Keeping a suitcase in Germany

Natia from Georgia, Summer Semester 2021

Hallo zusammen! I am Natia Nikvashvili from Tbilisi, Georgia, and I spent a summer semester 2021 at RheinAhrCampus. Well, so many things happened during my stay in Germany that it is very hard for me to write only about a few of them! Those 6 months were indeed unbelievably rich in memories. One might think that, yes, of course, it would be exciting in the sense that most of the exchange students started living independently for the first time. However, I would say that the fact that we studied at RAC and not at another university or country played a big role.

This semester, we were 17 international students from 7 different countries. I don’t think I would ever learn some Greek, Arabic, Indian or Albanian words if I did not have a chance to meet my new friends from those countries here.

I remember once I was walking in the street with Komninos, my Greek friend, and he randomly said street lightning’s name in Greek-“Fanari” which is the same in Georgian. We laughed A LOT and continued saying random words in our languages ending up finding at least 5 similar words. My point is that just like other international students, I have developed cultural awareness.

Besides that, I can list at least 15 skills that I have developed here. Some of them were not that obvious to notice but at some point, it hit me that I was thinking differently than before:

I studied graphic design approximately 5 years ago. Since then, whenever I see graphic art, poster, or something similar, I think about what was going on in artist’s mind while creating it. How did they choose colors, shapes, structure, and proportions, or what would I do differently. During my internship at the Sprachen/Internationales Office, I was a team member of the podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. We created a few very good episodes. Now, I notice that when I read interviews or listen to other podcasts, I am more concentrated on the “backstage work”. I feel like I can give suggestions and feedback to them all the time, which means that I became confident.

I can’t forget to mention the teamwork of Germans and Internationals during the flooding in Rheinland-Pfalz region, which reminded me of the flooding we had in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2015 when everybody came out in the streets and offered their help. It made me appreciate how friends are by each other’s side during tough times. Another observation was that German people are very active and positive even in such situations.

Speaking of the joyful people, I could not have been luckier with my accommodation and flatmates. Sharing a WG with 4 Germans sounds rather frightening to some people but I think it was the best decision. Even right now, I want to finish writing this report as soon as possible because my flatmate - Jamica and I have a cheesecake to bake.

I always used to say that I am not the person who gets attached to places or people, but I have to admit that it is far from the truth. When my international friends started leaving to their countries one by one or my German friends to the vacations, I felt that I was missing some pieces of my everyday joyful life.

I am sure that I will return to Remagen as soon as I get the chance. Maybe it will even be this October because 2 of my favorite people who are staying in Remagen have their birthdays on the same day. Just like Marlene Dietrich sang once “Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin” I also keep a suitcase in Germany to return back here.