UQ Program: Bachelor of Law / Bachelor of Arts

In the city near one of the larger 'Bächle' that flow through the town.I spent one semester, (about 4 months) studying at the University of Freiburg in Baden-Wuttemburg, Germany. Before I left I wasn't sure what to expect. I had been on exchange to Germany in highschool which had been fantastic, however this time I didn't have a school teacher to organise every little thing for me, and I didn't know anyone in Freiburg.

However, once I arrived I immediately felt more at ease. I was met at my apartment by Sarah, one of the heads of residence, who gave me my keys and explained where the university and shops were  etc. A note to the wise, Freiburg shuts down on Sunday, so if you are planning to arrive, then another day is better or else bring food with you!

Freiburg is a gorgeous little town nestled into the Black Forest. So much so that you can walk from the city centre into the Forest just by crossing a street. The weather there is said to be the nicest in all of Germany although my favourite part of the whole city is walking to university (right in the centre of town) and stopping at the bakery every time to get pastries.

The student accomodations are a little way out of town. OIKOS and VAUBAN are about a 15min tram ride and STUSIE (the main student residence) is a 10min tram ride on the other side of the city.

Making friends is no problem, there is a week of orientation where you meet many other exchange and ERASMUS students. Plus, within each residence they have parties where you meet people.

Another great thing about Freiburg is how central it is to the rest of Europe. Switzerland and France are both a quick train ride away and trips to Paris, Austria and  Belgium were all offered during the semester by the university 'Studentenwerk'. If you can, get on these trips, they are great value.

I was planning to study courses in German and Spanish, so I was quite apprehensive about how I would cope. However, I had nothing to worry about. The classes in 'Seminars' are quite small (12-15 people) and the lecturers are very helpful and understanding. Once I explained to them they I was have trouble keeping up at times, they explained everything to me and ensured that I was always understanding from then on.

The cinema in town is usually dubbed in German but occasionally they do show films in the original language. However, my friends and I still had a lot of fun watching Jonny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean speaking German!

One tip I would give, if you are planning to attend the university give yourself time to work through the bureaucracy of registering in Germany. One week at least is a good idea.

Exchange is one experience that you will never regret. You get to meet interesting people from all over the world, try out a different culture, education style and travel opportunities are everywhere you look. Freiburg is a gorgeous city with a great university. I highly recommend it to anyone.

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