A Spontaneous Idea
Many friends, students and other people asked me why I go to Germany for an exchange semester. First of all it’s just the neighbour country of Switzerland and second, it is a university in a small town. Of course Remagen doesn’t sound as interesting as Berlin, Cologne or other big cities in other countries. I didn’t have many expectations before I arrived. I was just wondering if it will be different from home. But because I didn’t have many expectations, I got many experiences. And finally I can say that it wasn’t boring, not at all.
The first week in Remagen was a special one. Everything was new and exciting. We got helpful instructions for the student life in Remagen and at the RheinAhrCampus. We (the exchange students) had enough time to know each other better before all the courses began. In my exchange semester I had the opportunity to choose different courses. So I’ve chosen the ones that meet my interests. The courses I’ve chosen were interesting and the lecturers were competent and friendly. I really got new knowledge in the courses but I also got new impressions during my stay.
To other exchange students, I recommend not just to look at big cities and well known universities for the decision as to where to go. It can also be a lot of fun at a university which isn’t known so well and which is somewhere where just a few students go to. We were just seven exchange students. Maybe the relationships in a small group can be deeper than at a university where there are many exchange students. And everywhere you go away from home, you always get new impressions.
Like I said, it wasn’t boring and there were more activities to take part than at my home. We exchange students often met for dinner and talked for hours. Sometimes we met for activities like doing a boat trip on the Rhine or drinking a “Glühwein” at one of the many Christmas markets around Remagen. The Baracke is the official student bar of RheinAhrCampus. Many awesome student parties were organised there and it was just a wonderful meeting place. The best party was the Christmas party in an old factory near Remagen. All the people you see daily on the campus were there and just danced and had fun. Another great event was the beginning of carnival at 11 November in Cologne. The whole city looks different and it is just a must-see. Even though Remagen is a small town, there are many cities nearby to visit like Bonn, Koblenz, Cologne and Düsseldorf. And during the semester I also had the opportunity to travel on weekends. Before winter started I went to the beach at the North Sea in Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven and visited Hamburg. Another weekend trip was to the Netherlands.
Finally I have to say my exchange semester was just a wonderful experience. I never planned to do an exchange semester; it was a spontaneous idea. I don’t regret my decision and I recommend it to everybody. My exchange semester was not just about studying in a different country; it was about exploring a new country, adapting to another style of living, getting new knowledge and impressions and meeting new people. I met wonderful people and went home with great new friendships. I really appreciated to do my exchange semester at RheinAhrCampus.