The Great Turning Point in My Life
Hello! My name is Heesu Lee and I’m from South Korea. I spent 6 months in RheinAhrCampus in Remagen as an exchange student. I had traveled a lot since when I was young but I didn’t have any experience to live in foreign country. Therefore, at first, I hesitated a lot whether to come here or not. However, as a conclusion, it was my best choice to live abroad.
Living in Germany, beyond my comfort zone, is really challenging and meaningful experience for me. German culture, including food, is different from Korean so it has always been full of new things. For example, it was surprising that bringing water in a restaurant is forbidden and people should buy water if they want to drink, because water is free in all restaurants in Korea. It was sometimes difficult but interesting to recognize and learn the differences between cultures. My friends including buddy always helped me a lot to adjust in German life.
Most of the classes offered by university were good and beneficial. A course named ‘Intercultural Communication’ by Dr. Borgmann was useful and interesting. In the course, there were at least 10 different nationalities. I and my classmates always passionately discussed many cultural differences around the world and the ways to deal with them. Through the course, we could learn how to communicate with others living in different cultures. Also, important thing, especially for me, was that learnt that there are differences between cultures but there are similarities as well between human beings.
As an exchange student, I travelled in the whole Europe. I visited Belgium, Czech, Netherlands, France, Swiss, Spain, etc. It was so amazing experience to visit another countries by bus in just a few hours and to meet another cultures and people. Also, it was fun to observe the language and culture that differed slightly from in regions. Unlike Korea, Europe that celebrates Christmas looked exotic for the whole month. If I have a chance next time, I want to come and feel the summer in Europe.
As I said, I had a lot of worries at first but now I can say that it’s more worth it than I thought. Through German life, I learned how to lead my personal life respecting the other people’s lives. Now I know the way to protect myself from external stressful circumstances. I think these were only possible because I came out of my comfort zone and went for a challenge. Therefore, I would like to tell the students, who are currently like me concerned about their future exchange-student-life: do not hesitate anymore and just try! Now I can confidently say that living abroad can be a big turning point in your life. Because I tried!