The Summer When Dreams Come True

Sebastian from Canada, Summer Semester 2022

My name is Sebastian Gayowsky and I am an ERASMUS exchange student from Canada. Back in Canada I study French, while here at the RheinAhrCampus I am taking business management courses. A bit of an unlikely combination, but that’s not the end of it. While I have been here in Germany, I have also been applying to Master’s programs in, you guessed it, music!

For the last four years I have been yearning for an opportunity to come to Germany. I knew even back then that I wanted to do my Master’s here. But I also knew that before making such a big decision, I should spend some time living and studying here. The time I have spent in Remagen has confirmed everything I hoped. Germany is such an incredible country, even if the trains can be a bit late. As a student intern with the RheinAhrCampus I have also gotten to experience a bit of what working in Germany is like. It’s been a culture shift to be sure.

 In Canada, only a week or two before I came here, we just got a fresh blanket of snow. Then when I got to Germany, it felt like summer. The flowers were in bloom and the sun was shining. All the German and other international students kept saying how cold it still was in Germany, but I was dressed for the beach before the week was out.

This was the first semester the RheinAhrCampus tried a hybrid option with their international students. The other Canadian exchange student and I spent our first month in Canada, online, and then came to Germany for the rest of the semester. Honestly, I was worried that being a month behind everyone else would be a huge disadvantage. I was plagued with questions. How was I going to fit into the group of other international students? Was it going to be awkward? How would everything even work? But the as soon as I was on the plane, I had the feeling that I was making the right choice and that everything was going to turn out wonderful.

The other international students definitely made these few months an experience to remember. Though we all come from such different cultures around the world, we are somehow so similar. I’ve never been a part of a diverse group of nationalities like this before and I’d recommend the experience to everyone.

The classes I have been taking have shown to me how important intercultural experiences like this are. I even got the chance to travel to Turkey for one of my classes; a country I would never even have thought of visiting, let alone taking a class in. All of the courses have had a heavy emphasis on how important it is to take steps to internationalize yourself. I’m so happy that I took the first step of applying to this program and was then selected to come.

 I have been able to travel across Germany during my time here, and I find it so funny how even though Germany is physically a smaller country than Canada, they have so much variation, even only one Bundesland over. I knew my German improved when I started to recognize some of the dialects I was hearing as I traveled.

I am so happy that I decided to take on a challenge and come to Germany for this ERASMUS exchange semester and I am so excited to be able to come back to Germany to start my Master’s in a few months.