«Notes from Germany»

«Notes from Germany»

17 December 2020

“Wurzburg: It’s true happiness to live here,” says Victoria Zorova, the 3rd year student of the Institute of International Programs and the participant of Double Degree program with the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (FHWS).

Are you still hesitating whether to participate in international academic programs or not? While you are busy hesitating, Victoria Zorova enjoys her life in Germany, studies management and makes new friends from all over the world.

The pandemic is not a hindrance

In 2020/2021 academic year I was lucky to go to Germany for a Double Degree program. Due to the raging pandemic, I had to go through a huge number of challenges and troubles, such as canceled flights, restrictions, the German bureaucracy, documents, all sorts of rules. But miracles happen and by the beginning of the semester I was in Wurzburg. With careful attention to details, the unstoppable desire, the good level of language, everything is possible.

Perhaps one of the main differences is that the student himself is responsible for the issues that concern him. Studying in Germany teaches responsibility, discipline and self-organization.

Eat, learn, read

This semester the University switched to distance learning. It gives some advantages. For example, you can go on a trip. Just don’t forget a laptop and the Internet.

For each semester, it is possible to choose courses from the list. I focused on sales management and entrepreneurship, in addition to general subjects.

The learning process is more focused on working in groups and group projects.

At first, it was a little bit difficult for me, since I was the only one from our university to travel to Wurzburg this semester. The first thing I did when I arrived – I tried to understand the requirements and courses, then I studied all the materials and a very busy schedule of lectures and master classes. Now it is a period of rapidly approaching sessions and deadlines.

The classes are extremely friendly. All the professors are very professional. In classes we spend most of the time talking and practicing our skills.

All university building entrances are closed for students because of COVID-19. Libraries are closed. The canteens are only open for takeaways. And it’s great. Canteens arrange days with national dishes of different countries and prices are low. For example, a dinner with several dishes will cost about four euros.

Let’s talk

The university offers free German language courses for every foreign student. Before the start you take a level test. I have classes three times a week for an hour and a half. The main principle is to learn through conversation. Due to the active involvement in the process, you feel the progress from the very first lesson. And you can apply your knowledges just by leaving the room. Germans are very sociable and are happy to help when they see a person's interest in their native language.

With other students we speak in English. Quite a lot of students from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Belgium and other countries. Cultural exchange is incredibly interesting.

Most people in the city also speak English, so there should be no problems with communication, if you are fluent in the language. However, you should never rely on it. I had situations, for example, in the

bank and the city hall, when the dialogue had to be conducted exclusively in German. Without a minimum knowledge of German language, an elementary trip to the supermarket might also be difficult.

It’s true happiness to live here

I didn't think for a long time whether to go or not. For me, it was clear that this is a great opportunity for my professional growth and personal development, an opportunity to improve my skills in English and German languages.

Wurzburg is a beautiful and cozy town with a century-old history in the heart of Bavaria. There are lush vineyards, magnificent cathedrals, bells. The main treasure of Würzburg is the Würzburg Residence - the first of Germany's palaces included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

With Christmas coming the town looks truly breathtaking. There are thousands of lights, the smell of licorice sweets and mulled wine on the Marketplatz in front of the Chapel of the Virgin Mary. It plunges you into the atmosphere of waiting for miracles and bright holidays.

In Wurzburg you have a lot of opportunities for travel. Cheap tickets allow you to visit German towns and other countries almost every weekend.

I like to learn something new every day, to look for different ways to solve problems. I try to think in two languages that I study. I like to understand a new culture with a rich history.

This experience is the most beautiful and amazing for me no matter what.

It is true happiness to live here. I am incredibly grateful to the UMTE for giving me the opportunity and support at every stage of this difficult path.