Arthur chose Kiel for his exchange studies. He came here alone for the summer semester in Fachhochschule Kiel. Also, he will be leaving Germany in a few weeks, so I asked him to share his experience with the Erasmus+ program.
Why did you chose to go for Erasmus and why Kiel?
There are a few reasons why:
1. I’m here in Kiel because I need to do Erasmus for an internship in a foreign country at least for 2 months (I chose 5).
2. I had a few friends from the last semester who was in Kiel and they recommended going here.
3. Kiel is a partner city of Brest, so I could apply for a special scholarship, which gives more money than usual for exchange semesters in foreign countries.
4. If there is a person in my university who needs to choose where to go I would absolutely recommend Kiel, Especially in the Summer semester. Here in winter, the sun shines only between 12:00-16:00.
5. Also, in the summer in Kiel there is a festival “Kieler Woche”, which is amazing.
“There were multiple music stages for free finishing at midnight. After that, all of the nightclubs are opened. You can do this 10 days in a row because the lectures there finished a week before.” ,-explains further Arthur.
What have you learned from exchange studies?
I am studying computer science. I have learned a lot of new information about microchips, their systems, builds, very useful and interesting knowledge. Kiel has big data lectures that I followed. I don’t have whose in France and this was a great opportunity to do it here. The goal is to query some information in the giant database of billions of data. For example, during the cyclone in the USA, one company used the weather data(meteorology) of the USA to predict, where will be the next cyclone and it worked very well.
At the first week, people couldn’t understand what I was saying in English. Of course, Germany is the country that speaks the German language, but I spend most of my time with other Erasmus students and we speak English. I improved my English because of this exchange semester, but anyways it is not perfect.
Have you noticed any cultural differences?
I live in North-West France and actually, we are really similar cultures to North Germany. A lot of Germans here speak English really well, better than my city’s people. Even though I cannot speak German, I had no problem communicating with Germans with my English. In France usually, students can speak English that well.
When I arrived in Germany one of the first things I was looking for was a bakery. Germany has no baguettes, just some similar small buns, and breads. A croissant in France is just sweet, but here they put everything in them: ham, sausages…one time I even found a croissant with mustard! We are eating croissants alone. Also, Germany has a “chocolate croissant”, but in France, we call this “pain au chocolat” (Chocolate bread)
Would you recommend France for studying abroad?
We have a lot of universities. Mostly we have applied science ones, like Fachhochschule. We have a buddies program, also like here 1-2 weeks integration as we did in the beginning. I would recommend going to France, because of the good quality studies. You can learn anything in France. Tourism is very developed.
I think during Erasmus’s main goal usually is not studying, but actually traveling, making some new international friends and having a good time with people. Exchange students can find everything mentioned in France. There are a lot of international students going to France every year. In Paris, there is the famous university of Polytechnique and Sorbonne. But living is super expensive in Paris and it could be hard to live in there as an international student. Anyways, I think every student who comes to France is spending at least one week in Paris for holidays. Every one of us visited Berlin during our stay in Kiel. Also, in the South of Paris, there is a Disneyland park (the only one in Europe).
Have you travelled anywhere else during your stay?
Lubeck, Flensburg, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich. When I finish my last exam I will still have 2 weeks to use my semester ticket to travel.