I am currently studying in Germany at the university of the S-Finanzgruppe as part of the MBA program – that is, part-time. Therefore, a full semester abroad was out of the question for me. After trying out various short semester alternatives (from Vienna to Copenhagen, Hong Kong and Hawaii), I finally ended up in Boston. At first I was deterred by the high course fees – but that’s not a big deal, as there are courses that are considerably cheaper than the standard costs (1000 USD per credit – I ended up paying $ 4600 for 8 credits) – the cheap dollar was included The rest.
I chose the courses “Social Psychology” and “Competitive strategies in dynamic environments”. Both courses were structured completely differently. In psychology, the focus was on working through a textbook, a lot of input and slides, but with practical examples and a really competent and helpful professor. The exams were partly multiple choice, partly essays. Incidentally – MC in English is not to be underestimated .. you have to read the questions very carefully. But dictionary was allowed 😉
They weren’t just courses for internationals, but rather normal summer term courses in which US Studies also take part. Nevertheless, the courses were very diverse in terms of nationalities USA, Canada, China, Japan, Spain, Germany, to name just a few.
The lectures in management were completely different – we worked through case studies from Harvard Business Review (including about Porsche, Ikea, GAP, ZARA, bestBuy etc.) and discussed from a management perspective where strengths, weaknesses etc. existed. The management tools (e.g. BCG portfolio, Porter 5 forces) were playfully integrated and it was really only discussed in the classroom. That was pure management strategy! A real added value. But nothing works without preparation… and 50% of the grade was oral participation… so for better or worse you had to at least read the case studies (4 pieces per week)… per case study 15-30 DinA4- Pages ;-
All in all, I guess I underestimated the workload for two subjects a little. In the 6 weeks we wrote 4 exams, a project work and 8 papers (short summary of the management case studies or answering the questions).
- Check topschoolsintheusa for more about The School of Management at Boston University.
There wasn’t a lot of time for leisure time or weekend trips. Nevertheless, we did not miss the opportunity to pay a 3-day visit to New York, do excessive outlet shopping (the dollar exchange rate at 1.55 was perfect and the offer in this outlet was simply awesome) and another day trip – but that was it also outside of Boston. So it’s definitely worth it to add another two or three weeks before or after!
Registration and organizational matters
The registration at the BU actually went well, but you have to decide on courses in good time, as some of them are booked out very quickly. You should also look for alternatives in addition to the initial request – just in an emergency. This can be done very clearly on the website http://www.bu.edu/summer/. With the paperwork for registration you get good support from MicroEDU, the bureaucracy on site is much worse than in Germany (which I wouldn’t have thought), but easy to manage. All in all, we didn’t have any problems with that at all.
Accommodation in the dormitory is recommended because we lived right on campus and only a short distance to the classrooms (and to BU Beach – the learning and sunbathing area ;-). Unfortunately there is a deduction from me for the lack of air conditioning and the spartan rooms. But it can be endured. Since you can use the WLAN network free of charge at the university, I worked with a laptop in the meadow…
It should be taken into account that the rooms cannot be canceled once they have been booked. We had spontaneously thought about taking an apartment after all, but we couldn’t cancel the room on site. In retrospect, it wasn’t bad either, as the location was really perfect.
I did not take part in the university catering, as the offers are a little limited during the summer term. And university food isn’t that much cheaper than in “normal” restaurants. And certainly not healthier 😉 The small Thai shops around the corner are best…
The city, fun and nightlife
Boston itself is a great city – not so artificially American, but with its own flair. There are more than enough shopping opportunities (Newbury Street!) And the nightlife is really ok. There are various “spots” where several bars can be found, in my opinion there is something for every taste. We experienced some great live music evenings there, but the discos are also good (although the selection is limited to 5 to 10)
Boston is a relatively young city, certainly also because of the many universities. The Charles River (right by the university!) Is great for jogging – as many people as there are out there – it’s really contagious, you have to get your running shoes out… and the huge gym at the university only costs 18 dollars each Month and is therefore an absolute must. The public transport network (especially the T, the subway network) is fully developed and you can get anywhere quickly and easily. You should get a monthly pass, ideally a rechargeable plastic card, then it’s faster at the entrance to the train.
I was not thrilled (but that applies to the whole of the USA with a few exceptions) that the bars and discos already close at two o’clock at night. But you get used to it quickly, you just have to start earlier than in Germany. An absolute must is Jake Ivory’s piano bar (live music from the 80s, rock, pop on two grand pianos… great party atmosphere!) And the Gypsybar (great disco, just google it).
Boston was worth every penny every day. The university is huge and you can get to know a lot of people. There is a learning effect, fun is not neglected, although you have a lot to do. Boston University has a good reputation, so it certainly makes a good resume to have been here. A clear recommendation from me for Boston!