Was Ist Hier Überhaupt Los? A study Abroad Survival Guide

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Was Ist Hier Überhaupt Los?

A Study Abroad Survival Guide

University of Rhode Island

German International Engineering Program

Table of Contents

Junior Year and Departure Preparation

Feeling Nervous About Your German?

Applying For Scholarships

Let’s Talk About Paperwork

Setting Up A Research Project

TU Braunschweig Application

Housing Application

How To Register For The International Summer Course at TU Braunschweig

What To Bring

Learn To Cook

The Group Flight

Upon Arrival & Sommerschule

Things To Do Soon After Arriving

Getting To The University

IO Orientation/TUBS Enrollment

Research Opportunities/Process

Sommerschule Classes

Basic Tips

University Semester

Costs To Expect

Locations In Braunschweig


Transportation In Braunschweig

Getting Sick


ISN Group/Gauss Freunde

General Germany/Cultural Notes


Classes (Registration, What To Take, Etc.)

Visa Process


Leaving Braunschweig

Internship Semester

Finding A Place To Live In Your Internship City

How To Move To Your New City

Registering In New City - Communicate With IO

German Workplace Culture

GER 497/498 & Registering for Fall Classes

Preparing To Leave Germany

What Papers To Keep

Super-Senior Year

Reverse Culture Shock

Getting Your Classes Transferred & Intent to Graduate Forms

Sharing Your Experiences

Appendix A: Sample Budgets

Appendix B: Common Abbreviations In This Handbook

Appendix C: Transportation Glossary

Appendix D: Info For DAAD Scholarship Holders

Junior Year and Departure Preparation

Hello and welcome to the URI German IEP Study Abroad Survival Guide! Congrats for making it this far and take a deep breath - it will all make more sense soon (hopefully). The purpose of this guide is to answer as many questions as possible about Germany, Germans, the IEP, Braunschweig, and lots of other things you might be wondering about. It was made by students who studied abroad and want to help you avoid any big issues with your year abroad. This doesn’t mean everything will always go perfectly, but what’s a year abroad without some stories to tell? So without further ado, lass uns doch mal anfangen!

Feeling Nervous About Your German?

Mach keinen Stress! If you already spoke perfect German, you wouldn’t need to go anyway. But if you start to get nervous, here are a couple things you can use to practice a bit beforehand.

  • There are tons of games and quizzes on www.sporcle.com and some other quiz sites. Here’s one for example: http://www.sporcle.com/games/McFly/essentialgermanverbs. These are a nice easy way to practice some basic vocab.

  • And here’s another nice one so you can ask Germans where they are from and not have to awkwardly nod when you have no idea what they are saying: http://online.seterra.net/en/ex/104.

  • If you haven’t been introduced to it already, LEO (www.leo.org) is just about the best German-to-English dictionary on the web. Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/) is getting better, and some people like the dict.cc (http://www.dict.cc/) layout, but LEO is the king here, so go ahead and bookmark it now.

  • You can also download apps like Duolingo (http://www.duolingo.com/) for free!

  • Download the dict.cc app to your smartphone and install the German/English dictionary – this will let you look up vocabulary on your phone on the fly without an internet connection!

  • Deutsche Welle (http://www.dw.com/de/themen/s-9077) is also a great news site geared for people learning German. It’s also a great way to stay up-to-date on current events.

  • Listen to some German music! This is obviously dependent on your taste, but here are a few artists and some of their best-known songs to get you started.

    • Seeed - Augenbling, Riddim No.1, Aufstehn. Probably the biggest act in Germany right now, they have stuff anywhere from reggae to dance music. Check out the guest verse from CeeLo Green on Aufstehn; it comes out of nowhere.

    • Peter Fox - Alles Neu, Haus am See. The lead man in Seeed, he also has a really well known solo album, Stadtaffe. The whole thing is worth a listen.

    • Kraftklub - Ich will nicht nach Berlin, Eure Mädchen - A rock/punk group who really don’t like the hipsters in Berlin

    • Cro - Einmal um die Welt, Du. He describes his music as “Raop,” Rap/Hip Hop. Some pretty clever lyrics and relaxing feel.

    • Clueso - Gewinner, Chicago, Barfuss. Acoustic guitar music, a bit of a breather. If this is more your thing, also check out Philipp Poisel or Bosse.

    • Die Ärtzte - Westerland. Some old rockers, kind of like the Green Day of Germany. Not the most new/hip music, but worth a listen.

    • Lena - 99 Luftballons. What, were we going to NOT put this on the list?

    • Honorable Mentions: Die Toten Hosen and Fettes Brot - Two more pretty well-known German bands.

  • www.forvo.com is a site where native speakers from all languages put up clips of themselves pronouncing words. So use this if you see a word but don’t know how it’s pronounced. Here are some Germans saying Eichhörnchen (squirrel), which is definitely a tough one for Americans: http://de.forvo.com/word/eichh%C3%B6rnchen/#de

  • www.about.com has a surprisingly good German learning section, with a lot of well-written articles about grammar and pronunciation. Here are a couple interesting ones:

    • Zungenbrecher (tonguebreakers a.k.a. tongue twisters) with audio: http://german.about.com/od/pronunciation/a/tonguetwisters.htm

    • Falsche Freunde - words that may seem similar to English words, but aren’t: http://german.about.com/library/blfalsef.htm

    • Konjunktiv II - Everyone’s favorite tense! http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/konjunktivII.htm

    • The passive form - not quite as fun as Konjunktiv II, but still up there: http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa012901a.htm

  • If we don’t mention the URI Kaffeestunde, the German professors will hunt us down. So there’s that.

  • It’s not too late for the German Summer School either. Spend a few weeks at URI immersing yourself in German and prepping yourself for your year abroad.

Join the facebook group for 3rd, 4th and 5th year German IEP students! Here you can exchange ideas with students going abroad, those who are in Germany right now and those who have returned from Germany. The returned students are an excellent resource when you have questions!

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