With about a month remaining until I make the long flight to Germany the nerves are still yet to kick in for me, although the excitement is well and truly building. Due to the German university summer semester starting in April, I will be the last of our first semester exchange cohort to depart. Not that I’m complaining, the current average temperature over there is a crisp 1°C so the closer to that European summer the better.
My exchange partner, European University Viadrina, lies in the town of Frankfurt (Oder) in the far east of Germany and is situated alongside the Oder River that also borders Poland. With only an hour’s train journey to Berlin I expect regular weekend trips there to experience the city’s culture, history and of course, nightlife. I am also planning to make the most of its central location in Europe by travelling to many of the neighbouring countries in any breaks away from Uni I may have.
Regarding the actual University experience, I’m not too sure what to expect in terms of classes and study load. The general stereotype of the Germans is usually that they are very organised and punctual. Two areas that certainly are not strengths of mine, but who knows, maybe I can learn something from them. I have also heard that the university receives many students not just from Germany but from all over Europe, which I’m hoping will add to the overall cultural experience.
This upcoming exchange will be my second trip to Europe after heading over with a few friends in 2015 and absolutely loving it. I know this time I won’t have my friends to fall back onto and although that is a little daunting, I feel it’s also half the challenge and will ultimately help me to grow as a person. Although I’m expecting this trip to involve somewhat less partying and quite a bit more studying than my previous trip I don’t doubt this experience will be anything but more rewarding.
Scott Townsend, Bachelor of Commerce (Finance)/Bachelor of Business (International Business) student, Semester 1 2018 exchange at European University of Viadrina, Germany