Living life living dreams
Some people think that to live a good life they need to work hard to get a house, a new car and a job which pays well. I believe those things are somehow important. However, for me what makes life interesting is to have the feeling of achieving a dream that you had idealized a time before and, even though there were so many obstacles, you got it to become true. And here I am at RheinAhrCampus in Germany, and this guy in the picture is Manoel Ferreira from Federal University of Campina Grande, Brazil. I had the chance to finish my bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Germany and, at the same time, to experience my semester abroad. It was not easy to achieve such big accomplishments but, in the end, the feeling of having two dreams become true was inexplicable. You might think graduating school and doing a semester abroad are not big things, and you also might be right having this perspective, but if you got the chance to step into my shoes, you would understand way better.
I have completed three semesters in Germany, and each semester, I had the opportunity to grow more and bring lessons to life. In my first semester, everything was so new. I will never forget arriving at Köln airport. It was my first time in another country, the first time being on a flight, speaking English as the main language, and so many other first times. The excitement was very expressive in my behavior, and the eagerness to live that dream made it much more interesting. It made me open to the new experiences which were coming in the following months. Then, the classes started together with the internship, along with the struggles of learning how to deal with the different cultures, which consequently led to self-growth.
Then, there was the second semester coming, and I faced something that no one told me before. I needed to learn how to say goodbye to those, with whom I developed strong friendships. It was not easy but what comforts me is the hope to meet them again in the future. However, there were new experiences coming with new people and challenges. To be honest, I was feeling that I had got the hang of it because I had the experience from the first semester, but when the activities started, I could realize that even within same cultures people behave differently, and somehow it shocked me. Well, the main thinking and principles do not change but I was not expecting such a big difference. Also, it was my first time doing classes and internship online and I learned a lot about how to handle the timing and organize myself. It is very important to mention that when you are abroad, you become closer to other exchange students because you are in the same situation, far from your family and friends, and then, you get closer to each other, it makes your time abroad much nicer and happier with your international friends.
Finally, my last semester came. To stay that much time there made me grow roots, and what I mean by this is that you become familiar with the place and people around. I felt I belong there and knew all the workers from the markets, the seniors which use to go by in front of my house, and even the Rhine River became a part of my life because I spent a lot of time there, sometimes with someone else or just by myself walking and thinking about life. Besides, being my third semester in Remagen I got to learn a lot, for example, running a big online event with the other interns and also participating in a SocialErasmus project sending postcards to seniors and it filled me with joy. Therefore, there was always something new to learn, someone new to become friends with, and new skills to develop. That is what an exchange is about, to develop yourself in many different contexts, with people from different cultures, with different thinking and perceptions.
After all, I am proud of myself to become who I am right now and to have faced so much as I did. I am grateful to so many people who were directly or indirectly part of it all of this became real. I am glad for the many friends I have made from all over the world, and for having deep connections with them. Thank you, the team Sprachen/Internationales, for always proportioning me with all tools, challenging me to grow, and for being always close to us, exchange students. At last, the new Manoel is happy to write this report from Brazil to close this big chapter in his life.
Watch this short video-report about my exchange experience in Remagen, RheinAhrCampus: