The university offered an intensive German course which spanned the entire month. It prepared me enough to make actual German friends, during classes, sport training, parties and various other situations. It also enabled me to take (and pass) a technical subject in German – I was quite shocked to realise during the first class that it wasn’t actually taught in English, as I had presumed! April then saw the beginning of summer, as well as the summer Semester. The sun seemed to materialize just in time for it to deserve its title.
Throughout the semester, I attended classes four days a week and travelled around Northern Germany on the long weekends with other exchange and German friends. Some of the locations I visited during this time were Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munster, Dortmund, Essen, Bielefeld, Hamm, Bonn, Kassel and Dusseldorf. I learnt a lot about the history of these places, much of which had to do with World War 2 bombings.
During the days that I spent at uni, I would catch up with friends for lunch in “der Mensa”, a giant cafeteria which served both lunch and dinner. Additionally in the evenings, there would be all sorts of social events, whether parties (uni organised and dorm based), movies, bowling, eating out or just hanging out at any random location.
What education concerns, I found the technical engineering courses well-taught and the content also very interesting. They were however quite challenging, given that the English-taught subjects were from the Electrical Engineering Masters program and the German-taught subjects were, well, taught in German. The advice I would give to future students wishing to study in Germany is:
- Be involved in all organized social events, especially in the first few weeks, as this is the easiest way to make many friends from all over the world (i.e. other exchange students).
- Make the effort to learn some German, as this will extend your opportunities and enrich your experience with German people.
- Study Abroad and Exchange Office, QUT International email: firstname.lastname@example.org Page 2
- Travel on every free day you have – there is so much to see in Germany alone, and it can be done cheaply if you do so in a group.
- Keep an open mind, avoid stressing and enjoy yourself!