Enriching Lives, Opening Minds

Chiara from Italy, Winter Semester 2022/2023

Hello everyone!

I'm Chiara. I'm from Italy, but this semester I studied at RheinAhrCampus as an exchange student. I'm attending my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and I'm glad to have attended a semester at RheinAhrCampus. 

Travelling has always been one of my greatest passions and when the call for applications for the Erasmus programme came out, I didn't think twice about applying! When I was assigned to the RheinAhrCampus I was excited: I was aware that the experience I was about to undergo would change me forever... and it did!

This experience allowed me to get to know hidden sides of myself. I rediscovered my desire to be curious and discover. Since arriving here, I have discovered an infinite number of things that have enriched my cultural background and made me experience things I would never have imagined: I participated in my first Indian Diwali, tasted typical Georgian dishes and got to know Korean culture in depth. I realised that in life you have to dare: don't be afraid to take your suitcase and leave because every trip has its own story and I couldn't be happier to have taken my first step towards internationalisation. I don't deny that I was worried before leaving, in fact it was the first time I would be alone for such a long period. I certainly encountered difficulties during my journey, but I realised that I was not alone as I thought. In this experience I met people who became an integral part of my life in a short time and who helped me a lot. They helped me with small things like writing a CV or opening a LinkedIn profile, but also when I had those bad days when you don't feel like talking to anyone.

RheinAhrCampus was a very good opportunity from a professional point of view. In Italy I attend a university and the teaching method is very different from this Hochschule. In Italy we have classes of 500 students where the professor explains, and you take notes. At RheinAhrCampus, on the other hand, there are much more interactive classes where students discuss with the professor, give presentations and participate in practical projects. This semester I participated in a course called 'International Business' in which we created a real business. The aim of this project was to connect German and Georgian culture by presenting the AhrValley wine producers with typical Georgian sweets called 'Churchkela'. It was a project that I found very interesting and useful to understand what the business world is really like. 
Also surprising for me was the helpfulness of the professors and the secretariat. Although I was not a regular student of theirs, they devoted a lot of time to each of my requests in order to give me a high level of personal training. 

Thanks to the Erasmus grant and the Studentcard, a card offered by the Hochschule von Koblenz that allowed us to travel free of charge to many cities in Wester Germany this semester, I was able to visit many places: I visited Düsseldorf, Bonn, Cologne and many more for free! In addition, the area of North Rhine-Westphalia is well connected and strategically located: in only two hours from Remagen you can reach Belgium and the Netherlands. Although I love travelling, I have also come to appreciate the tranquillity of living on the countryside and taking time to go on a nature walk, have a barbecue with friends or drink a coffee by the river. I have definitely learnt to appreciate the small things more and to take time for myself. Seeing Remagen with snow was beautiful and exciting: it had been years since I had seen so much snow and I must say that I started to appreciate winter. 

I am grateful to have spent a semester here at the RheinAhrCampus. This experience allowed me to meet so many people and have so many new friends from all over the world and... especially in Germany! Thank you to those who made this experience special. 

Kind Regards,
Chiara Colpani