A Valencian Guy in Remagen
Hi! This is Javier, from Canet d’en Berenguer (Valencia, Spain), and last year, after thinking a lot about it, I applied for spending a semester as an international student at RheinAhrCampus in Remagen. Now I can say that it has been one of the best decisions I’ve taken in my life.
So, September arrived, and I packed all my stuff, including my saxophone. It took me some time to adapt myself, but less than what I expected thanks to the other amazing international students (Aya, Anita, Laura, Zrinka, Yonatan and Zina) who made that adaptation easier. And also thanks to the German guys, especially our neighbours at the dormitory (Oliver, Lukas, Nils, Michel… I don’t have enough paper to name all of them, but they all made it really easy for me). At the end I felt myself like a part of a family there, especially when we had those dinners at the common room, where each of one cooked a dish. I really enjoyed when I cooked “paella” (yellow rice with chicken and beans, a very famous Spanish and Valencian dish) for the rest of the guys. I also cooked it at the international Christmas dinner we organized on December. But the most funny of the things related with “paella” at Remagen is when Aya tried to pronounce it: “pallella”,”payeia”,”pallea”…
I also remember the introductory session we had with Dr. Borgmann, who explained us some strategies to optimize our experiences in Remagen and Germany. At the beginning I didn’t understand what he exactly meant when he advised us to document our experience here. Some months later I understood it clearly.
One of the things I’m more proud about is to be part of the local orchestra of Remagen with my saxophone during my stay. After some preparation sessions we played an amazing Christmas concert at a church, and some weeks later I found myself on the newspaper, under the title: “Spanish incoming student plays at local orchestra of Remagen”! The first I thought was that if this is news, in Remagen few things happen. Then I realized that this newspaper is a kind of “documentation”, something that is going to remind me during all my life all the new experiences I had in Remagen.
About the courses I was very surprised that they worked in a different way than at my home university. They are very interactive, taught in small groups, and after a few weeks the lecturers know who you are, especially if you are an international student, and this is quite different than the courses I do at my home university.
Now I’m writing this post two weeks after coming back home, and the only thing I can say is what I wrote at the top: going to Remagen is one of the best decisions I made in my life.