Report November - Ramiyro Porras Vigil
1. How was your first month at FHWS (How did it go, university life, free time, etc.)?
Until now everything has been going well. I finally found a room, so I don’t have to keep looking for accommodation. That really stressed me out the last month. I’m still trying to settle into life in Schweinfurt, create a routine and so on. The Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Schweinfurt just opened this month and it’s really pretty. It’s something else to do in the city after classes end or during the weekend. You can take a stroll around the market and have a Glühwein. The atmosphere is very beautiful and friendly, the food is good and you can get to know people or at least that’s what happened to me. I’m also slowly starting to feel the pressure of the exams. The university library is always open and it’s difficult to find a seat if you’re not there early.
2. What are the differences between the education system in Germany and in your home country?
The German education system is very different from the Mexican one. In Mexico, your overall grade is usually made up of different grades that you receive throughout the semester, such as assignments, projects, tests and a final exam. You basically earn your mark a bit at a time throughout the semester. On the contrary, here in Germany, for most classes you only have to take a final exam and that’s it. If you wanted to, you wouldn’t even have to go to any class and could only take the final exam and that’s it. It is obviously questionable if you would pass it, but theoretically it’s possible. I recommend starting to study early on. If you leave everything until the end, it’s probably going to be very difficult and stressful trying to revise 4 months of classes in such a short amount of time.
3. Have you already found German and international friends?
Yes! Yes, I’ve made some friends. I’ve gotten to know people from all over the world, basically all parts of Latin America and Spain, France, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, the United States, Nigeria, Egypt, Macedonia and obviously Germans as well. There are mostly international students in my classes. I think there are only like 6 Germans in my classes. But in general, everyone is very friendly and keen on making friends, no matter where you’re from.
4. How well do you understand the professors and the university staff? Do you have any difficulties with the German/English language at university or in your free time? What is your level of German right now?
In general, my professors speak English well, although sometimes I have to smile when I discover the occasional German word in their presentations. At university, most people speak English, staff and students alike. Of course, there are some people who only speak German and no English, but I think that’s rather the exception. Even outside of university, in the city, it’s difficult to find people who don’t speak English. I have a B1/B2 level of German, which gives me the advantage that if people don’t speak English, I can at least make myself understood. Sometimes not all of it might be grammatically correct, but I can get my point across and I honestly believe that people genuinely appreciate when you try to speak to them in German and they’ll be patient with you.
5. Is there any organizational problem that still needs to be solved? If yes, what is it?
Right now, I’m only still waiting for my resident permit. I applied a little late because I was still looking for a permanent place to stay and stuff like that. But apart from that I opened a bank account, registered at the town hall, etc.
6. Did you take part in the i-Campus Day? How did you like the event?
No, I didn’t participate.