USAC Germany: Lüneburg - German Language, European and Sustainability/Environmental Studies

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About

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.

Highlights
  • 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

Questions & Answers

Reviews

91%
based on 21 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 21
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Ryker
9/10

Fairytale Town

I studied abroad in the Fall of 2016. It was the most amazing experience I've ever had in schooling. It gave you the freedom to explore and discover while having a central located area to come back to, and call home. I met tons of friends, and saw many countries. I got to meet locals, and other travelers alike, and hear their experiences while sharing mine. The city of Luneburg is gorgeous and feels almost medieval. I highly recommend this program!

How can this program be improved?
I would recommend that the housing be displayed a bit more openly to the students about to travel abroad!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Keri
7/10

Luneburg, Germany

The city was amazing! Small and very easy to get around. The University provided student tickets that let you take any public transportation (metro, buses) for free in Lower Saxony. I went for the first summer session and it was an alright experience. I only got to hang out with the other American participants. There were no organized events to meet German students, which is what I wanted. The program leaders didn't even release a list of things to do in the city and surrounding areas till the last week I was there. This bummed me out as there were many cool things available that I didn't know about.
Overall, I loved being overseas and Luneburg and all the German cities I saw, but the program coordinators could have been more helpful in helping us meet German students and know things to do in our spare time.

How can this program be improved?
Program Coordinators in Germany should make events for the American students to meet German students. Also, the American students should be given the list of things to do at the orientation, not at the end of the program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Amber
10/10

Trip of a Lifetime

I always wanted to go to Germany since most of my family is German. I had the summer of a lifetime abroad and would study abroad through USAC again. I did an apartment and it was awesome. I wish it was more dorm style since we were all pretty spread out throughout the city and it was sometimes hard to hang out with friends when the buses were not running. Make sure to get a bike! The USAC advisers were awesome (Vero and Lenart). Travel as much as you can while you are over there!

How can this program be improved?
More information to residents before hand.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Hannah
10/10

Best year of my life!

I did the yearlong program in Lüneburg and it was easily the best year of my life so far. The classes were straight forward and the staff was always willing to support you and aid you in your studies. Classes run from Monday to Thursday with exams on Fridays about every two weeks, so there are many opportunities to travel on the weekends if you plan accordingly. I had the opportunity to participate in an internship at a local high school or Gymnasium and observe English as a foreign language class. This gave me the opportunity to not only help the teachers in class, but also to expose German students to American English, the culture, and to help them understand current events in America. I also had the opportunity to get a language partner and that experience was really beneficial in helping my ability to express myself fluently, my understanding of the culture, and of course getting the opportunity to make a new friend. My housing situation was wonderful, I lived in a shared apartment with German students, who were really fun, and I was able to make German friends through them. Lüneburg is such a beautiful, unique town, unlike any German town I've ever been too. All in all, my experience in Lüneburg was spectacular and I have no regrets about my decision to study here.

How can this program be improved?
More integration with the German students was the biggest complaint of most of my friends and classmates. USAC classes are German language learning centric and are only offered to USAC students; therefore, all your classes are only with USAC students and not German students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kat
10/10

Best Decision!!!

I totally fell in love with Germany through this program. The way the courses are organized is very straight-forward and engaging, the professors care about your success as a student, the language classes are very in-depth and challenging, the community in Luneburg is very friendly and are patient if your German isn't great, and my homestay was fantastic! Overall, terrific experience and I got to see most of Europe during my time throughout this program.
I would highly recommend this to anyone even remotely interested in studying in Europe.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Cami
10/10

During Deutschland

I studied abroad with USAC during Fall 2016. I was in Lüneburg, a small town about thirty minutes outside of Hamburg, for four months and I learned more about myself and my culture during that time than I ever expected to. In my opinion Lüneburg was the perfect city to study in. It was small enough that you weren't surrounded by tourists and people who were going to be speaking English, but close enough to a big city that it was easy to travel around and find the resources that you needed.
I stayed with a host family that quickly became like a real family. Choosing this housing option made my experience better than I could have ever hoped. It really gave me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the language and the culture. USAC offered multiple different housing options, though, so if this hadn't been the best choice for me it would have been easy to find a new situation.
The classes were awesome! I did the language intensive program, so I took four semesters worth of German classes in the timespan of one semester helping me finish my minor. It might sound scary, but it wasn't! The teachers are very good and very understanding and you can even go study without any prior German language experience!
USAC also provided multiple excursions to other parts of Germany so that we could branch out and see the rest of the country. Even when they didn't have USAC sanctioned events, there was multiple three-day weekends that you could use to go all around. I was able to visit Spain, Copenhagen, Munich, Italy, Amsterdam, and London during my program which was an unbelievable opportunity.
Overall the support and opportunities that USAC gave me made this the best possible experience. I highly recommend studying through USAC if you want a program with a lot of support and options. Now it's time to plan my trip back to Germany!

How can this program be improved?
A couple more opportunities to make friends with the German students studying at the university would help a lot with maintaining the language after leaving.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kristen
8/10

Great Weekend Excursion

We took a weekend into Berlin for a couple days. We stayed in a really nice hostel and were close the public transportation. This weekend was so much fun. Everyday felt like we were in a new city. Berlin was so awesome and beautiful and much to offer to everyone. I loved how USAC gave us a range of things to see an experience while we there for such a short period of time. It was definitely one of my top weekends. We even went to a beautiful concert inside the Berlin Dome! An experience I will never ever forget.

How can this program be improved?
Better communication.
I love Lüneburg, my host family, most of the people in my program, but I'm not a fan of how USAC has organized this program. We are at a University that doesn't begin till a month and half after ours starts. Our interaction with the Germans is for a short period of time. Also, the orientation was horribly planned. It took three days and they still had us go out and do some complicated tasks in a foreign language with hardly any assistance. The residence directors are very nice, and I can tell they mean well and try to help out the students, but they are not the best communicators which makes this whole process a little more overwhelming. On the academic side, the teachers for the non language class are not very organized, and there classes require a lot of work and the assignments are very vague. It's confusing to know what exactly should be done and classes are once a week which makes it even more hard to know what is expected.
I love being here in Germany, and I am incredibly thankful for the experience. I just don't like how this particular program was organized. At the same time, that isn't ruining my time here. It's just something I think could be improved.
Response from USAC

Hi Kristin,
Thank you for your feedback. I’m so glad you had a great time in Berlin! We appreciate hearing how our programs can be improved. Feel free to email me with more specifics at [email protected] as we would definitely like to smooth out any organizational issues you experienced for our future students.

Danielle
Communications Specialist

Yes, I recommend this program
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Megan
10/10

USAC Lüneburg Semester Program

Lüneburg is the perfect city for study abroad - small and local, but with a huge population of international students. Every Wednesday night my friends and I went downtown to the pubs for karaoke, a döner, and a beer. I felt safe enough to walk or bike back every night.

The town is absolutely beautiful- cobblestone streets, decorated rooftops and three huge cathedrals. They have a farmers market with meats, cheeses and fruit every weekend, and bookstores, bakeries, or restaurants on every corner. A short train ride away is Hamburg, and the student ticket we get as part of the USAC program makes travelling to the bigger city (and all of Lower Saxony) free.

The courses USAC offered were a bit insulated from the main school, but still offered a good chance to learn German. I also took a course on Germany under the Third Reich, which had field trips to several locations of note around Lüneburg and gave me a new perspective on the war and German culture.

I absolutely recommend this program to anyone interested in learning German, living somewhere beautiful, or just wanting an adventure. You won't regret it.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jesus
10/10

Best Time of My Life

This was such great program and I would do it again if I could. Lueneburg as a little town in the state of Niedersachsen. Even though it is a smaller city, there is always something to do. And if you prefer big cities, Hamburg is a thirty minute train ride away. And the best thing is that it is free! You are given a student transportation card that lets you ride regional trains and buses for free! So you're able to spend a day in Bremen, Hannover, and many more without spending money on transportation.

The German tracks are intensive but not too time consuming. Typically you go to class Monday - Thursday and have tests on Friday morning about every other week.

Housing really depends on what section of the city you get. There are dorms next to the University, near the city center (30 min walk to campus) and some that are far (William-Watt-Straße is one that I remember).

How can this program be improved?
The biggest improvement that can be made is integrating the US students with the German students. I know that this is a hard task because the Fall semester begins mid-October in Germany. So that doesn't allow for students to have classes together.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lizzie
10/10

Loved it!!

Luneburg is the cutest little medieval town! It's one of the safest cities I've ever lived in. The classes are great and there are tons of opportunities to speak to Germans to improve your skills. I never had a class in German before going and by the time I left I was carrying on long winded conversations with the locals. One of the best parts is as a student you get free train travel anywhere in the state. I went somewhere new every weekend for free.

I had my passport stolen in Belgium and the staff was so helpful and supportive. I had to go to the US embassy in Berlin to get a new one and they set up everything for me.

Christmas in Germany is so so so fun! If you're only going for a semester, I definitely recommend the fall one!

How can this program be improved?
More integration with German students. If you're there for a year you can do a tandem project with a German student, which was great, but if you're only there for a semester it's really hard to meet German students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Alejandro
9/10

USAC Lüneburg

I had a great time in Lüneburg! Lüneburg is a small town near Hamburg with a beautiful old down town. I met so many cool people (most from the us though ;) ) I did not have as much contact with germans because I lived and studied only with students from usac. I wished i had met more germans. The courses were good, i learned so much about european culture and history.

How can this program be improved?
I did not like that USAC was unable to provide enough housing offers in time. Many of us had to change housing after a few weeks. I would not chose USAC housing again.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kallie
10/10

My year in Germany

I really loved this program. When signing up for the program, I listed that I preferred to live on campus. I originally wanted this option because I thought it would be easiest, and because for those of us who aren't morning people it's faster! I do not regret this decision at all! I lived, literally, across the street from the school and it was really nice, especially when there was 2 feet of snow!

My day started, I woke up and went to German class, followed by 2 other classes. It was really nice because I was finished with my school days pretty early in the day. After class, my classmates and I would go eat in the Mensa with other international students and some German students as well. We would then do whatever else needed. I went to Pennymarkt, which is a local grocery store, to get food normally two or three times a week. It's really close to the university, probably about a 4 minute walk, at the most, so extremely convenient. We had classes only Monday through Thursday, Fridays were reserved for tests, which wasn't every week.
Wednesday nights we typically went out to the city and went to the bars and clubs with other international students. I'm not too sure why, but Wednesdays were the days that we noticed lots of the Germans out as well! It was really fun and became a tradition in our group.
The only downside of living on campus, is getting home after going out all night. The first semester I was lucky enough to become really good friends with someone who I would always walk home with, but during the spring semester I typically either rode my bike home, or walked alone (which I don't entirely recommend). Lüneburg is a very safe city. I never feared walking alone at night, like I do here in America.

This truly is a great program and I recommend it to every person in the German department at my University. It's in a small enough town to where you are forced to speak German, but is also only 30 minutes away from Hamburg, where you can go shopping, visit the Reeperbahn and even see HSV play!

How can this program be improved?
If there was one thing about this program that I would change, it might be to integrate us better with the other students at this university. We had our own classrooms in a certain building, so any meeting of the German students we had to do on our own. We did, however, have the opportunity to have Tandem Partners, where we would meet with German students and speak for approximately 30 minutes in only German and 30 minutes only in English.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jenn
10/10

Affordable, Educational, Immersive

Lüneburg is a beautiful town with tons of medieval charm. It's small, but has easy access to larger cities like Hannover and Hamburg. One of my favorite things about this program is that student IDs give you access to the regional train within Lower Saxony for free - just watch out which train you catch to Lübeck because if you take the wrong one, you'll get a pretty hefty fine.

The classes were intense and involved a good amount of work outside of class. Not exactly what you want when you study abroad, but my German improved so much as a result. The professors were great and the classes small enough for a good amount of one-on-one time.

The buddy system is helpful - it's an easy way to befriend a local and get a little more cultural insight. I still occasionally speak with my buddy. We also met other international students (mostly USAC), which I didn't expect since I went for a summer session. The staff made us aware of on-campus activities and student organizations we could join as well.

The group I went with is still friends and we try to schedule reunions.

How can this program be improved?
Orientation is a bit long. More breaks would be helpful. Also clearer explanations on public transportation/train system to avoid confusion/getting fined.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lindsay
10/10

Three and a Half Months of No Regrets

Every day in Germany was a different experience. Nothing ever remained the same or was boring. I will never forget the moments where I thought I understood the culture from the classes I took, and yet was proven wrong when being surrounded by it (the best example being when I forgot one has to buy plastic bags when grocery shopping). They may have been slightly humiliating, but I adapted; I learned. And that is the point of studying abroad: to step out of the comfort zone of the home country and witness a whole new world. That way, the outcome is a well-rounded individual, with more than a year's worth of stories to tell to family and friends when returning home. I myself have traveled throughout Germany, including Berlin, as well as outside with a trip to Rome and Stockholm. I came, I saw, but most importantly; I grew with knowledge. At first, studying abroad was a large step for someone like me, with very little travel experience. In the end, it became an adventure that I would gladly relive and experience over and over.

How can this program be improved?
As I reflect back on my experience, it is hard to determine how the program itself could improve, for there are many positive aspects of it. However, one improvement I would mention is the load of homework potentially given to students. When saying that, I would like to make a brief note that I am not saying the homework load was "absolutely horrendous;" yet there have been days or weeks where I had no choice but to stay inside and work from the end of class until I went to bed. It is understandable that the classes and coursework are vital, especially when studying the language. However, it is better to go throughout the city and practice that language, and experience culture, instead of reading lessons and doing worksheets.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Danielle
10/10

Best Moments of my Life

Studying abroad in Luneburg, Germany was honestly the best experience of my life. I'm sure you hear people saying that about studying abroad all the time. But this city and the people were amazing. From the culture, to the food, to the people and the location. It was so fun and I learned so much. I learned a second language and a different way of life. I definitely would suggest it to anyone who is thinking of going abroad!

How can this program be improved?
Intermingling the USAC students more with the students of the university and native speakers.
Yes, I recommend this program

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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...