The experience I needed

The experience I needed

Juanjo from Spain, Winter Semester 2018/2019

Hi all! My name is Juanjo del Moral. I am from Malaga, a city in the south of Spain. I am 21 years old and I am going to talk about my Erasmus experience at RheinAhrCampus in Remagen. All the things which happened here to me will be always remembered for the rest of my life.

When I arrived here, it was a cloudy and rainy day, also it was Saturday, it means there was no bus to go to my new home near to the campus. So it seemed quite challenging at the beginning, but as soon as I started the classes and I got to know my new colleagues, it started to become easier and easier.

As I live in a big city, Remagen for me seemed a bit small, but it has also its plus sides. Here you can find all the peace you need and get relaxed. If you feel you need to go to a big city for shopping or drinking a beer in a pub you can go for free to Cologne, Bonn or Koblenz using your student card.

I met people I would have never met in my entire life if I didn´t come here. My colleagues were from Italy, Poland, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Holland, Brazil, and South Korea. I learned a lot about their countries. As I was working as a Student Assistant in Sprachen/Internationales, I had opportunities to meet a lot of German people with a different culture (way different from the one in southern Spain). Taking part in the seminar “Managing Cultural Diversity” gave me the chance to meet even more people from all parts of the globe, the most enriching experience of my life!

Remagen is located really close to Belgium and the Netherlands. It gave me the opportunity to visit these amazing countries twice. Traveling to Amsterdam, Brussels, Arnhem, Maastricht, and Bruges was incredible. Also, I visited Naples with some friends. Inside Germany, I visited Stuttgart (stayed in a German house), Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, and Berlin. I can say I visited more places in four months that in ten years!

Academically, at RheinAhrCampus, I learned things that in my home university are not taught, such as how to respect to all cultures, ways to behave with the people from different cultural backgrounds, and etc.

Working in the international office pushed me to a higher level of responsibility. Being in charge of the “Moodle” for a course or doing the schedules for the office kicked me out of my comfort zone.

RheinAhrCampus honored me with a possibility to help two refugees from El Salvador to integrate in Remagen. I encouraged them to participate in the activities proposed by the university and led a Spanish course with them and all the Erasmus students.

All in all, I think I made lifelong friendships here, maybe we will not send a message to each other every day but we know it will be for the lifetime.

I also want to thank Dr. Borgmann. He was the person who brought me here and I will be always grateful because I needed an experience like that.

Life goes, but this experience and Remagen will be always in my mind.