sculpture in the city

Using Study Abroad to live Abroad after College

Rebecca Wei Yale '16

It was BCGS that built my confidence to live and work in Germany permanently after graduation.

I participated in the BCGS Spring program in 2014, and it’s hard to overstate how formative my eight months in Berlin were. Before college I had taken a gap year in Germany to go to school, live with a host family, and learn the language. It was a life-changing experience that whet my appetite for life abroad, but it was BCGS that built my confidence to live and work in Germany permanently after graduation.

With Carmen and Niko’s incredible support both academically and emotionally, BCGS equipped me with the advanced German language and cultural skills to succeed in my semester at the FU but also to apply for and thrive in a strategy consulting internship in Berlin the following summer. More importantly the ideal balance of support and independence that BCGS offers helped me learn to navigate life as an adult in a way that I never would have on my college campus. My fellow BCGS-ers and I enjoyed a high degree of freedom—finding our own housing, attending class independently, doing as we liked in our spare time—but we also knew that Carmen and Niko would always have our backs if any difficult situations came up.

Compared to other study abroad programs that I witnessed in Berlin, BCGS’ “Consortium” aspect is particularly advantageous for those who want to explore new social horizons. While I loved my university, I didn’t want to feel like I was in the same college bubble simply relocated to a foreign country. At BCGS my peers were from a variety of different schools and the friendships I built exposed me to different university cultures and academic perspectives.

After graduation I moved to Germany permanently and am currently working at the German subsidiary of an American consulting company. I cannot thank Carmen and Niko enough for making BCGS the “Grundgerüst”—or foundational structure—upon which I could build my personal and career development. BCGS is hands down the best study abroad experience for anyone looking for a fun, academically rigorous, and truly immersive experience in which to develop their German language and cultural skills