For four months last year I studied social work in the state of Hesse, Germany. After travelling around Austria for a week at the end of August, I arrived in Fulda, a smallish and lovely old city which has a large cathedral, lots of cafes, and a thriving university. Upon arrival it was great to meet a diverse group of other international students who were there to study either the same course as I, or other degree programs in business or science. We had several very knowledgeable and friendly teachers who supported us during our stay and took us on exciting excursions around the country to visit historical sites and social work institutions.
While the history we learned was sometimes very difficult to comprehend, the amazing work being done by many in the sectors of immigration, education and integration in Germany is inspiring.
I also really enjoyed studying the German language twice a week and it was very useful when navigating transport, buying things or making new friends.
Because of the central location of Fulda and an international airport not far away, it was easy to travel on weekends to other countries or parts of Germany. As an Aussie who has only seen snow a handful of times, a memorable highlight was to see a significant amount of snow fall in Fulda, and to visit a local ski field. One night in December I stood under a pine tree in the beautifully decorated, old-style markets, eating a Salmon Flammach and watching the snow fall, thinking, “it couldn’t get much more European than this!”
For anyone interested in studying overseas, my advice would be to: do your research thoroughly, ask the Study Overseas team as many questions as you need to; make the most of your time overseas, and make friends with the locals while you’re there!
by Bonnie 24/1/2018