More than just a semester!

Azar from Azerbaijan, Summer Semester 2021

Greetings to all,
I am Azar Rzayev from Azerbaijan University, Azerbaijan. I`m doing my summer exchange semester at RheinAhrCampus. In this report, I will tell you about my experience as an exchange student at RheinAhrCampus, in Germany.

If you've read my previous blogs, you already know that I`m doing a master's degree in Computer Engineering. This is my first year and second semester as a master's student. Studying abroad for a master's degree has been my plan since I was a bachelor's student. And finally, during my master's degree, participating in an exchange program at RheinAhrCampus was an amazing opportunity for me. I have witnessed for years what the Erasmus exchange program has done for students' lives and how positively it has helped them to develop. I was even more convinced of this after one conversation with my very close friends who participated in the exchange program. Now, I want to describe in more detail what it was like to be a part of this program and how it changed my life.

As a student in the tech field, I did not have many opportunities to get acquainted with the social sphere. To be more precise, I always thought that it was very important to socialize and be educated in order to form a business mindset. The practical cases, presentations, and group work I did while taking classes in the Business & Social Sciences Department at RheinAhrCampus added extra knowledge and skills in this area. There's a cliché you may have heard: "Students in the tech field are usually introverts," and I can speak for myself that yes, it was true for me. As an introverted person, I was challenged a lot by doing group projects and it helped to overcome these kinds of feelings and gain new skills such as presentation, teamwork, public speaking.

Was Erasmus just about classes? Absolutely not. During this program, I`ve made so valuable friends from different backgrounds and countries such as Germany, Albania, India, Greece, and so on. We traveled together, partied, had fun, explored, and shared experiences from our own countries. I learned different stuff from each of them and gained experience about different cultures and, most importantly, I`ve made long-term friendships. I believe that international friendships are so important for our future careers. Now, I know that if I worked in an international environment in the future, I would feel more confident and comfortable with different cultures.

In addition, during my stay in Germany, I`ve gained many beneficial habits and improved some of them. I would like to mention that my awareness of caring for nature has increased. I am even more aware of the need to focus on environmental issues, energy-saving living, and doing our part for sustainable development. I know that it is my duty, like everyone else’s, to live and work for a more sustainable environment, to take care of nature, and make the world a better place!

Is this story over? No. This was my first experience abroad, and during my stay in Germany, I also had the opportunity to travel to some countries. These include the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and in each of them, I`ve learned about new cultures, tasted appetizing cuisine, and explored original areas. During the trips, I had the chance to explore and sense the places that I read in books and blogs. Each of them was full of pleasant memories for me.

I would like to thank all the teachers, friends who joined me on my journey during the semester and for sure, Erasmus for giving me these opportunities. It was more than just a semester for me. I have not just learned but also discovered, grew, and developed a lot.

Loves and Hugs,
Azar Rzayev