The Festive Season of Summer
Looking back at the 2014/15 academic year, the second semester that started in late February 2015 was quite colorful and enjoyable because of the nice spring weather marking a festive season. Somehow, there seemed to be more birthdays and parties in the second semester. I was able to enjoy Remagen as a town in this semester as I would usually go for walks and to do readings along the Rhine river.
Of course the nearby cities like Bonn and Cologne are also more enticing in the sunny weather. It was a colourful season marked by a number of festivals and cultural activities. One of the most remarkable of those was the “Rhein am Flammen” that took place on the 3rd of May this year, where we joined a large mass by the Rhine river at Cologne and witnessed the spectacle of the fireworks being fired on top of ferries and boats.
Life in the Wohnheim (dorms) was also nice, as students had more chances of going outside and hanging around to enjoy the weather. All the Barbeques and lazy afternoons by the porches almost became routine activities. I have been able to make many good German and international friends during my stay here. I am quite glad to see that my German is much better than it was in the first term, thanks to our German teachers.
My internship at Sprachen / Internationales has also been fruitful. I have been working in the maintenance and updating of the department webpage. It was a bit hard at first to get used to learning the web designing software as it was in the German language. But I have been able to learn it properly later, and I will count website management as a skill that I have learned during my internship among other experiences.
While writing my Master’s Thesis for my home university, I found the Inter-library loan system in the university really helpful for my work. I was able to order any book from any library in Germany, and get it in my hands in a couple of days for a nominal fee. I was excited to access some rare books and manuscripts from Hamburg which were crucial for my literature review.
A trip to Berlin as part of the International Studies-II course was one of the highlights of the year for me. I really enjoyed Berlin, and I have to say that I was so lucky to be in the actual site of Cold War tensions and the East West divisions that wrecked Germany and the politics of Europe after the Second World War. Berlin as a city of culture and art was also such a fascinating place to visit.
Despite my excitement of successfully accomplishing my academic exchange year here at RheinAhrCampus, saying goodbye to all the good friends I have made it a bit hard. I would like to say “Thank you for the kindness, support and love you gave”.