Report November - Aman Swain
How was your first month at FHWS?
The first month passed so quickly while we were trying to adapt ourselves to the city. Considering that this is the first time I am away from my homeland and family this long, life has changed a lot for me. The first month has taught me a lot (especially managing time for academics and daily household chores). Apart from studies, there are many sports events organized by students every week which everyone can participate in. With the support of Indians in Schweinfurt, we were able to celebrate an amazing Diwali. It was small, but a great event.
What is different in the German education system compared to the one in your home country?
The education system in Germany is completely different from that of India. Firstly, the Indian education system follows the traditional theoretical method in education whereas the German education system follows the modern practical approach to education. Here, there is no compulsion for students to attend lectures. Back in India, a minimum attendance of 75% (sometimes even more) was required to attempt the final exams.
Did you manage to make friends with German and international students?
Experiencing a different culture can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. The best way to do this is to put yourself in different situations where you can meet new people. I have managed to make friends while playing football, attending language courses and during group discussions in lectures.
How well do you understand the professors and other university staff? Are there any language difficulties at the university and in your spare time? What is your current level in German?
Till now, all the professors that have taught me are excellent in the English language and are easy enough to understand. At the university, knowing only English might be enough, but outside, communication problems arise often with hairdressers, bus/taxi drivers, etc. Currently, my German level is A2 and I can hold a basic conversation in German.
Are there still any unresolved organizational issues?
No, there are no organizational issues left. I have already received a residence permit and it needs to be re-issued next year, with financial statements for the same annual amount (10,236 euros) as when applying for a visa.
How safe do you feel in Germany compared to your home country?
Germany is a very safe country to live in, with crime rates that are lower than most countries. The rule of law is taken quite seriously and followed by the majority of people who live in Germany. The police is highly regarded in the society, it is quick to take action and therefore, a high sense of safety exists.
What is your first general impression of life in Germany?
I believe, Germany is a curious mix of old and new, with a seamless continuity between the past and present. Positives: Safety, Sights and History, Education, high standard of living, well developed public transportation. Negatives: Supermarkets and shops closed on Sundays. I‘m really glad I came here, so I cannot only learn things from my University‘s course but also about life in society.
What is your first impression of the town?
Schweinfurt is a very peaceful and quiet city. Even though you can walk from one end to another in about an hour, you will always find here something new to look at. Every time you go outside, more and more spectacular lanes and alleys and sideways reveal.