Report October - Ramiyro Porras Vigil
1. Why have you chosen FHWS?
Well, it’s a bit of a long story, but here it goes. I was looking for universities in Germany that offered a bachelor’s degree programme linked to Engineering and where classes were held in English. There were a couple of different options, but FHWS really stood out to me because they emphasized how much they value international students. So, as an international student myself, I really appreciate that. Also, the other options were fairly new universities with maybe 10 or 20 years of experience and I feel more assured at an older, more established university.
2. Why have you chosen your study programme?
I’ve chosen Business and Engineering because I was interested in studying something technical, in order to go into the business area within the technical field later on. When I read about the programme, it really sparked my interest and I started to look more into the topics it covered and what my employment prospects after graduation would be. I also talked to the programme director via Skype. She was very friendly and answered all of my questions about the programme, the classes and credit transfer, amongst others.
3. When did you start to prepare your application to FHWS?
To be honest, I don’t exactly remember. As I was planning on applying to multiple universities, I already prepared the documents needed for applying, beforehand. I didn’t apply very early, maybe one month before the deadline. The advantage was that the application deadline at the FHWS is a bit later than at other universities, so I had a bit more time to apply.
4. How was your experience applying to FHWS?
Well, to be honest it was pretty easy. A lot easier than I thought it would be. Because I already had all the necessary documents, I didn’t have any problems there and, as I said earlier, a big advantage is that the deadline at the FHWS is a bit later. They also have a person that is in charge of Latin America. So, if you have Spanish documents, he can help you to look over them and help with the formalities.
5. How was your visa application process?
Visa application was my biggest issue because I already had an appointment, but I had to cancel it and ask for another one because I couldn’t get the necessary documents in time. The only appointments left were for mid-August, but the orientation programme would start mid-September and classes at the beginning of October. So, it was a bit hectic. The good thing about having the appointment in August and not in September was that starting from the beginning of September, they required you to have more money in your bank account. So, I was just in time, so that the previous requirements were still in force. Fortunately, my visa arrived just in time and I was able to go to Schweinfurt the day before the first day of classes, so I didn’t miss any classes.
6. How did you travel from your home country to the FHWS campus 8transport, costs, travel time, difficulties)?
I flew to Frankfurt and from there I took a bus (Flixbus), it was only 10 Euros, which took me directly from the airport in Frankfurt to the main station in Schweinfurt. My Airbnb host very kindly offered to pick me up there. I think the bus was the perfect option because I didn’t have to go to the main station in Frankfurt or anything. I did carry two giant suitcases though, which was a bit difficult. The only unfortunate thing that happened was that my suitcases weighed more than what was allowed, so I had to pay an extra 18€, so that I could take them with me. Literally, almost double the price of the bus ticket. I also wanted to ask how long it took to arrive in Schweinfurt, but with the little German I speak and because the driver didn’t speak English, it was difficult to find out what was going on. Apart from that, the journey went very well and in the end, I reached my destination on time.
7. How did you find your accommodation? Where do you live now?
As I knew I probably wasn’t going to arrive in Schweinfurt until October, I didn’t have the possibility to look for an accommodation before classes started. That’s why I chose to book an Airbnb, I found one at a reasonable price and that’s where I stayed for the first month. It’s a lot easier looking for accommodation when you are on location in Schweinfurt, because you can go and look at rooms and ask questions in person. At the moment I’m still looking for long-term accommodation.
8. What was especially interesting or useful to you during the orientation programme?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t participate in the orientation programme because I hadn’t received my visa at that time.