My Space: An Academic Journey To Germany Via Culture Shock

My Space: An Academic Journey To Germany Via Culture Shock

My transition from India to Germany was bewildering. Germany attracted me for its safety and low-cost education.

Snehal ManeUpdated: Monday, July 08, 2024, 11:23 AM IST
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My transition from India to Germany was quite puzzling. Leaving my family behind felt like leaving a piece of my heart behind.

Why Germany?

While exploring various study-abroad options, I was drawn towards Germany due to its safety and the low cost of education here compared to others.

Studying in Germany

The German education system emphasises independent research and critical thinking.

I’m enrolled in the Berlin School of Business and Innovation. It’s a private institution, offering a slightly different experience than the German public education system.

People in the university have been welcoming and my interactions with classmates from various backgrounds allowed for rich cultural exchange. 

Culture shock

The punctuality and directness of Germans was a cultural shock. Unlike in India, everything runs with precision in Germany. 

This was a significant change other than the silence of German cities compared to the bustling streets of India. Even the Sundays are silent. No shopping malls and supermarkets are open on Sundays. 

Journey so far

Germany is a winter wonderland, known for its beautiful Christmas markets filled with festive atmospheres and stunning decorations. 

I appreciate the freedom to make my own decisions and feel secure going out at any hour of the night. Adjusting to the paper culture after coming from digital India has been a unique experience. 

The German emphasis on efficiency and punctuality has significantly improved my time management skills. With open borders across Europe, it’s easy to travel to other European countries, which gives a fantastic opportunity to explore new cultures.

Adjusting to the new life

Any physical activity and meditation are great ways to boost mood and energy. Pursuing hobbies and interests helps keep my mind occupied. Establishing a daily routine provides a sense of stability and normalcy.

Finding accommodation was a challenging task since my university is in Berlin, a packed city. I preferred staying a little further out, which is also more budget-friendly.

I recently moved to a new house. After changing three houses, I have realised transport connectivity is crucial in Germany. 

Each area in Germany has its own library and it's an excellent way to connect with the locals.

Students are allowed to work for limited hours, so I started working part-time to supplement my income. I also track my expenses, which helps me avoid unnecessary expenses. 

Food was a major change I experienced here. As a vegetarian, I ended up eating the same food every day due to a lack of options. Preparing meals at home saves a lot of money. Planning meals and cooking in batches also helps save time and money. 

Additionally, I take advantage of student discounts at museums and cinemas, always carrying my student ID to benefit from these deals.

Advise for prospective candidates

First and foremost, do thorough research to understand the education system, living costs and cultural environment to make an informed decision. If you're moving to a non-English speaking country, start learning the local language early.

Carefully plan your finances. Explore scholarship and financial aid options to ease your financial burden. Take advantage of university resources such as academic support services and career counselling. 

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience that offers immense personal and academic growth. Remember, if you find it's not the right fit, you can always return home.

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