There are many students who want to experience the life as an exchange student, and obviously, at the same time, they may be worried about various things. For example, students can be afraid of life in a foreign country, or cost that is expected during the exchange program. The UOS Times interviewed An Yoon-hee (Dept. of English Language and Literature ‘17) in anticipation that listening to a review by a person who had experienced it in person might reduce the worry a little. In this article, there will be an explanation of the essential cost of living in Germany, the life in school, facilities of school, life in Germany and tips for living in Germany.
The University of Oldenburg (German: Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg) is a university located in Oldenburg, Germany. It is one of the most important and highly regarded educational facilities in northwestern Germany. It specializes in interdisciplinary and sustainable development studies and renewable energy studies focusing on solar and wind energy.
1. Essential cost of living in Germany as an exchange student
First of all, a round-trip ticket has to be bought. If you make an international student card, you can get a student discount, so you can get the ticket at an affordable price. Dormitory costs are also essential. Living in Oldenberg University dormitory is strongly recommended because it is cheaper, closer to school, and better equipped than to paying a room directly in Germany. She also explained that staying in the dormitory is an opportunity to make good friends. Thirdly, the cost of issuing semester tickets is needed. The cost is 303 euros (approximately 400,000KRW), and if you pay this amount and get a semester ticket, you can use some trains and buses free of charge in the Niedersachsen (State at the north side of Germany) and the Netherlands during the school year. Finally, you have to prepare a Sperrkonto (blocked account in English). It is a necessary procedure to get a visa for studying abroad, and Sperrkonto, which is sort of a financial guarantee. Currently, Germany requires at least 853 euros a month, and if a person resided for a year, it must deposit at least 10,236 euros in the account.
2. Facilities of school and school life
The dorm in Oldenburg University has four types of dorms that consists three, six, nine, and eleven people. An lived in with two more people. Each one of them had their own room which was convenient to live in. A party was held at least once a month in the grass field in front of the dormitory building. An said that she had an experience of going to parties and welcoming parties with friends which were often held in other dormitories. To explain about the school life, she said it was very hard to get good grade in school. There is no atmosphere to think of exchange students to be different from the local students when grading them. This makes it difficult for exchange students to get better grade than the university where they used to go. Also, she felt that there were a lot of interactions between students and professors in the class.
3. Life in Germany
First of all, the weather in Germany was so different by season, the summer and winter semester are totally different. After mid-November, it is hard to see the sun all day long and it rains without a break. Even in winter, the sun rises at 12 o’clock and sets at 4 o’clock, in addition, it is always cloudy and rainy, so it is hard to see the sun. On the other hand, the sun sets at 10 p.m. in summer. It is said that summer in Germany is not as humid as Korea, but clear without a speck of cloud. As Germany is famous for sausages, there are many different kinds of sausages. Also, the price of various kinds of cheese is low when you buy ingredients, while it is very expensive to eat food outside. Also, in Germany, there are many bicycle roads and people use them a lot, so it seemed that riding a bicycle for men, women, and young people was set as a living habit. The most different feature from Korea is that Wi-Fi is slow and Wi-Fi-enabled places are limited. For example, Wi-Fi is possible inside a building, but Wi-Fi is not possible in the bathroom. She said she was rather pleased that such difficult features of Germany made her comfortable life different from her busy life in Korea.
Tips for living in Germany.
1. Taking a one-man rice cooker is helpful.
2. The dormitory can be changed every six months, but if the exchange student period is set to one year, you can say that you will not change the dormitory to the person in charge when the mail arrives within a certain period.
3. It is recommended to travel warm countries in winter.
4. You can go to diverse cities than you think with the Semester ticket. (Recommended places: Jever, Bad Zwischenhenn, Bremen, Hamburg, Hannover, Groningen, etc.)
5. Since you can meet many friends at the international orientation week, it is recommended to go there. (Although there are many parties and meetings after that, international orientation is the first official meeting place.)