College life in America, what it’s like what I loved about it, and so what we do differently in Germany. Hallo, Servus and welcome back to my youtube channel my name is Felicia. I’m from Munich Germany and currently I’m in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m not a student at an American College right now, but I did go to UC last year from one semester, and I’m going back there next school year for my master’s degree and even now while I’m not in school myself, I still live super close to campus and a lot of the friends that I hang out with go to undergraduate or just graduate it from there. So I’m just still surrounded a lot by this college lifestyle. American college life was always this big thing that I had never experienced myself, but I knew it from the movies mostly so what you see there is basically a lot of wild parties, a lot of beer pong keg stands, and then a lot of sororities and fraternities to play a big role, and students that are super engaged in organizations on campus Just like students who are in acapella groups or who are football players or cheerleaders. Just something like that and they’re usually super successful in it and, when I came to the University of Cincinnati, I actually found a lot of these things to be true Everything seems to be super similar to what my personal image of an American college and the college lifestyle was. So I think the first thing that I should mention is the campus because the campus is the center for everything here, and it’s huge, so you see is actually a public school and it has a relatively small campus if you compare it to other colleges in America, but, to me, it was unbelievable in the beginning. It’s basically a small city within a city. So next to all the department buildings where the classes take place and the offices are in, you have libraries of course and then you also have a big football stadium that can fit 40,000 people, there’s a baseball stadium, there’s a soccer stadium and indoor basketball arena. Then there is a big gym for students to use so it’s included in their tuition and it has all kinds of workout equipment. It has a running track a climbing wall a pool and fitness classes all kinds of stuff then there is a student center that has couches, a food court a bookstore, rooms for events even has a bar in the basement and a little movie theater and then, on top of the food court, there are also other little restaurants on campus like a Starbucks or Subway, there are little stores for example for school supplies or for merchandise, then there’s a few of these big grass fields for everyone to use, there are dining halls where the people who live on campus eat, it’s basically like cafeterias, and then of course the dorms where the people live in or some of the students live in that. So this is all on campus and that’s not even all because there are also a lot of services just for the students like, for example, shuttle buses that bring people around campus or even downtown, then there is a free night ride that brings people from house to house when it’s dark. I think it operates from 8 p.m through 3 a.m. So that people don’t have to walk alone when they go home from a party or some other event at night and then there’s also a University of Cincinnati Police Department so yes the campus of the university has its own police. So in Germany we don’t really have this kind of campus life with all of these additional services like it is here. My university for example is in the middle of the city of Munich, so it doesn’t even have a campus really there’s just different department buildings spread out all over the city but some universities have that in Germany but it’s still nothing compared to here because the campuses will usually just have the buildings where the classes take place and where the offices are in and then you will maybe have libraries and cafeterias and that’s it and usually you students can take sports classes for free or for cheap at least but that’s nothing compared to having a professional gym on campus and the reason for all of these differences is mostly the tuition situation because American students have to pay in between a few thousand and several ten thousands of dollars tuition per semester, plus living expenses and rents, whereas in Germany, we only have to pay an administrative fee, which is only a few hundred euros a semester It’s different from state to state, but I, for example, I think I pay less than €200 a semester right now but I don’t think it’s more than 500 anywhere in Germany and that’s the reason why American colleges can afford all these big stadiums and huge campuses and all these extra services whereas German universities usually don’t have the money for that. So that’s why, I, as a German student, usually just go to my class there, I, maybe, spend some time at the University at the library to study maybe eat in the cafeteria and then I go back home and my free time doesn’t take place at university if I don’t have to study a lot. That’s also why there’s usually no sports teams that play for the University, and there’s also no such thing as a college league either. It’s just because the universities don’t have the money to pay for coaching or a stadium, or jerseys even there are small college teams sometimes but, even if there are, it’s nothing compared to the role that college sports play in America. U.C for example has so many teams like a football team baseball tee soccer team men’s basketball women’s basketball, volleyball and so many more and, when they play, a lot of the students will come out and support their team and the teams are actually very important for universities reputation here. So for student-athletes, the sport usually fills out most of their time, and I don’t know if this is the case for all of them but for most of them at least I know that they don’t have to pay tuition, maybe none of them have to pay tuition. I don’t know but because they play for their school, they don’t have to pay for their classes and there are even Scouts that go to high school teams and look out for talents there. So that they can recruit them for their college teams later. In Germany, sports, in general, are usually not connected to a high school or a university, they usually take place and clubs, in your free time and it’s the same with any other free time activities usually but here in America all of these things can take place on campus if you want them to for, even if you’re not an athlete, there are so many other student organizations of which you can be a member. U.C, alone, has over 500 organizations in total and they are for example language clubs singing club dancing clubs or other sports that you want to do in your free time like, biking or maybe a fighting sport there’s a media club that has its own radio station on campus and my highlight; There’s even a Harry Potter Club, and then, besides all the organizations, there’s also the Greek life, of course and that means all the fraternities for guys and sororities for girls that exists on and around campus and that’s also something that I didn’t really know from Germany because we don’t really have that there a lot, but here, it’s a really big deal. It’s called Greek life because they all have Greek letters as their names; So they have names like Kappa, Kappa, Gamma Sigma Chi Beta Theta Pi Gamma Phi Beta and so on. They all have their own big houses where they meet up and some of them even live there and if you want to be a part of it you have to rush, which means that you have to go through a certain recruitment process and they have to pick you to be a mem of the fraternity or sorority. So they usually have a bunch of activities just for themselves but then they also host public events and the fraternities host parties and yes those parties are usually exactly like in the movies at least the ones I’ve been to, bunch of drinking out of red plastic cups, beer pong, loud music, That’s what you can expect. Greek life is something that we don’t have at all in Germany. Students associations do exist, but they’re very rare and they’re very outdated. So I even had to do some research on this because I didn’t really know a lot about it, even though I went to college in Germany for four years. So that already shows that Greek life or students associations are not really a thing there. So apparently a lot of them disappeared under Hitler and then the rest of them got very bad reputation in the 1960s and 70s because they were considered to be elitist. So now less than 1% of all college students in Germany are member offer students associations, so that’s basically nothing. I also think that the academic life is a lot different in Germany and America but this is just my experience from L.M.U in Germany, which is very big University and U.C in America. First of all the class structure is a lot different here; as a German, I would compare it more to a German high school than a university and that’s because you meet up more than once typically for each class and then you usually get homework for the next class and there’s often a participation grade. A lot of Europeans say that college on undergrad level here is way easier than in Europe, and I actually agree with that, that’s my experience too, but that doesn’t mean that I learned last year, it’s just not as likely to fail a class I would say. In Germany, some of the universities and especially certain majors just have way too many students, so that the universities basically try to filter them out by having super hard exams. Sometimes only half of the students pass and then, everyone who fails was just being kicked out of the school. That’s something that I feel like would never happen here, It’s actually quite the opposite I would say, like you pay so much money to the University, that they want to give you something for it, and they want you to succeed, which is why you get a lot of support and I’ve even heard teachers say something like; So those of you who are not happy with their grades yet can just come to me after class and we can talk about a way of how you can improve your grade. Never heard that in Germany before which is sad I think and you also get a lot of personal support here in the form of personal advisers or other people, that help you with all the bureaucratic things. I remember that before I came to U.C, I was in touch with a person that helped me with organizing everything, we were talking via email and I just asked a bunch of questions because that’s what I was used to from Germany that I just have to figure everything out myself. So I just asked all these questions to make sure that everything works out fine because I had never been here before I didn’t know how the school system works and then when I actually came here, I met this exchange student advisor in person and she was like ‘oh, you’re the worried one’ and I was like ‘yep that’s me’. but I earned it because in Germany you have to do that they force you to do everything yourself, you’re very independent, and if you miss a deadline, they sometimes won’t even send you a reminder, like I’ve heard from people who just came home and they had a letter in their mail from the university telling them that they’re not enrolled anymore. They were just kicked out like that because they missed a deadline and hadn’t even realized it that actually can happen in Germany, it’s not very common, but it can happen technically but, here in America, they just have a lot more money and they can afford to pay all these staff people and these extra services and also one thing that I haven’t mentioned so far, great technical equipment too. And one other little thing that makes college life, just a little bit more enjoyable here, that’s very American’ is that you call your teachers by their first name usually and they call you by their first name it just makes it all a little bit more personal and more fun to go there honestly. So to sum it up I would to say that for American and for German college life, there is just pros and cons on each side; America you have to pay a lot of money for it but you also get a lot for it. In Germany, you don’t have to pay a lot of money, which makes the access to education a little bit easier, and maybe more fair, too but you also only get the classes and maybe just a few little extra things. I personally love the American college life, I’m very happy that I came here, and that I had the opportunity to experience all this but I’m also glad that I was able to spend most of my college time in Germany where it didn’t have to pay all this money. So I guess it was the perfect combination for me. If you have a personal experience, with this as well or an opinion on this topic, American versus German college life then please leave me a comment because I would love to read them. Thank you for watching, I hope you liked it subscribe my channel if you did, and I hope I’ll see you next week [In German] Bye!