“At first when I came to Germany, I was a representative of my home country but now I will represent Germany as best as I can do. I feel so lucky about my exchange in Germany. I know that was a turning point in my life. I got incomparable opportunities which have changed all my perspectives. A bee needs a rich forest to make honey and for an exchange student, Germany is a rich forest I can say!”
STUDYING ABROAD REPORT
Studying abroad can be considered as a toilsome issue and I should admit that this is true! At the same time it is the unique experience to discover other cultures deeply as a student and gain important benefits!
First of all, I would like to talk about the UDE and my lectures because I spent the biggest part of my exchange period at the university.
When I was preparing my Learning Agreement, I was quite surprised because there were a lot of Asian lectures on the course catalog and they were not quite related with my own major and I had no prior knowledge about east Asia studies. However, I took some Asia classes here and my all perspectives have changed a lot and now I am quite interested in Asian culture.
The classes at the Mercator School of Management will challenge you; in a good sense of education. You have to think out of the box and you will gain so much knowledge from cognate disciplines as well.
I took business and language lectures and they did not give me boring or only theoretical, but very practical information. I learned many important things about business and strategies.
I was living in a dormitory which was within walking distance to the university, main train station and the city centre. I believe that living in the dormitory is the best option for an exchange student to get in contact with others. Since most of exchange students are living in the dorms it is super easy to get together, and to get a chance to make close friendships.
During my exchange I met many international students and we had so much fun together! We were able to have dorm parties and all of them were so much fun! We were preparing some traditional meals from our home countries and cultures; we were playing some games and trying to learn traditional dances! I definitely felt the real souls of those cultures, besides I was able to ask the questions about foods, dances, eating habits in person.. I am pretty sure that we will always keep in touch because we shared thousands of good memories together.
Plus, in Germany, there are lots of carnivals you can attend and have fun with your friends. Cologne Festival was my favourite one for instance! People wear costumes, drink beer and have lots of fun! You will see how German people are creative to design costumes. I should admit it was one of the best day I have had in Germany.
My favorite one and the best thing about the Europe and especially Germany is the Christmas Market where you can get some delicious foods and drinks like this awesome Glühwein! Each city has its own Christmas Market. I went to those wonderful shiny squares with decorated Christmas trees so many times, and I will definitely come back to visit one of the markets again!
During my exchange, I traveled a lot! Germany is perfectly located and surrounded by many European countries you must see. It is easy and cheap to travel to other countries and I can definitely recommend France, Netherlands, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. When you are enrolled to the UDE, you get a semester transportation ticket which you can use all around the North-Rhein Westfalen state. NRW is one of the biggest states of Germany and it consists of many big cities such as Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Aachen, Münster, Duisburg, Essen.. If you would like to go to Belgium you can use your semester ticket until the border station, and you can buy a ticket from that station! That way, the distance will become narrow and you will pay less! Let me give an example, if you use your ticket’s advantages it costs around 8 euro to go to Brussels from Aachen Bahnhof.
As a conclusion, I discovered new strengths and challenges and they helped me to develop my personal skills. My coordinator and my buddy always supported me, they tried to solve my problems immediately and I owe them lots of thanks.
Germany has been sehr gut to me! I even met my best friend here; a Korean girl from Chung-Ang University. She has already visited me in my home country and I will visit her in Seoul one day!
At first when I came to Germany, I was a representative of my home country but now I will represent Germany as best as I can do. I feel so lucky about my exchange in Germany. I know that was a turning point in my life. I got incomparable opportunities which have changed all my perspectives. A bee needs a rich forest to make honey and for an exchange student, Germany is a rich forest I can say!
This is written by Esra Yılmaz.