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Intercultural Challenges
What I would have loved to know before I went
EAH Jena
50.918835, 11.569043
Topic Personal Experiences

My name is Buta Singh from Punjab, India. I am pursuing a master's at Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule, Jena. Here, in this article, I want to share my experiences when I arrived in Germany for the first time. I was very excited when I got admission in Germany. I want to explore a new environment, place, culture, food, tradition, cuisine, and social life. We learn a lot of new things when we travel to someplace. New language, new culture everything is new. Mainly here in this, I want to talk about some interesting facts about my personal experiences.

Finding Accommodation

When I applied for the master’s course, I have also opted for accommodation. But, unfortunately, I did not get the accommodation due to huge competition at the student dorm, as few dorms were in the renovation. For instance, I was a bit afraid at initial because I did not have lodging. But the good thing is that the University allowed us to opt for the tutor. They gave us the contact details of Tutor while I was in India. My tutor is from china. I clearly remember I came to Jena on 7 October 2019. My tutor picks me up from the railway station. After arriving the very first thing I did is I went to the student dorm in search of a hostel. There, also it did not work for me. But my tutor helped me out of this situation. She asked for help from her fellow classmates if someone had a place to stay 2-3 days. Luckily I got the place. He is my senior and he is also from India. After that every day, I went to the Studentenwerk office for accommodation but I did not get the room. As per the Germany guidelines, a student must and have his own room on his name. Then only he can able to proceed further for the rest of things like city registration, bank account opening and of course for the visa too. I applied for the private apartments (www.jenawohnen.de) too. I even tried for the alternative source of shelter like private apartments, international hostels, etc., I have almost spent 10-12 days doing all this stuff but I did not find the place. At that juncture, some of my seniors suggested me to search in other cities like Weimar and Erfurt which are near to Jena. Finally, in Erfurt’s Studentenwerk I got accommodation. I have moved my luggage from Jena to Erfurt. I am living in Erfurt for the last 8 months. I know I did not take this accommodation part seriously while I was in India. But I think I learned from my mistake. I hope you also learned something from my experience and if please do so then won’t do so like what I did.

University Experience-

German University is totally different from my country's universities. Way of teaching, Exams and the most important thing is attendance no one asks you why you missed this lecture but in India, it is mandatory to achieve 75% attendance in your course. Another thing is in Germany you can contact every person of University through Email but this thing is not very popular in India. Germany's native language is German but my course medium is English for this reason I did not face problems at University but I also speak a little bit German and it helps me a lot. When you go out like for groceries shopping, restaurant, etc., one has to speak in German. Luckily, I already completed my German basic level from Goethe institute Chandigarh. It is a German Institute so you can use their Certificate anyplace in Germany.  If you are coming to Germany ensure that at least to complete your German basic level from your native land. There are countless language Schools in Germany. Moreover, German Universities provide the language courses so you can comfortably pursue your language course with your regular course. The difference between the studies of course varies from country to country. For example, mostly theoretical knowledge is gained by Indian students in their curriculum while in Germany more focus will be made on practical studies. In India, at school, all subjects were taught irrespective of any specialization or field of study. Whereas in many countries, streamline is made since schooling, so that they can make their career in the same field. So these are some alterations that vary from place to place in terms of education. These are my personal experiences. I hope, it could help in some way.

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