Feeling at home 6500 kilometers away
Hey! My name is Simon, I am an exchange student from Canada. I had just finished my second year of my bachelor’s degree at Trent University and was given the opportunity to spend the summer semester studying at RheinAhrCampus in Remagen. Two years before I spent six months studying in Japan so I had some experience going abroad and knew it would be a great time.
It is hard to compare Japan and Germany because they are so different. While Japan was amazing in its’ own ways, I found Germany to be a very welcoming and beautiful country. I spent my first days here at a German student named Moritz’s house and this allowed to me get a first-hand experience of German life. I explored the beautiful old city of Andernach and got to share some beers and stories with Moritz and his friends.
When I got to Remagen, I was surprised to see how much beauty, culture and history fit into a small town. There is always something going on in Remagen, from Roman festivals to hunting open season celebrations. Many mornings I would wake up and look out the window to see an event or parade going on in the street below. There are many things to do in Remagen, including a beautiful promenade by the Rhein, amazing restaurants and a little student bar where there are always games to play or at least someone to talk to. If you want something a little more exciting, there are several bars and clubs in the nearby cities of Bonn, Cologne and Koblenz. While the trains may not always be on time, this region of Germany is very well connected, and your student card will take you to these cities and many more in no time.
I travelled as much as I could during my stay and took advantage of the 9-Euro ticket, giving us free transportation all across Germany. One of the highlights of my stay was my weekend trip to Austria. A student from India named Ankur and I booked some last-minute hostels and set off on an amazing adventure. On the way, we got to see cities like Munich and Frankfurt in between crowded trips on the regional trains that we could take for free. In Austria, we saw the cities of Salzburg and Innsbruck, two unique cities that each have their own distinct feeling and culture. We visited castles and mountain tops and I got to do a lot of skateboarding at Landhausplatz in Innsbruck.
Back in Germany I made many close friends with German students and other international students from around the world. We had many incredible excursions and parties and made the memories of a lifetime. During my stay I made sure to try new things and take every opportunity I could to have fun and make great memories. Writing this report has made me reflect on the amazing things I have seen and people I have met along the way that I will never forget. While I am sad that my time in Germany is coming to an end, I am grateful for the Erasmus Foundation and everyone at the RheinAhrCampus that made this possible. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone reading this that may be thinking of spending a semester here. To all of the friends I’ve made in Germany, thanks for making my experience so great. I hope we can meet again later in life, and you are always welcome in Canada.
Bis zum nächsten Mal,