Surviving Guide: From Student to Student

 

Emilia from France

Hi everybody!  My name is Emilia. I’m a French student, studying in Passau since September 2017, with the Erasmus exchange program.

Before starting my studies in Germany, I knew nothing about this country or German  language. It was the first time I went in Germany and had German lessons. I really find that Passau is a wonderful city, and people are open-minded, maybe due to the number of students. We never feel alone. Thanks to organizations like AEGEE for instance, we can meet other foreign students during events. If we have questions or problems, the University and  its organizations are always there to help us and they take care of their students.

It took some time to me to get used to the university system, which is different from my country. What I didn’t expect before coming here is that the level is quite high, so even if I have fun like an Erasmus student, I might also work hard.

Otherwise, I had no problem, even with the administration because the University remind us what we should do and how to do it.

I believe it’s a good  idea to take some German lessons before coming, because outside the student area sometimes people don’t speak English. Language is important to understand a culture and be integrated in the community.

Alina from Russia

Hello! My name is Alina, I’m a DAAD exchange student from Krasnoyarsk, Russia. I live and study at the University of Passau for more than six months, and I am completely satisfied with my stay here.

Passau is a very cozy and nice city. It has everything you need from cultural attractions to everyday shops.

I live in a comfortable dormitory 20 minutes walk from Uni. At the university, in addition to classes, I attend the section of volleyball and a gym, which also provided by uni passau. The university also provides free classes of other foreign languages, including German.

There are a lot of international students here. There are those who study in English, and many of them visit student’s parties every Tuesday and Thursday at the central dormitory, so, in addition to improving my German, I do not forget my English. It’s amazing to be in such a multicultural atmosphere.

Close contacts with German students, holidays and traditions of Germany, which is mostly offered by AEGEE on orientation weeks, help to expand the boundaries in understanding many aspects of life.

It was difficult to be in such a distance from the Motherland and family, to get used to the new condition and system, to sorting garbage, to bus schedules, closed stores on Sundays, a timetable that could be made up by your own discretion, but being here was pretty comfortable.

The Germans are also people, sometimes buses are late, there are problems with the bureaucracy and organization. But it’s a drop in the ocean.

For me, studying in Germany is a good experience in understanding, first of all, yourself, other people and a different culture.

Xavier from France

Hello everybody!

I´m Xavier and come from France. I study here since september 2012.

First of all, Passau is a really beautiful and very interesting city which offers you a variety of possibilities of leisure activities. Here, many students get to know each other by joining university groups or partys among students. For example Aegee is a good association which takes care of international students by offering them an interesting program.

The only problem I had at the beginning of my stay was, to understand the system of the university. How do the lessons work? What is the difference between a language course, an exercise, a tutorial and so on? Sometimes it wasn´t  easy to find out  things like that but university groups like Aegee and the administration of the university (Auslandsamt) can help you to settle these questions.

You should try to intergrate yourself in the community to find friends. Therefore, there are the welcome and orientations-weeks, organised by the international student office (Auslandsamt). If you have any questions concerning adminisation and organisation of your studies, ask the international student office. As soon as you understand everything and have found friends, everything works by itsself.

Furthermore, an other advantage of Passau are the short distances to the Bavarian Forest, the Alpes, Austria,the Czech Republic, but also nice cities like Munich (the Octoberfest), Regensburg, Salzburg, Linz and Vienna.

Erasmus is a good project to improve your german language skills, to find german friends, get to know other erasmusstudents and their culture.

In Passau, it´s always nice to go out for a coffee or a beer with some friends. Here, you never get bored, there is always domething you can do!! If you have more questions, have a look at the homepage of the university.

Julia from Russia

Let´s see, useful tips…!

It is always difficult to move to an other place, especially to an other country. I´m participant in the exchange  program  2012/13.

What kind of advice can I give you?

A very important point is the climate in Passau, it is very humid. Many students who have arrived here, were ill due to this reason. So, take medicine and eat more vitamine C! Take with you warm clothes and an umbrella! Even in the beginnings of autumn it´s getting cool, especially in the evenings and it rains very much. The winter is cold. Girls, forget your high heels! That´s Passau, the landscape is very hilly.

In Germany, they attach value to the environment. Here, they seperate waste and it is quite normal to recycle bottles. Now, as you live here, you have to accept that and to adapt yourself to this habbit. I´ve noticed, that the price of a drink in a plastic bottle consists of two parts: first, there is the price for the drin itsself. Apart of this, you pay some cents for the so called “Pfand”, which you get devolved when you bring the bottle back. In the supermarkets, there are automats where you can return them. It´s pretty easy!

style=”text-align: justify;”>Furthermore, I want to advice you of the sundays, during which all shops are closed, apart of some exceptions like cafes and restaurants. The shops are closed from saturday 20:00 to monday. So, if you to eat on sunday also, you have to buy everything in advance.

By the way, if you lose your studentcard, search for it in the “Mensakartenbüro”. It is across from the Mensa.

These were just some of the points it´s good to know about.

I hope, you settle down quickly and enjoy your stay in Passau. Have fun!

PS: Don´t forget to study!

 

Anthony from England

My Experience in Passau – by Anthony Garbett (from England)

Hi everyone; my name is Anthony Garbett, and I was an Erasmus student in Passau from March to July 2015.

When I first moved to Passau, it was the first time I had ever independently lived away from my home city, Sheffield, so it was arguably the most nervous I had ever felt in my life.  I made the mistake of arriving too early, which made it harder for me to settle at first.  For this reason, I would recommend that you arrange to come to Passau no earlier than two weeks before your orientation.

But once the orientation had got going and the semester began, everything took a turn for the better.  I decided to involve myself with AEGEE, as they were responsible for supporting and hosting events for the Erasmus students, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to meet more German people and test and improve my German. While it can feel easier to just stick with people from the same country, or the same linguistic background as you, I highly recommend that you try to get to know people from other backgrounds and cultures, as this offers a variety of advantages from numerous points of view.

The University offers a buddy scheme, and AEGEE offers the Intercambio Programme.  I signed up for both of these, and was placed with two very helpful German students.

I was able to take part in a variety of activities during my stay in Passau, including Bavarian Night, International Night, Erasmus Parties, the Riverboat Party, and so on.  What’s more, you can travel to many places in your spare time, and it’s particularly cost-effective to travel round Bavaria or even cross the border into neighbouring Austria.

If you have a certain hobby in your own country, coming to Passau does not mean that you have to give it a rest for a bit; two of my Czech friends joined the university’s football team, one of my American friends joined the rugby team, and I joined a Drama group and acted in their production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  There is nothing to stop you from getting involved.

If you’re nervous about coming to Passau, I understand.  It’s fine to be nervous, but this experience was one of the best of my life so far.  I made so many new friends, not just from Germany, but from Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, and even from non-European countries, such as USA, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.  It’s an extremely long list of countries – I could go on forever!

If you are ever worried or have any questions, you can ask AEGEE or the Akademisches Auslandsamt; trust me, you are in safe hands. I think that is all.  But believe me; if I can do it, then so can you!

Enjoy your stay in Passau! 🙂