My Surreal Summer Semester in Remagen

My Surreal Summer Semester in Remagen

Lucy from Australia, Summer Semester 2013

This semester has been full of opportunities, intercultural experiences, making new friends and exploring a totally new world. I arrived in March to begin my semester in Remagen.

The cobblestone streets of the small town warmed me inside out as a stepped into my new home (I actually now call Remagen my home because it has really been my home away from home these past 5 months). From day one I knew I was exactly where I needed to be with my comfortable self-contained apartment right next to the swimming pool, tennis court, university, coffee shops and the Rhine! Before the semester began I spent the first week exploring Remagen Bonn, Cologne and Koblenz. I fell in love with these places and was thrilled that I could reach all of them on the train for free with my semester ticket!

University began and I was very nervous as I stepped into my office and tried to work my way around a totally new style of university. However this was a breeze after the first two weeks. I knew people who I passed in the hallway, my classes where very interesting and I managed to allow myself a three day weekend with my timetable. I spent my weekends travelling to London, Ireland, Belgium, Dusseldorf, Prague, Berlin and Dresden. It was literally a whirlwind of work, study, travel and play that I never wanted to leave.

When summer came I occupied most of my free time with my new German friends and the other exchange students going on hikes through vineyards, having BBQs in the park, playing volleyball and visiting the pool. Life seemed too good to be true. I was meeting all these new people in such a short amount of time and by the end of the semester I felt like a local saying “Guten Morgen” to every second person in the street on my way to do the grocery shopping. I did not feel lost at all.

I also had the opportunity to go to Turkey for 2 weeks with one of my courses. This was a very memorable and lucky experience for me, as I would not have come across an opportunity like this if I did not visit Remagen. In Turkey I was a part of an intensive seminar where I got to meet students and lectures from various parts of Europe. I made many friends here and absolutely loved my time in Turkey.

It is upsetting to now leave my life here behind, my “home” in the student dorm where I have met people who have made living so far away from home so much easier, Remagen, the town that eased my homesickness with its cute little cafes and beautiful position on the Rhine and of course all the memories and experiences that will stay with me forever. I am so glad I decided to come here and I could not have asked for a more enjoyable semester abroad!