Ermelinda, Braga WiSe 2022/23

"I felt that I had my best student life in Braga. The large number of students in the city makes for a lively and dynamic atmosphere where there is always something going on, be it a party or a sporting event."

© Ermelinda Marku

Braga, where I left a piece of my heart, is an enchanting city with a rich history, a vibrant culture, an internationally friendly environment, and a welcoming atmosphere that will give you an experience you will remember for a lifetime. Compared to other European cities, the cost of living in Braga is more affordable, allowing you to spend more money on fun than on fixed costs. The professors at the University of Minho strive to create a supportive environment for international students to ensure that we get the most out of a truly intercultural experience. I felt that I had my best student life in Braga. The large number of students in the city makes for a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere where there is always something going on, be it a party or a sporting event. If you're in the mood for more, a train/bus will always take you to Porto in less than an hour. If you're lucky enough to be in one of the most international cities in Europe, Braga opens the door to many students who want to have the time of their lives just like you.

It's easier to make friends when you come to a new city alone, but be very open-minded and expect to meet interesting people. Not only will you improve your English, but you'll always have a place to visit and a couch to sleep on in every corner of Europe.
Fun Fact: More than 80% of the Erasmus students in my semester returned to Braga at least once, some even 3 or 4 times. That's how much we enjoyed it there.

Carlo, Toulouse WiSe 2022/23

"The Toulouse School of Economics combines a dreamy summer in the South of France with high academic standards and a steep learning curve."

"For years, the Toulouse School of Economics has been one of the world's most research-intensive educational institutions in economics and is therefore the ideal choice for a research-oriented academic education. The TSE combines the wonderful summer in the South of France with a high scientific standard and a steep learning curve. This is also evident in the effort required for Maste modules, which is significantly higher at the TSE than for Bachelor modules in Bonn. At TSE, I took eight modules from the Master of Science in Economics and Statistics in English. Although many of the modules are offered in English, it is certainly helpful to speak French. 

Toulouse as a city is very young and dynamic. Until the beginning of November, it is as warm as in summer. As long as it is still warm, many concerts take place and you can go water skiing on the Garonne. Overall, I couldn't have imagined a better semester abroad."

Carlo Knapp in front of the University of Toulouse.
© Carlo Knapp

Jakob, Toulouse winter semester 2021/22

"For me, Toulouse was the perfect place for an Erasmus semester and I can recommend everyone to apply for it."

boy standing in front of mountains
© Jakob Lenze

"For me, Toulouse was the perfect place for an Erasmus semester and I can recommend everyone to apply for it. Thanks to Jean Tirole, among others, the TSE is one of the most renowned French VWL universities and offers a selection of interesting courses in French and in English. The campus of the Université Toulouse Capitole 1 is centrally located and after lectures, the Place St Pierre is a great place to have a drink with other students from all over the world, meet new people and make friends. The BDE TSE, the Toulouse VWL faculty, regularly organizes numerous events, especially at the beginning of the semester, which make it much easier to arrive.

Toulouse and its surroundings also offer endless possibilities for leisure activities and especially the Pyrenees are worth at least one visit. For me, the semester abroad was an experience for life and in my opinion, everyone who has the opportunity should take advantage of this privilege."

Mattis, Paris summer semester 2021

"In the end, all the courses were doable, you learn an extreme amount and you have great choices in Data Science and Machine Learning."

"Even though curfews and (partial) online classes marred the experience a bit and I would have liked to be out and about more, the half year in Paris was an incredibly good time. The city is extremely culturally diverse and there is always life on the streets and music on every corner. Unfortunately, I didn't meet many people at the university because of the online classes, but I met even more people in the Cité Universitaire, a small student village on the outskirts of Paris, which I can only recommend as a place to live.

As far as ENSAE is concerned, however, you should know what you are getting into: Most of the courses are quite demanding and a lot is assumed in terms of knowledge of statistics and econometrics. In the end, all courses were doable, you learn a lot and you have a lot of choice in the field of Data Science and Machine Learning. Even though ENSAE is a bit out of town, you can get there in a good half hour by RER and you have a lot of opportunities to go out in nature between the university and the city."

© Mattis Bös

Bentje, Siena winter semester 2020/21

"I was surprised at how personal the lectures were [...] and many professors were soon calling out by name."

girl in Siena
© Bentje Böer

"The location of the faculty says it all about the study experience that awaits you in Siena: Around two cloisters of the church of San Francesco lie the small lecture halls of the Faculty of Economics, suggesting personal, interactive teaching surrounded by culture and history.

Each of the 17 municipalities (contrade) cultivates its own unique traditions and a keen awareness of its own distinctiveness, not without a bit of tongue-in-cheek Tuscan irony, of course. All the legends and feuds take place in an urban area that can be crossed in 20 minutes on foot – a unique concentration of well-preserved urban history that invites you to expand your Italian language skills in conversation with residents after lectures!"

Julius, Prague winter semester 2019/20

"It was an incredibly valuable time and Prague is a perfect place for a semester abroad."

"Prague is a great city and perfect for an Erasmus semester. Charles University is an international university, so you quickly make connections and meet interesting people from many countries. In the field of economics, I had a wide choice of English-language courses, as there was one course that was offered entirely in English. The level was very different from course to course. However, a significant difference to the courses at the University of Bonn was that points for the overall grade also had to be collected during the semester. A particularly positive aspect is that lecturers often come from important economic institutions, such as the Czech National Bank.

The city itself has an incredible amount to offer in terms of leisure activities and nightlife and you can explore the region and neighboring countries very inexpensively, so you can really afford something in your free time. Prague is a city with so many sights and beautiful places, as well as cafes and restaurants, that I would have loved to stay another semester to discover all the things that I didn't have time for in half a year. If I had the choice again, I would definitely choose Prague again."

boy in front of charles bridge
© ECON Uni Bonn

Marcel, Toulouse winter semester 2020

"I gained new professional knowledge and many international experiences through the semester abroad."

© ECON Uni Bonn

"You get to know students from all over the world and study in a beautiful city where it is usually still pleasantly warm until the end of October.

Since the semester is already over before Christmas (you also only have 10 weeks of lectures), the semester can be very intense if you choose the right courses. Nevertheless, especially at the beginning of the semester and also in the lecture-free week at the beginning of November, there is time to go on excursions to cities such as Bordeaux, Montpellier or, if necessary, Barcelona.

Overall, such a semester abroad of only four months is associated with a lot of effort. However, it is worth it because you gain unique experiences during your stay. The TSE is a very prestigious department for Economics, not only because of the Nobel Prize winner Jean Tirole. Even though you can be relatively busy if you choose the right courses, you have a good foundation with the first four semesters from Bonn and can still benefit very well from the opportunities that studying in Toulouse offers. Therefore, I can highly recommend a semester abroad in Toulouse."

Steffen, Padua winter semester 2019/20

"Padua is a typical Italian city with a lot of charm and offers you a relaxed semester abroad."

"Padua is a student city, so there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people and explore the city together. Most of the student life there takes place in the piazzas, where people spend the evenings and drink Padua's "national drink", the Aperol Spritz. Since Padua is only
a stone's throw from Venice, it is definitely a must to visit this beautiful city (see picture).

You have a wide choice of courses, as you can choose from different faculties. Basically, it has to be said that studying there is different in that, in contrast to the theoretical approach at the University of Bonn, there is more emphasis on practical methods such as group projects, presentations and essays throughout the semester.
From an academic point of view, the semester at the University of Padua was definitely varied and offered many opportunities to exchange ideas with students."

boy on a bridge in venice
© Steffen Alles

The testimonials and opinions expressed are solely the personal opinions of the respective author.

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