The Beginning of my Internationalisation Story
Hello everyone, I am Ruzigar Shirinov. I am an exchange student from Azerbaijan at RheinAhrCampus. Now, my time as an exchange student here comes to an end and it is time to talk about my experience in Germany.
It was the first time that I was so far away from my parents. It was also the starting point of my internationalization story. Before I came here I was really excited about living in Germany, I knew that it would be a different society, a new environment and a new culture. Before coming here, I had a few thoughts about Germany and Germans. I was wondering how my thoughts would change at the end of my stay in Germany.
First of all, I want to talk about Germans and how my stereotypes about Germany changed after coming here. Before coming here, I had some stereotypes about Germans and the German culture. I thought that Germans were very serious and not helpful. I don’t know why I thought that and what made me think such a way about Germans, but after coming here I saw the opposite. My stereotypes didn’t come true. From my first day, I saw that German people were not serious like I thought and were also very helpful people. When my friend Elimkhan (he is also an exchange student from my home university) and I came from Frankfurt to Remagen, we asked people for help on how to go to Remagen, and they tried their best to help us. Also, during my stay in Remagen, I have seen Germans’ helpfulness. They helped me with everything.
Living in Remagen is a very important part of my life. It wasn’t a long period, just four and a half months, but I would like to definitely say that Remagen will forever be an unforgettable place in my mind and in my life. My first days in Remagen were a little bit difficult. My adaptation here took a certain time. As I mentioned above it was the first time I was away from my parents and friends. But as time went by, I came to love Remagen. I grew up and I’m definitely a more independent person now. Remagen is a very lovely place near the Rhein river. Before I had heard about the Rhein in geography books and maps. I couldn’t imagine that I would live near the river. In the mornings I was walking along the Rhein and it was a great feeling for me to breath fresh air.
Studying at RheinAhrCampus was a very important part of my education. I learned a lot of things here and I will try to apply my learnings in my future education life. Here I had several courses, Intercultural Communication was one of my favorites. I learned a lot from this course: how to behave in an intercultural environment, cultural differences between countries, how monochronic and polychronic cultures interact with each other. Lecturer Dr. Borgmann was always was sharing his own intercultural experience with the class. Another course which, I think, was very beneficial for me was International Business Simulations. In this course, we created a company and had our own positions in the company. To get our desired position in the company we had to write a job application. It helped us improve writing a job application which will be beneficial for our future career. I learned how to build a company, general structure of a company and sharing work in the company during this course.I also learned a lot about SMART goals from Business English III course in which I was course assistant. It will be very helpful to set SMART goals in my future life. I have already started to set goals in a smart way with the help I got from this course.
Apart from my education here I also made good friends. The International students worked on different projects together and we organized a lot of excursions together. All of these made us closer to each other. We were like a family.
During my stay here, I also had a lot of travel opportunities. Germany is located in the middle of Europe and it is cheaper to travel to other European countries, which doesn’t happen in Azerbaijan. In Azerbaijan, it is not easy to go to European countries. Because of this, I tried to use opportunities to travel. I traveled to Paris which is one of the cities I wanted to go. Also, I have been to Amsterdam which was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I also traveled within Germany. In Stuttgart, I went to the Mercedes museum, it was the best museum I have ever seen.
In the end, I want to say thanks to everybody which was part of my life here. Special thanks to Sprachen/Internationales team: Laurence, Faulstich, Barbara and Rashimah who were always ready to help international students with their problems. Thanks to the international students for being part of an unforgettable experience. And thank you Germany for everything!! I will never forget living here.