An imprint on my heart

Surya from India, Summer Semester 2021

Hey! I am Jency Augustine from Pondicherry, India. In this report, I am going to share my experience as an Exchange student in Germany. To be honest, I am a person who did my schooling, Bachelor and Masters in my Hometown, which is Pondicherry. I always wanted to go out and do my studies but due to some circumstances, I couldn’t. However, little did I know that I would travel this far to do my studies. For a person who has never been out, I was too excited and at the same time worried about How I am going to manage all the things by myself.

When my friends and I came to Germany, people there gave us a warm welcome. I started to feel at home in a few weeks. Before coming to Remagen, I googled the place where I would be staying for the next 6 months. When I saw there were mountains and rivers nearby, I knew that the place would be beautiful. After coming here, I realized that this place is beyond what I imagined. Having come from an Asian country, everything is different here and I liked the way I adapted quickly to the changes. For example, grocery shopping, traveling by trains, people driving on the right, and so on.

The best experience I ever had during my stay is to work with students from different countries during my internship. Along with me, there were students from Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Greece, Jordan. This was my first time working in such a diverse group. The fact that no students from the same country should work together in a team helped me to integrate more with other students. I stepped out of my comfort zone, as I had to understand the working pattern of different students. I couldn’t follow the same approach with everyone. This helped me to improve more as a team player. I also had a chance to lead in few projects, which also helped to improve my leadership skills. The feedback from the core team members helped to grow to such a great extent.

Apart from academics, I got the chance to know more about different cultures. Though in the beginning, everything was through online meetings, eventually the situation got better and I started to meet other exchange students in person. Everyone was so interested in the Indian culture and of course the Indian food. It was a pleasure to prepare Indian foods for them, even with my fewer cooking skills. We even organized trips and get often together.

Personally, I used these six months as a period for sculpting myself both physically and mentally for a better future. The experience which I got in Germany is something I would never get in India. I have had some critical times in Germany but I am proud of how I handled them on my own. I would never say, I did the best. To err is a human right! Likewise, it is important to learn from own mistakes. It is the best practical session anyone would have.

In my Book of life, the chapter “RheinAhrCampus” is always special to me. I am grateful to everyone who was with me on this journey.