BU Study Abroad

In advance

TOEFL: The TOEFL is a prerequisite for acceptance at the BU and should be planned in good time, as the evaluation can take a while (up to 4 weeks) and then the test results have to be sent by post (come from the USA). I would recommend around 1-2 weeks to prepare, depending on your English level. Even if your English is pretty good, I would prepare a little, as the tasks are sometimes a bit special and you have to get used to them first. In addition, the BU has relatively high demands in the writing part, but for me it still worked with the assumption even though 1 point was missing, as long as the total number of points is above the required total number of points. I did mine in June of the previous year for my semester abroad in the fall, but in January it should be enough. Note: Boston University is also known as BU as abbreviated on abbreviationfinder.

Application procedures and documents: A lot of forms and back and forth, it has, MicroEDU. com but always super helpful and you could also contact them with every little question – it was always super helpful to me.

Embassy appointment: There is still a rumor circulating on the Internet that you have to take a special DHL Express envelope with you for your appointment. That is now wrong (it used to be). Today it is available automatically at the embassy and it is included in the fees. My passport was back at home about 3-4 days after the embassy appointment (I was about mid-June).

Credit card:

  • think of the rental costs that you have to pay there)àHad DKB (free card, free withdrawals worldwide, but 1. 75% processing fee when used abroad
  • Looking back: Would still take CortalConsors (free card, not free worldwide, but free use abroad)
  • With your visa you could theoretically open an account with Bank of America etc.
  • extremely time-consuming to get new ones from Germany)àBe sure to take 2 cards with you (cards have been blocked by friends

SIM card:

  • Had h2o (runs in AT&T, great coverage) from USAsims. com (was sent to Germany), so was directly online in the USA upon arrival.
  • Looking back: T-Mobile (cheaper, but worse network – but no problem in Boston – always full 4G even in the subway)
  • Best of all: Wait until the semester starts and take a T-Mobile Family Plan with friends (cheapest)
  • you always pay in the previous month, no minimum term. àSim cards on a pre-monthly basis

Arrival: I arrived about 2 weeks before the start of the O phase and would arrive about 1 week earlier afterwards. I have really seen everything in Boston, but 1 week is more than enough.

Here are a few sight-seeing tips:

  • Freedom Trail
  • USS Constitution
  • Little Italy & Mike’s Pastry
  • Fenway Park game with the Red Sox (or ice hockey: Boston Bruins, basketball: Boston Celtics, football: New England Patriots in Foxboro)
  • Harvard campus
  • MIT campus
  • Quincy Market
  • Boston Harbor
  • National Library on Boylston Street
  • Observation deck in the Prudential Building
  • Shop on Newbury / Boylston Street
  • Eat lobster at Legal Sea Foods

Shuttle airport – BU near the campus: Take the Silver Line (bus) at the airport, this will bring you directly to the South Station. From the South Station then change to the Red Line and from there to the Green Line and finally out in Kenmore / Kenmore Square. Incidentally, it’s completely free when you come from the airport. The subway is only affectionately called T in Boston, by the way. Alternatively, you can also take a taxi, which is around $ 20-25 to Kenmore Square.

Accommodation: I thought about where I would ultimately like to live in advance and then decided on the ESL Townhouse. All in all, I can say the following: Very expensive (at least single rooms), everything much older than in the pictures (but still okay, you shouldn’t just sit around at home, but explore the USA), excellent location to the city (main shopping street Boylston / Newbury only 10 minutes on foot, relatively close to clubs, unfortunately about 18 minutes to the university, but you get used to it quickly), fully equipped, People from the office are relatively nice and helpful. Even after that, I thought for a long time whether it was the right decision and would probably go there again. The people who lived in the university dorms, for example, had a similar price for a double room as I did for my single room in the townhouse. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a shame that more or less 2 groups formed between people who all live in the dorms and people who all live off-campus (it was also bad because the dorms were very, very There are strict rules like no guests overnight, no alcohol (and even for people over 21 only max 500 mL of any kind). As a European you would probably have felt a bit cramped there. Should you decide for the Townhouse, reserve it as early as possible, because I was almost too close (at the beginning / middle of July with me). And tell them directly that you want to live with people from the MET from the BU. Since they promise this, but often forget it again, tries to send them a few more reminders that you want people from the MET program, because then you have a similar rhythm and that is much more pleasant.

During the semester

For traveling: Always had Megabus / PeterPan when it came to buses. Everything has always worked for me, but friends of mine also had bad experiences during the semester.

Nightlife: Good clubs in the downtown direction are, for example, Royale, Bijou, ICON, The Estate. Entry between $ 20- $ 30. Another good bar close to the campus would be “Tavern in the Square”, on Thursdays it really goes off here with almost only BU students, and there are no entrance fees. Get used to always (always!) Take your passport with you when you go on tour in the evening. This is the only document that they allow to legitimize your age and there are really never any exceptions.

eat: For the Townhosue there is a 7-Eleven (it has everything to survive, but not a large selection of individual product categories, but 24 hours). There is also a StarMarktet within easy reach (supermarket – you can get everything here), CVS Pharmacy is also not far away and fast food shops are everywhere anyway (be sure to go to Chipotle!). If you live in the Townhouse, be sure to go to Tratorria Toscana around the corner. It doesn’t look really inviting from the outside, but is a “real” Italian and is recommended in many travel guides. For eating at the university, I would recommend Marciano and West Dining Hall (dining halls of the university), both are around $ 8. 8 per meal, but then you have all-you-can-eat and there is everything: fresh pizza, countless Pasta combinations, desserts, cookies, soft ice cream, salad buffet, etc. – simply everything.

Uni: The campus is really great (everything from the outside very old buildings that have a really strong flair) and the rooms inside are 1A equipped and the outdoor facilities are also perfectly maintained. Otherwise it is unimaginable what a university in the USA has: a huge fitness center (completely free of charge and a towel service for $ 2. 6 per month), its own ice arena, etc. There is also a free bus shuttle across the campus and there are also several subway stops on campus. For grading system: At the BU A is the highest grade, so there is therefore no A +. For the orientation phase: At the beginning I also took part in the so-called Common Ground, you can do it, but it didn’t work, as almost only 18-year-old Freshmans were there. I would definitely do the rest of the O-phase again, actually, I got to know almost all of my friends there. Regarding the reputation of the university: The BU is considered one of the best universities in the USA and was ranked 37th in the well-known US news ranking just this year. In fact, the tuition fees here are said to be even higher than at Harvard for regular students.

About the MET: There are always a large number of international students or some students from the BU who want to take additional courses in the MET courses. In addition, the majority of the courses are in the evening and not split, i. e. 1x 3h. However, you get used to the 3h much faster than expected and the evening courses also have their advantages.

Courses:

  • Entrepreneurial Management: Managing of Small, Medium and Large Sized Ventures (Dr. Istvan Bonyhay): Bringing up a bit boring, but learned a lot in the process (you have to be proactive to take something with you – but as soon as it is there, you really learn something). Professor was sometimes a little unstructured or his time management was often a little unrealistic, but it was really okay on a human level and you also had the feeling that he was really interested in the students. Through a relationship, our professor was also able to secure a CEO of a start-up of MIT graduates as a guest speaker for a lecture – for that reason alone the course was almost worth it. I would definitely choose again. Regarding the grading: Very fair, but also did not shame itself to give very bad grades.
  • Business Strategy (Walter A. Silvia): By far the best course I had at the BU (but watch out for the professor, there are several who offer this course, but the quality depends largely on the professor). The prof was rather strict and more of the old school, but had many years of experience as a manager of large telecommunications companies and was therefore very competent. However, the workload of this course was big (you could have done 2 easy courses for that). But I would vote for him 100% again. Regarding the grading: hard work is recognized and recognized.
  • Monetary & Banking Institutions(Raphael J. Constantino): The topic of the course was extremely interesting, but the design was rather mediocre. The professor himself can explain really well, but he only ever clicks down the presentations that were officially published by the publisher for the book (although they are not freely available). He then continues with the bullet points for the slides. Since we didn’t get the slides, however, you always had to read the respective chapters again at home and write out bullet points, which meant a greater workload. Regarding the grading: Quite okay, but could be a little fairer. Note to the professor: The professor is very forgetful and normally does not remember for the next lesson if you did something organizational or similar in the lesson of the previous week.
  • Finance Concepts (Chee): The course was very structured, every week there was a 3h power lecture by Chee on his slides (which are actually totally overloaded – they are all the more helpful for learning later for the exam). There were always assings (and not a few), but these were not checked and it was up to you to make them yourself. As a result, I actually had almost no workload in this course, except before the two exams, where it was a little more. Chee itself is full of vigor and energy, but sometimes it gets a little mixed up. However, he has prepared many topics in a very structured way and his scheme makes them easy to understand. Presence is checked every hour and he also attaches great importance to presence.

Books: Don’t all buy, try to borrow (not from Barnes & Noble @ BU, way too overpriced, Amazon has better prices). Always try to buy an international edition (only softcover, for ¼ of the price of the original, but very small parts differ from the original – you just have to check it briefly)

Conclusion

All in all, I would highly recommend the semester at the BU and I am really happy that I did it and I don’t want to miss it. Some things were actually different than expected – but mostly in a positive way. Above all, it’s great because 4 months are really enough to really get to know Boston and to find your way around the city. In addition, one should simply take the opportunity to study at an American university in order to be able to use both educational systems (in comparison to German). And even if many say the opposite: The USA is simply an impressive country and that was further confirmed after my semester there.

BU - Boston University Study Abroad