COLOMBIA (BOGOTA) – GERMANY (KIT, KARLSRUHE): SANTIAGO TAFUR, BACHELOR FULL TIME STUDENT

Although I was in a German school my entire life; back then, the idea of coming to Germany for my studies never crossed my mind. Everything was perfectly planned: graduate, then study in a university in Bogota and at the same time have the possibility of being close to my family and friends.

In fact, that’s how it all began. Right after graduation, I got into the “Universidad de Los Andes” to study Industrial Engineering. I stayed there for 2 semesters, but as my interest in computer science and programming kept growing, I realized I needed a change. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone as well as my career choice and for that, of course, my first choice was Germany.

In 2014, my research for finding a university which should suit me most started. My choice was between Aachen, Munich and finally Karlsruhe, the one I picked. Despite the fact that there were more attractive options to live in some bigger and renowned cities, the combination of a great ranked University, as KIT, and some peacefulness to potentially help me concentrate in my studies, won my full attention.

So, in October of the previously mentioned year, my life in Germany started. At the beginning, talking every day in a language that was not my own and trying to understand the more technical lectures was a bit complicated. Luckily for me, I had a couple of friends who helped me adapt.

Passed that adaptation phase, my life here got much better.

In a personal way, my mind has opened a lot since then. Here, I´ve had the opportunity to meet people from all around the world, with their own cultures and experiences. Karlsruhe being such a University-focused city, is a very common destiny for young people trying to pursue their studies.

In a more academical way, I´ve had chances that I didn´t think I would have. A country like Germany is very focused on high quality education, so the government invests a lot in educational institutions. Being able to get the best equipment for your tasks and also being able to learn from people that are top in their fields of work is very motivating. On the other side, and I feel this is a usual fear, if there is any problem with the understanding of a class or anything related to the university, there is always someone to help you.

Finally, in a professional way, I´ve found multiple opportunities to work inside and outside my career field. A year and a half ago, I began working as a bartender a couple of nights during the week; a thing that helped me have some extra money. After a year I stopped working there; wanting to focus myself on something more guided to my career, I got a job at Siemens, while I finish my bachelor studies. Parallel to that there´s a bunch of other openings inside the institutes of the university that receive students who are willing to work.

To conclude, I want to address that although it has been a long path full of ups and downs, it´s a great experience where I´ve learned so much that I wouldn´t want to miss in a million years.

Your Santi

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