My Experience as a Canadian Living in Germany

My Experience as a Canadian Living in Germany

Hannah from Canada, Winter Semester 2017/18

My name is Hannah Peter and I am from Ontario, Canada. I study at Brock University and will continue my one-year abroad at RheinAhrCampus in Remagen. My experience here, so far, has been positive, educational and exciting. I have been lucky enough to make new friends, both German and International, and learn more about the German culture.

When I arrived in September I was not sure what to expect. I have traveled abroad before, but never lived in a different country. However, spending the last few months in Germany made me realize how exciting living abroad can be and has helped me grow into a new person.

RheinAhrCampus, although small, always has many things to do. Whether you are into sports, or leadership roles there’s an event for you. In the beginning of the Winter semester, I spent time at the student bar, Baracke, where I made friends, learned new words in German, and overall, had a great time. The different events put on by the Student Association are great ways to meet people. Additionally, the town of Remagen often has events in the city centre, such as Wein Fest in September and a small (but cute) Christmas Market in December. There are also many things to do outside of Remagen, such as in Cologne (only one hour by train) or Koblenz (thirty-minutes by train).

Throughout the semester I was able to travel throughout Europe for very low prices, often not exceeding 80 Euros for both the flight and hotel. The Cologne airport is very close and free to travel to (with your semester ticket), which reduces the cost of travel by quite a bit. In my first semester I travelled to Denmark, the U.K. and Lithuania with my International friends and plan to travel more next semester. Germany, being in central Europe, is in a great location to be able to travel by train, bus or plane. If you find inexpensive flights, book them right away!

Everyone at RheinAhrCampus is very friendly and have never made me feel like I couldn’t fit in. It is easy to ask questions to students, especially because most people’s level of English is very high. This is very helpful because I don’t know enough German (yet). The professors are helpful and willing to answer any questions you may have, and the class sizes are small enough that you are able to actively participate. This has helped me with my public speaking skills and confidence in speaking during class.

Moving from Canada to Germany was exciting and scary at the same time. Although I was finally able to live in a country I have always dreamed to live in, I had many things holding me back, such as not knowing the language or the possibility of enduring culture shock. This experience is different for everyone, but luckily for me, I was able to adjust and continue my life with minimal bumps in the road. I have become more independent, mature and comfortable with myself. Before coming here, I believed that the only thing I would gain was credits to finish my degree. Now, I am happy to say that I have gained a new perspective on life, lifetime friends, many valuable lessons and most importantly, a new sense of myself and the world. I would not change the last months for anything and not a day goes by that I regret coming to Remagen.

Overall, I’m very happy that I’ve decided to stay a full year in Remagen. After five months, I’ve learned how to use the train system, become comfortable with living on my own, and made many friends. It would be too early to leave after one semester, and I still have much more of Germany to explore and understand. I will miss all the International friends I made this semester and am extremely happy to have met them, they have really contributed to this amazing experience.