Erasmus Student Exchange Report Winter Semester 2016 Emmanuella Reika
This report summarizes my semester abroad on the Student Exchange Program during the Summer Semester of 2016 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
By experiencing to be a Student Exchange, I learned to take care of myself in a totally new environment and I am capable to compare education systems, lifestyles and cultures among many nationalities.
Studying is just one formal word to describe our purpose to be in German. What happened there is much more than just studying. What we had been through were learning to survive, get deep in adventures and had a whole experience of six months living so far away from family and friends.
This report gives an overview throughout our activities during our student exchange program in Gelsenkirchen. Starting from our studies, cultures experience to our traveling across German and other countries. Where we learn from our experience in reality and environment.
2. Studying in Germany
2.1 Westfälische Hochschule - An overview
Westphalian University of Applied Sciences have four campuses comprise eight departments and offering more than 30 degree study programmes. The campuses are located in Gelsenkirchen, Bocholt and Recklinghausen.
This University has International partnerships with foreign universities, exchange students from abroad, periods of study and internships spent abroad by our students enable them to acquire international and intercultural competencies.
It is consisted about 7,500 students, which among them are 340 international students from about 40 countries of the world. Co-operating with more than 60 universities worldwide. Furthermore, this University is facilitated with over 200 professors and about 180 scientific assistants.
2.2.1 Environment Communication
A very interesting class taught by Sir Don Lewis Kirk. Discussing the relation between environment, media and communication. The surrounding environment and the environment in our homeland, and the way media communicate it to the audience for the audience to make a reaction or even action. During this class as well we discuss many real issues and cases that were happening both in our environment and homelands nature.
Our finals were either a presentation or a submitter paper. I chose to do a presentation together with Gloria for 40 minutes, with a topic “Case Study: Southeast Asia Haze 2015”.
2.2.2 Executive Decision Making
Sir Don Lewis Kirk also teach us for Executive Decision Making class. A class which discussing about CEO and the decision that they make towards issues with all the consequences. We openly sharing our thoughts for happening issues and cases, and discussing what might be the best response in a CEO position.
We had a final test to discuss about our chosen topic by presenting or write a paper. For this subject I again did a presentation for 40 minutes with Gloria and discussing the crisis communication of “Case Study : Missing Airplane AirAsia QZ8501”.
2.2.3 Presentation Technique
One of my favorite subject due to the very interesting practice and exercises that were experienced in class. We learned the techniques to present appropriately, both in our movements and the content that we discuss.
The final exam were an individual presentation of a free topic for 15 minutes. I presented about Indonesia and succeeded to make the most of it by listening to my classmates feedback and Professor Rainer Janz’s.
2.2.4 Cross Cultural Communication
A class taught by Mrs.Wolf who had a broad knowledge and experiences about many countries and cultures. In this class we learned about variety and differences among many cultures, we discussed about cultural diversities, ethics and ordinances.
We were also obliged to present a chosen country, and I chose to present Romania together with Ardelia. For the final test we had an oral test about the theory and the topic that we presented in class before, in my case it was about Romania.
2.2.5 Unternehmensorganisation und Führung
This is the one class that were taught in Deutsch by Professor Janz. With some help from our classmates we were able to understand how to manage an organization, learned the elements that exist in that organization and understood the way to strengthen the relationship of the organization by using communication skills.
As a student exchange, our marks were gained through our presentation that we did in groups. Our group present out our given topic in English. I also added a short drama to spice up our presentation and to make it more interesting.
2.2.6 Project 1 SS
This project required us to examine a company that has been designated by Professor Janz, making an advertisement video for the benefit of the company’s website and make a report about the company; the results of our research and working processes.
On the last day of this class, we were all gathered up in a class to have a presentation from each group. I did the presentation together with Syuzanna.
2.2.7 German Course
A class by Sir Nagel Syben who passionately and patiently taught us German language. We learned German language from the handouts that he gave us, chapter by chapter we developed our German language skills.
2.2.8 Social Media
Social Media class was taught by Sir Benjamin. We learned to use social media to communicate our purposes towards our target audience. We also had a task to create our own imaginary product and make a concept for the publishing, which later me and Rachel have to present it and this mark were the ones that were taken for our final exams marks.
2.3 My Study Experiences
Classes were generally small, ranging from 10 to 20 people. This small number of participant supports the focus of both teaching and learning activity in class. As we know German is famous with the punctuality, the classes were mostly start in time and when the student came a few minutes later, the students were considered late. However, as long as I am concerned there were no punishment except a short warning.
I notice there were active discussion between the lecturer and the students where response and feedback were often heard. The lecturer always make sure if his or her lesson is clear and if we could catch up. The situation in class was also very encouraging so we felt freely to speak up and give our opinion.
We are always challenged by presenting in front of the public either individually, with a partner or in groups. But this activity helps us build our confidence to talk in front of an audience. Also the free topic of presentation that we could decide on our own encourage us to be more creative.
3. Cultural Exchange
I personally did not get much of German culture shock but instead I learn many positive culture or lifestyle that I would actually like to imply in my own life for development purposes. First of all, I notice that they really love to walk, and they walk in a faster pace than most Indonesian. After living for six months in Germany, we are used to walking for hours.
Secondly, German’s punctual time. We were also forced to learn to be in time. Because we do not want Indonesian people to be marked as “always late” culture and if we are late it will give more disadvantages to us like missing a bus.
Thirdly, German people always planned their days. Because of the punctuality culture that they adhered, they can mostly planned their days successfully. And it’s proven convenient and productive to have this kind of lifestyle.
As an Erasmus student, we are not just surrounded by German culture but more to International cultures due to the various friends we have from the Erasmus group. This concludes that participating in Erasmus student exchange we tend to learn sundry cultures which actually enrich our experience on making relationship with several nationalities.
As a participant in Erasmus group, we had more chances to travel to some places with our Erasmus friends in cheaper prices. Like going to Berlin on the second week after we arrived at Germany and going to Krakau, Poland in June. It gave us the chance to feel the different of living in the city part of Germany because Berlin tend to be more modern and have a metropolitan lifestyle, unlike Gelsenkirchen which is a smaller city and tend to be more calm. While in Poland we experience a lot of adventure, starting from visiting the city of Krakau, have a trip to Austchwitz and went hiking at Zakopane.
We also had the chance to visit other part of Germany due to the kind invitation of our lecturer. Prof. Rainer Janz invited us to stay at his house in Koblenz and we had some awesome tour around the city, together with the American students. Our German teacher also invited us to have lunch in his house in Bocholt, we came with Indonesian dishes of Ayam Kuning and Rendang while Sir Nagel Syben and his wife prepared us the rice and dessert.
Besides Poland, we also had visited other countries by using the student trip that were many offered in Facebook with a very good deal. We reached to Switzerland, France, Netherlands, and Italy. I also flew alone to Romania and stayed for nine days to visit my old friends.
Overall, this student exchange program is one of the best offer one should consider. Studying in a whole new environment and have a total exciting adventure for six months is priceless. This experience is not just teaching you in a different method for academic purposes but also will build up a whole new perspective about the world and the people and also the way of living.
It is true if people said living abroad will open you mind. Living in your homeland would help you to develop but living in a stranger’s place would help you to be mature.