Was für ein Semester

Gular from Azerbaijan, Summer Semester 2020

Hi everyone, I am Gular Mikayilli, an exchange student from Azerbaijan. Before my exchange semester, coming to Germany was one of my biggest dreams. When I saw the announcement of the exchange semester at RheinAhrCampus, I felt very excited and started to search about the campus. I explored the website, read some blogs of international students, and did a virtual tour on campus. I loved it and decided to apply for this program. I cannot express my feelings when I heard I was accepted for this exchange program. Now I am very glad that my student experience will be among these, where other students can read and learn how amazing studying at RheinAhrCampus is. During the semester I did not only study subjects related to International business but also did the internship in the Sprachen/Internationales Department. These experiences taught me so valuable knowledge, information and skills which would be very beneficial and helpful in my future career.

When I arrived in Remagen unfortunately university, shops, cafes, almost everything was closed. At first, everything seemed difficult. But as time passes everything got easier, more enjoyable, and more interesting. I was lucky because I was living with Korean exchange students. Even during the lockdown, I had people to share something, talk and spend time together. It was nice and interesting to live with them. After a while, we started to meet with other exchange students and things got much more fun. It is interesting to meet with students from overseas, got to know new people, new cultures, new languages, spend time together and have fun.

I love traveling, but due to the pandemic, we could not travel for a long time. But in the last months as things were going back to normal we met more with the other students and we even started to go to nearby cities and countries for traveling. We had a trip to Schwarzwald, the astonishing place for its endless forests. In these days we had a lot of fun, went to Titisee and Schlushsee. We also had a trip to some other German cities such as Hamburg and Berlin. Additionally, we travelled to Greece in the last weeks, where we enjoyed the sun, beach, and food so much. In Greece I swam in the sea for the first time in my life. We also had a trip to Amsterdam. On this trip, I did realize the other one of my dreams, which was seeing the "Sunflowers" painting of Van Gogh. We went to the Van Gogh museum and saw plenty of amazing paintings of Van Gogh, including "Sunflowers".

Before coming to Germany I knew a little bit of German language and I improved it a little bit more in this semester. At least in the market or with some German people I was trying to talk and communicate with them in German language. Even if most of the times, at the end of the conversation that person told someone “she can speak German, but not good”. I was still happy to try to talk in the German language and hear this sentence even if it was not that good. Even among the exchange students, we enjoyed using some German words such as “Danke schön“, ”Bitte schön”, ”Entschuldigung”, “Keine Ahnung”.

One more thing that attracts me in Germany is the use of bikes as a means of transportation. As soon as I arrived in Remagen I started to search for a bike, found one, and got this bike. This bike was with me during the whole semester and I enjoyed so much riding this bike. Riding a bike was the thing that I love the most in Germany.  I could cycle to the university, to the market, to my friends' places, or just for fun.

I am so lucky to be in Remagen, spend my semester at RheinAhrCampus, and meet with other exchange students. I wished to stay longer and spend more time with them. Even if I could not stay I am happy that I made friendships with really kind and nice people from all over the world. It was the most interesting 6 months of my life. Thanks to the Sprachen/Internationales team and exchange students, my buddy, and everyone else for making my semester unforgettable and irreplaceable. Recently I noticed that I was using the sentence “It is my first time (doing something)” during this semester .It is proof that I tried a lot of things for the first time in my life there. It was my first long stay away from my home, the first time swimming in the ocean, the first time doing camping and a lot more. I think the one who reads this student experience you should go to exchange semester, maybe it is going to be your first exchange semester, the first time you will leave your family or your friends for a while, but they are not the only things that you will do for the first time. There are a lot of things waiting for you to try for the first time in your life. One more tip for the next exchange students is to know the value of every moment, to join all activities, events, and parties, not to sleep early, not to miss any moment. Because after the semester ends you will miss every single detail of it.

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