The semester full of "first-time" experiences

The semester full of "first-time" experiences

Hanbi from South Korea, Winter Semester 2018/2019

Guten tag! Ich bin Hanbi Yun. Ich komme aus Sudkorea.

These are the first two sentences that I said at the welcome ceremony for freshmen in the huge auditorium. I cannot believe that one semester has already passed and I am writing about my experience. I just feel like it was yesterday when I introduced myself to a lot of German students while stuttering a lot.

Time really flew! Four months ago, I memorized the whole script that my German friend, Patricia, had translated into German for my self-introduction. The only German words I knew were Entschuldigung, Guten tag and Tschüss (which I learned in Lidl). If somebody came to me and asked something in German, I answered,“I’m sorry. I can’t speak German” and I went away. I really didn’t like being taught German only in the German language, and all the German words sounded like an alien language to me. But now, after four months, I know how to read German words (even though some words sound totally different when Germans read them), I can guess if it is German when I hear something, and if someone speaks in German I try hard to understand what he or she is saying. Complete communication in German is still impossible, but I think this is a really great development.

My four-month stay at RheinAhrCampus was full of ‘first’ to me. It was my first time to fly alone for over 13 hours, to be in Germany, to live in such a long time abroad, and to meet various friends from all over the world. I used mixed-dormitory. I could not even imagine this in Korea, where there is still remained the Confucian culture.I visited one of the world's greatest festivals, Octoberfest. Also, I watched a game of Bundesliga in the stadium with my friends, and held a potluck party, in which friends from various countries gathered with their traditional foods and shared them with each other. As everything was at the first-time, everything I did here was amazing and it was a special experience for me.

Also, I met a lot of warm-hearted people who I would not meet if I had not come here as an exchange student. Patricia, Felix and buddies who helped me to adapt here, other exchange students who gave me lots of precious memories, professor Rashimah, who did the most job for me to come here from Korea, professor Borgmann who gave me impressive lessons, professor Faulstich who gave me confidence in English, Tarnim who approached to me first and tried to be a good friend, Ramona who made my life in Germany a lot happier, and other classmates who gave to me big or small kindness…I cannot mention everybody, but I would like to say “thank you” for everyone in RheinAhrCampus through this report.

If anyone reading this is thinking about studying abroad, I’d advise you to do so. Every moment abroad becomes experience. You will see everything in a new way, and after six months you will find yourself greatly improved in English. Even if you don’t want to speak English, you have to use English as the main language to survive in abroad. Therefore, you will not only improve your English skills, but you will also gain a lot of confidence due to the fact that everyone can understand your poor English! In addition to it, you can meet amazing people from all over the world. I will never forget the precious people I have met in RheinAhrCampus, and the memories with them. If someone asks me how the life as an exchange student was, I would say that it was the happiest time in my 23 years of life.