The moment I got informed that I would be the one spending four months in Germany representing Parahyangan Catholic University was very surprising yet exciting for me. I was offered to come from March to join the German language intensive class, but I could not go because of certain reasons. After spending the time in Germany, I regret that I did not go sooner. The program itself has taught me a lot of fascinating things. I learn that the teaching method here is more about us as students learning by ourselves. We need to read more and find many references to support our arguments about the topic. I find every session of the class is challenging and exciting. Most of the students give their opinions to the topic discussed and that always makes the discussion becoming more interesting to talk about. I really appreciate the eagerness of German people to speak up their minds to most of the matters discussed in class. The lecturers are also very welcome and warm towards the students and their questions. I also get an opportunity to study German language in a language course without paying for it. It surely does improve my German especially for the fact that everyone has to speak German in the class. The university itself is very large and they have a short range transportation called the H-Bahn or Skytrain to make the mobilization of students easier since the university has two main areas which are the north campus and the south campus.
There are a lot of benefits of being a student in Germany. I get a semester ticket which allows me to use the trains, metro, and bus in the Nordrhein-Westfallen region without paying. Another benefit is that all students in TU Dortmund are allowed to watch the opera, theatre and musical concerts in Dortmund for free. Once I went to an opera “Le Nozze di Figaro” in Theatre Dortmund with all the audience dressing up. Other attractions in Germany usually require students to pay less than the others. Dortmund is also very well known with its football club, Borussia Dortmund (BVB). Once, I watched the match between Dortmund and Cologne in Signal Iduna Park, the largest football stadium in Germany which is also located in Dortmund. The euphoria of Germans regarding football can be sensed in many ways, such as the football stores in every corner of the city, the Fussball Museum in Dortmund, how fast football tickets can be sold out, and many thing else. BVB has been known as one of the best clubs in Germany. Another thing that is very much beneficial for me is the fact that Germany is surrounded by European countries in border with the country. Dortmund itself is very close to Netherland, Belgium, and France. I get many chances to go visiting other countries and different cities and the foremost important thing is that I get the national visa with many entries to Schengen area. Once I went to the European Union buildings in Brussels and I was amazed by their technology and their effort in strengthening their citizens
Besides all the benefits I just mentioned, what actually makes it hard to think about leaving Dortmund is the people I meet in Dortmund. Germans are known to be stiff and not very friendly, but all of these are not true. I have many German friends and they are very welcome and honest. I also made friends with the international students through Erasmus Student Network (ESN). They create a lot of events and they are the people I mostly spend my time with. Some of the events include the trip to Amsterdam, Prague, France, Switzerland, Italy, and many other destinations. Living in Europe surely makes me understand more about the bond between the European people, their opinions about European Union, and how they address their unity as Europeans. One German culture that I have to adjust with is their fondness of beers. Every city usually has its own beer. Two things that they love so much are beers and football. As long as they hold a beer and bratwurst while watching a match, everything is perfect already. I could honestly say that living in Germany for a while is very fascinating and widening my perspectives in many ways. Germany is a prosperous country and I really love it here. However, as much as I love Germany, I love Indonesia more. After spending some time here, I just realized how rich our country is and how strong our nationality is.
Marlyn Oktavia International Relations batch 2014-Parahyangan Catholic University ERASMUS+ Scholarship Exchange Student at TU Dortmund University, Germany