Taking the chance
Hello! My name is Giorgi and I am from Georgia, a small country in the center of Eurasia. I am an exchange student at RheinAhrCampus and have been in Germany for almost 6 months now. It was always my desire to broaden my studies and meet friends from other cultures. That is why I instantly grabbed the opportunity once it was present and applied for the Erasmus exchange program. It was not easy to get here, and I think that is the best part. While a lot of people would step back and let go of the chance because of the pandemic, I can say that I was the one who managed to be here at the hardest time. And that was not only the result of my effort but also of my family, university and the team of Sprachen/Internationales. I could feel from the very beginning how supportive they were and how much energy and time they invested.
You can imagine a 20-year-old boy, who left his comfort zone, friends and family behind, and was ready to start a new page in his life. Yup, that was me and I was extremely enthusiastic to experience something new, become independent and take responsibilities myself. Here at RheinAhrCampus, I attended classes where you learn something new based on your experience and practices. Most importantly, I learned how to stand out from the crowd and take the initiative right away. Of course, when you are the shiest person in the group, it takes a lot of courage to leave the comfort zone and speak up in front of 20 people, but soon you realize how much you improve and what skills you develop. So, here is my first suggestion: do whatever it takes, even though it makes you uncomfortable. You won’t regret it.
On the other hand, I met amazing people here, who helped me a lot and created mesmerizing memories with me. It is surprisingly interesting to meet people from different cultures, with different backgrounds and get to know them more and more every day. You can see the differences and similarities between your culture, and every time you find something new that you did not know before. We used to cook together and I was able to taste food from Albania, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Australia, Germany and India. Besides, we always found time to organize different activities, including sightseeing, excursions and games. Before the Lockdown started and even after that, we had amazing photo competitions and Zoom parties. Here is my second suggestion: meet as many people as you can, get to know them well and spend more time with them. Expand your international network and try to create unforgettable memories.
And finally, when you are living independently and truly, owning your life, you should think more about how to get the maximum out of it. That is why I always seek something new, something that I could not experience in Georgia. That’s where I found myself like in a laboratory, in which I could do as many experiments on myself as I liked. And yet I can say, I do not regret anything. So, do not be afraid of taking new challenges or failing. At least, you would know that you tried and it did not work out. Mistakes are the only way to improve. Let go of this fear of making mistakes and start learning from them. The exchange program is something that gives you this opportunity to try out new things and decide whether you like it or not. So, whenever you see that your university opened applications for exchange programs, do not think and just apply for it. This is going to change your life.