USAC Germany: Lüneburg
91% Rating
(17 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.

  • 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
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Program Reviews

based on 17 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 7.8
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 16 - 17 of 17
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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.

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.

Yes, I recommend
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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.

No, I don't recommend

About USAC

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...