What is better than to read and comment on some former experiences in Germany. Please share your stories, experiences and tips for all newcomers below. Comments are also always very welcomed.
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Take a look at Yiting´s experience in Germany
TAIWAN (TAIPEI) – ULM (GERMANY): YITING CHEN, EXCHANGE SEMESTER
I was an exchange student of Ulm University in Germany. It was the first time for me to have an experience outside my own culture and to live by my own. I didn’t learn German before going there, which was the biggest regret. I learned how to speak German in university, but the most important lessons I learned were outside of the classroom.
The first week in Germany was really bad. Everything was so new and different from my country, including the transportation, the university, the people, and so on. I went to the supermarket alone and couldn’t find the things I wanted because I was unable to speak German. I went to the university and couldn’t find my classroom. I needed to learn how to cook on my own because the restaurants there are so expensive. I couldn’t understand the instructions when I was transferring my money. All the challenges came straight to me in at once. I learned how to solve it by asking strangers or searching on the internet. Furthermore, I also knew more about their culture and how they treat to people.
Drinking alcohol and partying are not really common culture in Taiwan. We seldom drink and don’t know how to party. However, I met other exchange students on the parties with German beer in hand. The first party was horrible. The only three questions I could think about for meeting new people were their names, nationalities and majors. I did not know how to continue the conversation. After that, I forced myself to join every party, talk as much as possible, move my body when everyone started to dance. Then, I learned how to relax and enjoy myself.
In my country, hugs and kisses are things only couples do. On the contrast, hugs and kisses are also given between friends in Europe. I was so shocked and surprised when I had been hugged by my friends when seeing each other and saying goodbye. After few times, I was really used to it and fell in love with this physical contact culture. Now, I hug my parents and friends actively.
I met a lot of friends who were from different countries: Italy, Spain, Croatia, Finland, US, Syria, Egypt, Portugal and so on. We always stayed together, discussed about the culture differences and world news, and also shared our own stories, which were all in English. Sometime we cooked our own national typical food together as well. Though I have already come back for more than one year, I’m still in contact with most of them.
Being thousands of miles away from home was not so easy. The hard times made me grow up. The happiest times helped me discover myself more. It was really an unforgettable experience. The memories I had and the lessons I learned will stay with me forever.
Share your story and tips below for those planning to study or work in Germany! Thank you for your support!