Report January - Lucero Chávez Espinoza
1. How did you prepare for your exams and how did they go?
It was a new experience, because the German system is so different to the one in my country. In Peru, it’s enough to study for a short period of time to get the desired outcome. In Germany, that strategy doesn’t apply. Here, you need to start studying at the beginning of the semester. The German system is very centred around the concept of self-study, which plays an important role in the education of university students. I wish I could say, I started early, but that wasn’t the case. I started to study for my exams in December, which wasn’t easy, but for the moment I’m happy with my results. Of course, I would’ve liked to have started earlier with my preparation for the exams, but it was another experience for my student life and something that I will keep in mind for future semesters. Regarding the exam results, I’ll have to wait until March to know the results, but I’m feeling very positive and am anxiously waiting for my marks.
2. Did you improve your German/English since living in Germany?
German was part of my student life since I started school, but the technical knowledge of the language and using it on a daily basis was very gratifying, because I was able to apply what I knew and feel that I grew on a personal, as well as on a professional basis. I know that there is still so much more I have to learn but I’m excited to broaden my knowledge.
3. Did you participate in any trip organised by the FHWS?
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take part in university activities this month due to the exam period, as I decided to focus on my studies instead. At the same time, the cultural activities or visits to companies this month have been cancelled because it’s the end of the semester, which gave me a good idea of the importance the university places on the education of its students.
4. Do you miss your home country? How many times did you go back home or are you planning to go back home? Did your family come to visit you? What helps you when you miss your country and/or your family?
Of course, I miss my country. It’s been tough to adjust without having them close but at the same time it helped me to become more independent and focus on my studies. Thanks to modern technology, I just text them or we have a video call whenever I miss them. In that way I can see them, tell them how much I miss them and we exchange smiles or advice. I plan to go to Peru after the exam period. I can share my new experiences and relax while eating typical Peruvian dishes that I enjoy so much. My family is coming to visit in April, which I’m very excited about. I can share with them what Schweinfurt has to offer and they can get to know my new world.
5. Would you like to stay in Germany or do you prefer to go back to your home country after graduation? Why?
That’s something I’m still trying to figure out. On the one hand, I’d like to stay in Germany because it has a lot to offer and I think I can build a future here. On the other hand, I’ve also thought about going back to Peru and contributing to the growth of society and help my fellow countrymen. I will have to decide about my future as the semesters progress.
6. What has been the biggest challenge since living in Germany and how did you overcome it?
I think my biggest challenge has been living alone. I had never done that before and it’s something I’m still trying to adjust to. It has definitely helped me with my personal growth and to gain an independence that I’ve never had before that. Managing my monthly budget and making monthly payments have been some of the new experiences, which, and that’s for sure, I’m still learning to do, but I’m grateful, because they are contributing to my personal growth.
7. What has been your best impression of living in Germany so far?
I think mainly the opportunity to meet new friends from all over the world who make me feel at home. Since I came to Germany, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know new cultures and learn about different societies. Thanks to the university, I could expand my cultural knowledge. That’s something that I’m very excited to share with my family and friends. It’s going to be like opening a window into my new little world, full of people who have shared their affection with me.
8. What would you recommend to a future Spanish-speaking student at the FHWS after staying here for 5 months?
First of all, due to the German system and the structure of academic achievement and marks, I really recommend organizing your time for studying and for your social life. It’s important to know that there is always time to study and for fun. Many of the people I know have failed many classes in their first semester because they didn’t find a balance. Secondly, I would tell them that it’s important to open yourself up to possibilities of getting to know knew people and don’t be afraid to communicate in a different language than you’re used to.