Its not just studies
I'm Aydin and I’m from Azerbaijan, which is located in Southwestern Asia with the Great Caucasus Mountains to the North. My undergraduate degree is in Business Administration at Baku Engineering University. During the past six months I have been an exchange student at RheinAhrCampus. I can fully say with all my heart that this has been the most beautiful time I have ever had.
When I looked at Germany from the plane for the first time, I had different emotions because I knew a new challenge, with new people, and a new way of life were waiting for me. In a few weeks, my exchange here will end and I will return to my country with new knowledge I gained while being in Germany. I would have to write a 10-page article if I tried to describe everything I went through in these past six months; so, instead, I'll give you a short summary. For me, this exchange semester was extremely enlightening and full of memories and experiences. The first time I heard about Erasmus was three years ago in my first year of undergrad from my friends, and it just sounded like a dream even though I had no idea what it was. Then I started researching and promised myself that one day I would do this exchange no matter what. Because I didn't want to miss this incredible opportunity, I firstly improved my English , then raised my grade point average, and now I am here today.
Although I experienced a little culture shock in my first months, it was not difficult for me to get used to it because my roommates at home, my friends at the University, my teachers, and even the local people were all very kind and friendly. The city where I live (Remagen) and the campus are located in a small environment and are very comfortable. We walk almost everywhere and the local people are very friendly, even if they don't know each other, they say hello. While I’ve lived here, I’ve done everything myself: laundry, housework, cooking, etc. What I was most confused about when I arrived were the 3 types of trash cans.
Life here has been very fast and productive for me. I can say with certainty that I learned something new every day, both in the classroom and outside.
Here we organized official excursions from other students within Germany twice a month and had a good time together. In addition, we organized parties, gatherings, and celebrated each other's birthdays. One day we organized an evening meal and everyone brought delicious dishes of their local cuisine.
Making lifelong friends, is another exciting factor as it was great to meet Erasmus students from all over the world. We saw each other every day, had fun together, traveled, and even shared our problems and supported each other. Learning about different cultures, tasting their food, and hearing about their holidays was great because at the same time I was sharing my country with them. We are a family here and I feel very blessed to be a part of it.
One of the closest people I have met is Shelbi; she is from America. I feel incredibly lucky to have known and shared six months with her.
Studying in Germany and gaining the DAAD scholarship gave me the opportunity to travel around Europe. I have been to almost 10 different countries within six months. As someone who had never been to Europe piror to Erasmus, I had the chance to travel to European countries like Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, etc. during six months, which taught me importance of things like planning ahead, managing money, managing time, etc.
I learned a lot of useful information from the classes I took here, which made me more mature for my future life. As for the academic experience, I can basically say that I realized my real weaknesses and started working on them.
One of the things this semester has taught me is how important my family, friends, and loved ones are to me. I will spend more time with them when I return to my country. This Erasmus experience really changed my life and thanks to this exchange I have decided how to direct my future.
Looking back six months now, I can say that Erasmus is one of the best decisions I have made in my life, because I am more experienced and knowledgeable than I was six months ago. Here I grew as a thinker, decided everything independently, and truly came to learn what freedom is.
If you have the chance to go abroad with Erasmus, don't think about it, just do it. Remember that if you really want it, life will bring it to you. Good luck guys with your future steps.