As featured on the DAAD Study in Germany blog
I’ve now completed the first week of my summer course at the Heinrich Heine Universität in Düsseldorf and it has been an incredibly interesting, exhausting and rewarding time. When we arrived on Monday, we had various enrolment tasks to complete, including an Einstufungstest, DAAD grant withdrawal at a bank, campus tour, class placement and fee payment. It was a long day with a lot of waiting to be done but this provided the opportunity to talk to the other students and I found out that we all came from a really wide range of countries.
In the C1 level class with me are two Russian guys, three Romanian girls, two Chinese girls and one guy from Uzbekistan. We already get on really well and the activities in class are made more interesting by the fact we have very different experiences of the world. Lessons take place from 9am till 12.30pm each weekday morning and the rest of the time is free to enjoy Düsseldorf. The Sommerkurs organisers provide several sightseeing trips for students and this week an author even visited us to do a reading. In class the teacher leads lots of different activities and discussions, all based around a textbook. As the Sommerkurs is intensive, we’ve already covered several chapters of the book in the first week.
In comparison to my home university in the UK, HHU feels less modern because there are chalkboards, CD players and students use notice boards to communicate messages with eachother. Even though it is summer, the campus is still busy as students are sitting exams. The students here are often much older than in the UK; I am told they are less likely to go to uni straight after their Abitur. One great thing on campus is the Mensa, where you can buy hot and cold meals at a reasonable price. Every day, it is completely full with staff and students! In Germany the main meal is often eaten in the middle of the day.
So far I have learnt masses studying on this course, have been challenged in many ways and have met some great people from all over the world. I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks!