Amely Hunklinger is studying Public Relations and Corporate Communications. She spent her fifth semester abroad at the Karel de Grote Hogeschool in Antwerp, Belgium. I asked her about the university, where she stayed, what experiences she gained and what advice she would give anyone who wants to study abroad.
Amely, you spent an entire semester abroad, how did you like it?
I had such a great time. In my opinion, Antwerp is a great city to study abroad in. It is not too big and there is always something going on, so I definitely recommend going there.
Where did you live during that time?
I lived in the student dorms, close to the city center. The building used to be a hotel, so the rooms look like typical hotel rooms. A bed, and a bathroom, but no kitchen or anything like that. But you had the option to use a shared kitchen on the ground floor.
Tell me a little bit more about the university you visited.
I really liked my university. We did a lot of group work, which I was already used to from my previous semesters at the FH Kiel. The professors were also super nice. All of them had experience in the field which they are teaching and were able to tell you a lot about it. Everyone in my university is international, which was cool, but also challenging. I definitely learned a lot about different cultures. Luckily there weren’t any language barriers, because everyone was fluent in English.
And what classes did you take?
My semester was divided into two parts: We were able to do a lot of practical things in the first part. For example, I learned how to shoot a good video and had to shoot a campaign video myself. Besides that, I learned how to use several video editor programs. The second part was more theoretical. I learned a lot about marketing and how to start a business.
Can you tell me about the application process for a semester abroad?
I think it was pretty easy. The International Office supported me and with the help of that online tool they use, you can easily stay on top of everything. I didn’t have any problems. All the credit points were automatically transferred and I was able to choose every class I wanted. The most important thing is, that you have enough credit points at the end of the semester.
So you didn’t have any problems?
No not at all. Everything was easy. At least with everything regarding the University. If I did have a problem with one of my classes for example, I was able to reach someone at any time and always got the help I needed. I did have some problems with finding a place to stay though.
Oh no, do you have any advice on that matter?
Yes, you should definitely start to look very very early before the semester starts. I can really recommend using all the tools which make it easier to find something and to get in touch with other students via Facebook or something like that. Living in Antwerp is not that cheap, so charring a flat with other international students might be the best idea.
Alright, and do you have any other advice on studying abroad in general?
Go to all those “first meetings”. Even if it doesn’t sound interesting at first or they want to do something you don’t like, do it anyways. It really is the best way to get in touch with other people and to find new friends. There are also a lot of WhatsApp and Facebook groups you can join. Do it, because being alone, is probably one of the worst things which can happen to you while studying abroad.
Thank you so much for all the advice. It seems like you really enjoyed your time in Antwerp. Would you recommend studying abroad in general?
I would definitely recommend studying abroad. Especially if you are currently studying in the city where you grew up in. I think studying somewhere else is a great opportunity, to get out of your comfort zone, to meet new people, and to grow and learn a lot about yourself and how to be a more independent person…. and it showed me, how much I like my hometown, Kiel. I think Erasmus is not all about studying but also about making new friends, partying, and just having fun. So yes, I would recommend it.
Well, thank you very much for answering all my questions, and good luck in your sixth semester!
If you want to get more information on studying abroad, you should check out the website of the International Office or go and visit them during their consultation hours (Mondays 2 pm to 5 pm, Tuesdays 9 am to 12 pm). We also published a couple of other articles regarding this topic. You can find one of them here.
Did you also spend a semester or even longer abroad? Where did you go? Let us know in the comment section below.