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Life as an Exchange Student in Gelsenkirchen Germany

Hallo! Mein Name ist Nerisa Arviana Yang. Ich bin 21 Jahre alt. Ich habe Chance zu studieren Wirtschaft in Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen Campus –Danke an Erasmus+ Stipendium. Ich komme aus Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia in Jakarta. (Hello! My name is Nerisa Arviana Yang. I am 21 years old. I have the chance to study Economics in Westphalian University of Applied Science –Thanks to Erasmus+ scholarship. I come from Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia in Jakarta)

 

Okay, enough of the German for now. That’s the only German I know for now because that is the simple one. But the real thing is pretty much difficult. I hope for the next 4 months I’ll be good enough to have conversation with German people.

 

 

 

First of all, I was beyond belief that I got the scholarship from Erasmus+ to study in Germany for Winter semester - as I wasn’t really confident at that time when I got interviewed by our Dean, Dr. Eko Widodo for the selection. For students in Atma Jaya who wants to go abroad, here goes some references. Study hard for the semesters you take in Atma Jaya (it is, of course, a must! But note that you don’t have to be intelligent, but be diligent!), watch more of English movies withoutreading subtitles to improve your English and be active in student organization of your choice (it doubles your experience and make you learn a lot, highly recommended). And then all I did was writing CV and motivation letter, taking TOEFL test – which is also provided by our university, and doing interview. But after you got selected from the University, it’ll be pretty much along process for about 2-3 months (you have to constantly look for information and updates here!) to prepare yourself with the university, both from Indonesia and Germany itself. Fortunately, our senior lecturer in Business Administration study program, Dr.rer.pol.A.Y Agung Nugroho who also did his study in Germany helped us a lot and gave a lot of tips and advises throughout our preparation to go to Germany.A lot of people helped me and 5 of my colleague a lot and I’m very thankful for it.

 

When I first arrived in Düsseldorf airport, we get to go with sky train to go to the train station to get to Gelsenkirchen, the city where I study. Gelsenkirchen is a small and quiet city, yet beautiful. Well, Germany is pretty well-known for its architecture. Despite being a small city, they have good means of transportation, such as tram, bus, regional express train, and so on. People here are also willing to help as long as they can speak Englishand it’ll be easier that way. And even when they can’t speak English well, they still try to help you with body language.

Language is, of course, a challenge from being an international student. But one thing is that in Westfälische Hochschule, where I study now, offer classes in English and also German language course. Here goes the subjects that I study, which is the part in my Learning Agreement:

 

- Management Decisions by Prof. Dr. Ludger H. Opgenhoff

- International Management by Prof. Dr. Ludger H. Opgenhoff

- Development and Institution of European Union by Prof. Dr. Ricarda Kampmann

- Financial Reporting by Prof. Dr. Julia Lackmann

- Economic Policy by Prof. Dr. Johann Walter

 

Since I study Business Administration in my university and here I’m taking Economy, so it’s a whole new world for me. The knowledge I got from Atma Jaya helped a lot and I get to review a lot. But here, it’s very developed. For example, in Management Decision class, we get to run a “virtual business” which is run by a group consists of 5-6 people and we have to be careful at calculating all the numbers from all department (the financing, HR, R&D, and so on). It’s math, economy, logic, decision making, team work, responsibility, all-in-one! And we’ll present it in front of the class about the result. It sounds like a lot of work (it is, actually), but I’m very happy that I get to be in a group with the other German so I can interact with them more, even though it’s pretty hard to do discussion about economics in English, both for me and them. One tip in interacting with people in Germany, be honest and straight to the point so that they can understand you. They can take it well as long as you say it out with respect. Besides, professors here are very helpful and friendly so it feels like home.And of course, there are a lot more interesting subjects that I can’t tell you about it all for now.Now you know behind all those happy faces and happy places I update in my social media, yep I also work hard for my studies here. That’s for sure because it’s my responsibility here as a student.

 

 

 

Despite my study here, I don’t forget that I have to enjoy my stay here and gain a lot of experiences in Germany. A lot of things I have done here for the first time ever in my life, including being in Germany itself, being a foreigner for quite a long time, having a roommate other than my own sibling, getting the chance to really speak Englishevery day, learn German language, having a best friend from another country and actually interact with them, and I’m pretty sure there’ll be a lot more of exciting first-times! And I can’t wait for winter to come!

 

I also get to gather around good people, especially from fellow Erasmus+ scholars. They’re such a delight and I get to know and actually interact with people all over the world (Vietnam, Malta, Spain, U.S., India, Romania, Switzerland& Jordan). I can’t believe how fast we bond together, help and take care of each other. Even it’s only been 2 months, I know I’ll miss them so much when I get back to Indonesia.

I know I’m just very lucky to get a scholarship – again thanks to Erasmus+ scholarship, to be in Germany. But, wherever you are, whenever it is, live your life to the fullest and always learn! Because life will never stop teaching you. Lastly, just like what one of my Indian friend, Kavi, always tell me: “Enjoy life!”

 
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