I’d be lying if I said that moving to Germany as a first-year international student during a global pandemic was easy. As first-year international students, we have so many expectations about university life and our newfound independence far away from home. We often crave to meet new people, build long-lasting friendships, try new things, and explore new places. Unfortunately, these expectations were crushed last year due to COVID-19.
The lockdown and online classes made it extremely hard for us to go out and live the university life we had anticipated in Germany. This had a significant impact on me mentally as I oftentimes felt demotivated. Even though it was hard for me to cope with the stress, Germany’s beautiful nature was a pleasant distraction that made it easier. I spent more time doing outdoor activities such as going on long walks and riding my bike. Additionally, I focused more on university work and improved my German language skills.
Even though it was hard for me to cope with the stress, Germany’s beautiful nature was a pleasant distraction that made it easier.
… was the willingness of the people to help each other. In Tübingen, where I am attending university, student communities work on supporting and empowering other students. As the lockdown slowly ended, these student communities started working again on planning events for students. I also decided to join, Germany’s largest network for international students, to share my experiences and help other internationals find their way to Tübingen. As a result, I started going out more and becoming more engaged in student life.
1. Fill your time with things you like.
2. Surround yourself with people you love.
3. Engage in different activities and events, even if they are out of your comfort zone.
With the number of vaccinated people in Germany increasing, things are finally getting back to normal. This will not only allow students entering university this year to have a more typical first year of university, but it will finally enable second-year students in Germany to experience what they have missed. To conclude, Germany is such a wonderful country to study in, and it has always been my dream to study in such a great country and live here. I wish you all the best, and I hope you’re enjoying Germany as much as I am!