Fake it till you make it

Adika from Azerbaijan, Summer Semester 2021

Hi all,

My name is Adika and I’m from Azerbaijan, which is located in Southwestern Asia with the Great Caucasus Mountains to the North. I’m an exchange student in RheinAhrCampus and this summer semester of 2021 was my first studying abroad experience.

How did everything begin? I spent 10 months in Russia during the Covid-19 pandemic with my family and I joined online classes at Baku Engineering University during this time. One day, I saw that the International Relations Department of Baku Engineering University posted an announcement about studying in RheinAhrCampus. I began to search for detailed information and after considering all the cases, I decided to apply.  After having a 33-minutes-interview with Sprachen/Internationales Team, I got accepted. Time to apply for a visa! Since I was in Russia and I’m a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, it was complicated. Firstly, the Embassy agreed to give me a visa in Moscow. However, afterwards, they told me that I have to get it in Baku. I was a little bit disappointed and I had to decide whether to fly to Baku or not!? As you are reading my report now, the answer is obvious. I have decided to fly to Baku, get my visa there and fly to Germany directly.

To be honest, the first 10 days in Remagen were the worst days ever! Because of Covid-19, all of the exchange students had to stay in quarantine and it was so boring. However, during these hard days, Sprachen/Internationales Team tried their best to support us. We had a very well-organized Orientation Week where we had an opportunity to get to know each other, to learn about the history of Germany, to know deeply about the education system of RAC. By participating in Orientation Week, I have learned about necessary topics such as enrolment, Mensa, opportunities of a student ticket, etc. which helped me to adapt quickly to my new life in Germany and at the university.

In total, I had 13 different courses for the Summer Semester 20/21. In the beginning, I had concerns about how the online semester will work in RAC. However, thanks to our lecturers and several functions of ZOOM, all of the courses were interactive and interesting. One of the life-changing courses was International Business Simulations. I was the Head of the PR & Media Team and I have worked with different people from Ukraine, Greece, Albania, Georgia, Germany. This was a completely different experience and at the end of the course, I noticed how my personality changed during these 3 months. Taking the separate German course was also helpful to have the elementary level of German language skills for everyday life. I agree that this is not an easy language but now, I can at least speak in short sentences.

Studying in Germany and gaining the DAAD scholarship gave me the opportunity to travel around Europe. I have been almost to 10 different countries within 6 months. One of the amazing trips was by car. I went with my 3 friends from Georgia and Germany to Austria, Italy, France, Monaco, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. It was super exciting! We have discovered a lot of beautiful places and had unforgettable memories together! By using the Couchsurfing application, I met new people around Europe and now I’m more of a risk-taker and more open-minded than before.

Thanks to the opportunity, which RAC gave me, I have improved my English skills by traveling to different countries and speaking with my friends mostly in English. I’m grateful for all difficulties which I faced in this journey. The decisions which I made referred to this phrase: “Fake it till you make it” and I didn’t give up in any complicated situation. However, this is not the end! I’ll stay one more semester in Remagen and I believe that during the next 6 months, I will develop and grow personally even more! I’m also looking forward to experiencing the winter season in Remagen.