Europe: To be Continued

Sonam from Bhutan, Winter Semester 2022/2023

I am Sonam Tashi, an exchange student from Thimphu, Bhutan. I have spent a semester in RheinAhrCampus, Remagen.
When I first came to Remagen, I was completely astonished by the place. Since it was my first time being in a foreign country, I always thought that Germany was a big and advanced country. However, when I reached here, I found out that not all the places have big buildings and traffic lights which was pretty amazing. It was really hard for me to manage everything at first because I have always been in Bhutan and with my parents. I wasn’t even confident to go alone for shopping, so my roommate used to take me for shopping and to show me around the town. The first image Remagen was its mountainous area which partly kept me reminding me about my home. After few weeks of my arrival here, we went for excursion to Bonn which was so fun because I got to meet other international students from India, Georgia and Spain. After the nice and refreshing excursion, we went to one of the Italian restaurants to try their pizza. After meeting all the international students and knowing how friendly they are, I started to miss my home a little less and liked the place.

Being an international student and also working as an intern in RheinAhrCampus was such a blessing. It has given me enormous experiences. It was also a challenge. Working as an intern not only helped me gain a lot of experiences but also helped me to contact more with other interns and got to know more about the campus. Of all the committees that I chose to work on, the most exciting was a weekend seminar named Managing Cultural Diversity (MCD). All the interns were asked to choose a task that they would like to. Since I didn’t know how to cook, I thought it would be fun to join the Catering team because I was excited to learn how to make snacks and foods of foreign countries. Different guests from different countries joined the seminar. During the breaks, we served them waffles (Which wasn’t as good as we expected but we at least tired), sandwiches and tea. Even though it was just a three-day seminar, it will always be a memorable one because it was so tiring but also worth participating in the seminar getting to know more people from different parts of the world.

It has only been 5 months and I already see so many changes in myself. I always had trouble making friends back home but whilst I was here, I feel myself that I can make friends much more than before. I wouldn’t say I can make more friends but comparatively, I am much good in making friends than before. I am friend with all the international students here in RheinAhrCampus and also German students from my class. It is always fun to exchange our cultures and the tradition. I would always compare how Bhutan is with other country. My friends were surprised on hearing the total population of Bhutan (Approximately 700,000) which would actually sound funny because the population in just one city in other country would be more than a million. I still remember how my friends from Canada were amazed on hearing that we calculate the economic by “Gross National Happiness” but not “Gross Domestic Product”. I will always be grateful for this wonderful opportunity to study abroad. I still have a semester left in RheinAhrCampus and I will make sure to make more friends and learn.