Erasmus is a great opportunity

Erasmus is a great opportunity

Szimonetta from Hungary, Winter Semester 2013/2014

I would like to start with my motivations for going abroad for a semester and also my motivations to choose RheinAhrCampus of Hochschule Koblenz.

I think Erasmus is a big opportunity for every student. I wanted to try myself far from my home, family and friends. It was a big challenge and I was able to test myself in a new atmosphere. Spending a semester abroad has a lot of advantages. Before the journey one of my main aims was to get to know new cultures, nations, cities and of course, new people. How they look at things, how they think about the world. It is really interesting when different cultures meet. And of course I was curious about the new, different educational system, new subjects, and new perspectives.

My other goal was to learn the German language again. Nowadays language knowledge is one of the most important things in every career, especially in mine. In the future I have to make connections between people and companies. In this century most of the companies are multinational so in the future I will need my language knowledge in a lot of situations. A half year abroad is the best way to learn and improve language skills.

I think Germany was the best choice for me; there are many reasons for that. Even though I had never been there before, I heard a lot of attractive things about the country and about the German people. And I have not yet mentioned the beautiful places and cities in the country. Of course to learn their language is another reason and also German punctuality and the high quality of their life and production motivated me to choose this country.

Remagen for me it was a bit quiet and small, but at the same time it was really cosy. We could take long walks along the river Rhine or go to a nice café or restaurant. And the bigger cities were close enough so we also could go out for an evening.

When the exchange students arrived to Remagen we had an orientation week with some of our future lecturers and professors. We introduced ourselves and talked about our motivations. They gave us a lot of advice how we should organise our semester, what we should focus on etc. It was really useful and they helped everybody to find the most appropriate subjects and courses. Everybody came from different fields and everybody found the best courses for themselves. I took a lot of course because I wanted to make sure that I will benefit from learning abroad; so I was quite busy, especially in the first part of the semester.

Besides these subjects we had some weekend workshops too. One was about cultural diversity where we had to work in groups with many of international guest lecturers. The main topic was sustainable corporations and Corporate Social Responsibility. The other workshop was about our career development. We practiced job interviews and wrote CVs and cover letters.

I feel that every subject was really useful for me. I could practice presentation skills and interactive participation as well. I truly enjoyed that we worked in international groups and I think our tolerance with each other improved a lot.

For the whole semester we had our mentor Frau Korpp who deals with the incoming students. Whenever we had a question or wrote an e-mail to her she reacted quickly and efficiently; she tried to answer all of our questions and solve our problems. We also had a student mentor Steffi. She often took us to some adventurous hiking or bicycle tours and she introduced us to a lot of German students and other international students. 

We lived in the student dormitory, the “Wohnheim”. Compared with a Hungarian student dormitory I think it was the best I have ever seen in my life. Convenient and cosy rooms, nice bathroom and my own kitchen: it was just perfect. The whole dormitory was quiet, even at weekends, so there was never problem finding a silent place to learn or to do an assignment. It is only five minutes away from RheinAhrCampus so we just walked through the green environment from dorm to campus.

We had one big event, an International Evening. It was organised by the exchange students and the Students’ Union AStA. We tried to represent our country with our national food and music, traditional costumes, photos or videos. I made “Somlói galuska” and the Hungarian student Marci made some “Vadas” I was so proud of my dessert because everyone liked it. The whole event was so nice with the different food- We could tasted some Arabic specialities, or Polish snacks and also German “Flammkuchen” and Lithuanian “Cold soup”.

I am really lucky that I could spend my semester in Germany. I learned a lot, I feel comfortable in an international environmentnow, and I feel more self-confident and open for new things. I really enjoyed that I got to know new people from different cultures. It was really interesting to learn about the Muslim culture and the others as well. I am happy that I got to know these people and I hope that we will meet again later and these friendships will not end here.

I hope that this is not the end of my internationalisation story. Actually I already made some steps about my next adventurous long term trip; because I am applying for another semester from my other master course (marketing). Now my aim is to go to England for a semester. I hope that all of my experiences help me to win another scholarship and help to make my dreams come true