I have been thinking many times about doing an Erasmus Exchange but it hasn’t been until this year that I decided to take an entire year in Germany. I had to leave many things in Spain but I think I didn’t make any mistake.
The aim of this Erasmus, besides studying my degree abroad, was improving my German skills and discovering a different culture. I had the opportunity to spend the semester with people not only from Germany, but also from Portugal, Finland, Korea, Pakistan, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Lithuania and Brazil. This cultural exchange is something amazing and all of them have become part of my family here.
One thing that has really impacted me about the university is the way they work and how they take care of the exchange students. Arriving after midnight and meeting the student mentors Tanja and Tatjana waiting for me at the train station is unpayable. The first week here was something amazing: Weinfest, trips, dinner and cinema with the team of Sprachen/Internationales and the rest of exchange students. I have never imagined that professors could involve that much with us. I could even borrow from Laurence a real Italian coffee machine during my stay here. For me, a coffee addict, it was like a dream come true. Then I had the problem of the “good coffee” here… but that’s another story.
About the academic things I have to say that I am really impressed too. It is incredible how interested the university is in the development of their students. Not only with the exchange students, but also with their own students. English is kind of a priority here and they strive for the students to do as many English courses as they can. And well, for me, I will never know the real feeling about my other classmates when in “Gemischte Modelle” course the professor said that “thanks to Francisco the class was going to be taught in English instead of German”. Changing a class for only one student? That was something really surprising. Or being presented to the “Business Spanish” students and letting them interview me, which was also a very funny experience. They really took care of us.
Besides studying of course, I could have a lot of experiences and parties: ErstiParty, Oktoberfest Weihnachtsmarkt, Secret Santa, and Carnival... Thanks to the Semester Ticket, Bonn, Koblenz or Cologne are pretty near. And travelling from here around Europe is also a great opportunity. And cheap!
I will stay here for another semester and if in Winter I have spent such a great time, I cannot imagine what will happen with good weather…