of the best semesters throughout my college career. If I could go back today I would!!

Default avatar
Sarah
Female
24 years old
Reno, Nevada
University of Nevada Reno

Lovely Semester in Lüneburg

8/10

Lüneburg is a quaint and historical city in Lower Saxony. It's medieval architecture makes you feel like you're in another time. This naturally makes it a bit touristy in the warmer weather, but it is a really cool town to explore. There are so many shops and cafes in the downtown area, it's fun to explore and wander. Public transport in Lüneburg is good, the buses are often and consistent, and completely free for student use. Students can also use their student pass to travel in Lower Saxony for free, so it's easy to take day or weekend trips to Hamburg, Lübeck, Bremen, and many other cities. It's location to the larger cities like Bremen and Hamburg make it easy to travel out of.

The USAC program is on the Leuphana Universität campus. Classes are only with USAC students, so there is some limitation there, but the staff is very helpful if you're interested in enrolling in a course with Leuphana. They also will personally set you up with a German language partner, likely someone who wants to learn English, so they're great to practice with. Upon arrival you're also given a German "buddy" to bring you to your housing and tell you a bit about Lüneburg, and so forth. Mine was very friendly and we got along well. She gave me a lot of useful info and hung out with us for the rest of the semester, but apparently some of the other buddies weren't like that at all. If you want to make German friends, you'll have to reach out outside of USAC on your own.

The classes themselves were great! I was in beginning German with no previous experience, so naturally it was hard at first. The language courses are intensive, so you're learning 4 semesters in 1. In the beginning I studied a lot during the week, but I had no problem traveling on the weekends. After a few weeks, things eased up so I had tons of time. As for other classes, some have a lot of work and some have almost none You'll get a good picture on the first day and be able to switch your schedule if you want. Also, Fridays have no classes, so you have long weekends to travel.

The staff at USAC is amazing, and they all genuinely care about the students. They are all Germans, so at first they can come off as slightly cold or overly serious, but all of the members of the staff there are actually really cool and interesting people. My German teacher was energetic and funny, he made long classes bearable. I had a class with Uta, one of the Assistant Directors, and she is an extremely sweet and caring person. I also had a class with Sören, the Resident Director. He is serious in class and expects students to do the work assigned to them, but outside of class he's really funny and relaxed.

Housing in Lüneburg is a bit more limited because it's a small city. There are apartments available downtown that are extremely convenient, I spent a lot of time in my friends', but they're also on the small size and landlords and roommates can be hit or miss. I had a host family, and I definitely would choose a family again. I had my own room, bathroom, and full access to the kitchen. My host mother was genuinely interested in my experience there, she invited me to eat with them from time to time, and we talked often (usually in German so I could practice) about what was going on. I didn't have any problems with privacy or independence - my room was mine, and I was able to come and go as I pleased. The only downside to the home stay was that it wasn't close to downtown, so I usually had to be back home on the last bus, or camp out at a friend's apartment.

All in all, I really enjoyed my semester in Lüneburg. It was a great opportunity and I met a lot of lifelong friends. I got to see a side of Germany that I would never see as a tourist, and I'm now comfortable enough with German to travel around on my own. I would suggest bringing some warm clothes though, it's really cold in the winter.

How can this program be improved?

Orientation is a bit long. They are very thorough, and it ends up being a lot of information for the first few days. I would recommend shortening it a lot.

Default avatar
papillon
Female
42 years old
Chicago, IL
Northeastern Illinois University

Go To Berlin Instead!

1/10

The food is just lovely in Germany, and the folks are pretty nice. The language is challenging, but that's why one would study abroad ... on some level ... right?

The USAC staff in Reno are, for the most part, knowledgable at their occupations. Sadly, their main job is to sell you on the program. The company told me that I would be studying at Leuphana Universitaet, in Lueneburg, Germany. And I did ... annexed in a dark hall, away from the other German students, not integrated in any way, shape or form, scholastically speaking.

The resident director is working on his Master's in Economics ... but fancies himself a History professor, and hires language instructors that cannot speak English, and invites them to teach other classes in English.

There was a student who signed up for the program for the entire year. His first semester, he did not really show up, and failed all of his classes. He behaved the same for the second semester. It was not until nearly finals that he was asked to leave class one day, with alcohol on his breath.

We were told to tell the border guards, upon entering Germany, that we (the students) were all there for tourist reasons. Then, we applied for visas. According to German law, that is incredibly backward: one should never lie to a border police-person, and the student visas can be attained before the plane ticket.

This program is a complete disaster. Unless your goal is to drink heavily for a semester or a year, I would suggest going to Berlin. You just might learn some German.

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USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing an unforgettable experience. Each program is designed to help you

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