Germany: Lüneburg - German Language, European and Sustainability Studies

Video and Photos

Am Sande
Lüneburg's Rathaus
Stintmarkt
The girls from the Fall 2012 group before a night on the Reeperbahn.
Two friends and I before going out for the night in Lüneburg
Lüneburg!
View over Lüneburg from the Wasserturm
My bedroom in downtown Lüneburg

About

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

New Program: Comparative Studies: Uruguay and Cuba Summer Session

Study abroad Summer 2020 for eight weeks, beginning in Montevideo, Uruguay and continuing to La Habana, Cuba, for a comparative Latin studies program ideal for any student and of particular interest to health, gender and Spanish language students.

Scholarships

USAC Scholarships
USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid

USAC awards over $2 million in scholarships and discounts each year to assist students with their study abroad expenses.

Value
$500 - $1,000

Questions & Answers

Hi Diana, no you do not need a bachelors degree to go on one of our programs, a majority of them are actually for undergrads. Here are the general requirements to study abroad on a USAC program: USAC welcomes students from any US college or university who: Are at least 18 years old at the time of application and who will be enrolled in a university degree-seeking program while they are abroad...

Reviews

92%
based on 24 reviews
  • Academics 8.1
  • Support 8.6
  • Fun 8.2
  • Housing 8.9
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 16 - 24 of 24
Default avatar
Jenn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Affordable, Educational, Immersive

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Three and a Half Months of No Regrets

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Danielle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Moments of my Life

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!

What would you improve about this program?
Intermingling the USAC students more with the students of the university and native speakers.
Default avatar
Jamie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What a Great Experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Schönes Lüneburg!

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Travis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Brilliant Experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Decision of My Life

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
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Lovely Semester in Lüneburg

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Go To Berlin Instead!

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.