How does it feel like living as an exchange student in German? Taghreed Khalayla, 24 years old from Jordan, lived one year in Magdeburg and Hamburg. She studied Industrial Engineering at German Jordanian University (GJU), where it is compulsory for all students to register a foreign exchange semester at partner universities in Germany and work one semester in a German company (internship). I spoke with her about her time in Germany.
How did you first feel, when you arrvied in Germany? I felt for living in such a beautiful city and beeing in Germany.
What was your first impression of the country and of Magdeburg? I got the impression of a country where everyone is friendly, helpful and people in Magdeburg spoke English even though some were not fluent.
What difficulties did you have in the beginning? Every a new beginning is hard especially when you are alone like I was. I had many responsibilities to do such as, how to find accommodation, cooking, washing and studying - things I did not have to do in Jordan. In Jordan a mother is responsible for these things because we live with our families. We are not allowed to live aline except for our studies. After we finish our studies, we move back to our family.
What was easy for you? The easiest thing for me in Germany was using the public transport. It is on time and always available.
What was new or different to studying in Jordan? I think the study level in Germany compared to Jordanwas the but in Jordan we had a lot exams for each material (first, second and final exam). Also we can’t attend the course before we register and pay the fees.
Which German cities did you visit and which did you like the most (and why?) I visited a lot of cities in Germany. Each city has its own special features but the most beautiful city I have ever seen was Hamburg. I lived in Hamburg for one semester. Hamburg is a huge city and the night life was incredible! I am sure everyone who lives there is lucky.
Did you change during your stay? I changed my personality and became more self confident.
What was your best experience in Germany? The best experience in Germany was how dependent on myself I could be and how I could easily travel from one city to another when I was on holiday.
And your worst experience? My worst experience in Germany was how to be sure if the landlord is spam, fake or honest when I searched an accommodation.
When you had to leave Germany, how did you feel? While I waited for my plane at Berlin Tegel Airport I felt thatI lost something precious, but I convinced myself that I would return to Germany to complete the master degree.
What do you miss now that you are back home in Jordan? It was my first time living on my own. I miss my bedroom once I left and the lifestyle: party, drinking beer, laughing,... I wish I could spent my weekend again wih all the cute people.
Can you imagine coming back to Germany? Yes for sure, it would be a pleasure for me to come back to Germany, because to me it’s a fair country and dose not distinguish between people and I respect the rules of city.
What would you tell exchange students who come to Germany? A year in Germany is an unforgettable year! It is a good experience to get to know the people, their culture and civilization. The nature and landscape looks like a paradise!
Anything else you would like to say? I joined the Buddyprogramm at Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Science. This is a programme where student-mentors (Buddies) help and assist with language difficulties and challenges in your everyday life. They also organise many events and excursions. I really appreciated the activities and love my buddy Christina! We spent good moments and shared great memories together during my stay! We became good friends. My studying experience at the in Magdeburg was very exciting for me. I have met a lot of people from many different cultures and backgrounds which has changed the way I think and the way I talk to people. I developed skills in understanding people and intercultural communications, which have also assisted me in my internship as a professional skill.