Little did I know before, later comes the best!

Ariana from Albania, Summer Semester 2021

Hello everyone! I am Ariana from Albania. During the last six months, I have been an exchange student in RheinAhrCampus. And I can say with all my heart that this has been the most beautiful time I have ever had.
Everything started when my friend Nigela, came to stay for some time in my house in Tirana. Late at night, after we finished all our duties and tasks, a little bit tired and sleepy we started to talk about our dream, to go abroad. These cool ideas to visit new places, to meet new people, to know other cultures, made me so enthusiastic to apply for my semester abroad.

After the nomination from my home university, I had to prepare for the first interview. It was 22.12.2020, I had watched many YouTube videos and had read many articles to prepare myself. I thought that I was ready for it! Believe it or not, I got rejected.
After some hours, my phone rang and a new email was in my inbox. A second chance was given to me! I was very surprised! Fortunately, the second interview went better and after that, I got the email of my acceptance. From that moment until now, that I am writing my experience, I have been living in another world, a world that I would suggest to all students to visit.

My semester in Germany didn’t start the way I was hoping. Because of Covid-19, we had to stay in quarantine for ten days, and this part was a little bit boring! Anyway, it was a good opportunity for me to start learning German language.
During the Orientation Week, we had the chance to know other exchange students and also meet the Dean and Professors. I had a short discussion with Mr. Birzele who became my mentor in the Mini-Mentorship Program. We arranged many meetings together and also, I had the opportunity to get to know his family and to enjoy delicious breakfast with them.

I used to live in Remagen, which is a small city with many opportunities and beautiful places to visit. It is very close to Bonn, Cologne, Koblenz, where I used to spend most of my free time. Erpeler Ley is the first place that I have visited, and it keeps the most beautiful memories. Thanks to Frau Arya which invited me to leave my small room and to enjoy the view that Erpeler Ley offers. I also have visited many other cities like Ahrweiler, Dusseldorf, Cochem, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, and Brussels. Everywhere I have traveled, I was amazed by the architecture, history, and cultures that the cities have.
All the places were indeed beautiful but the most important part was the people with whom I went there. The most important part is my new friends which now own an important part of my heart. We spent a great time all together, we shared our cultures, our lifestyles, we celebrated many events and became a big diverse family.

An important day for me was also the 10th of June, at 00:00, some people knocked at my door and started singing Happy Birthday song. They were my amazing friends which made my birthday unforgettable. In the evening, we gathered all together to celebrate a little bit longer. But my buddy, Erta, thought more about it. She managed to create an outside cinema where we watched a movie, called “Bad trips”, ate Tiramisu prepared by her and spent a great night.

Furthermore, during these six months, I have been an intern in RheinAhrCampus and this helped me so much to grow as a professional.

All in all, what I can say is that the international experience is the best experience ever! For me, it was the first one but for sure not the last!