My experience as an exchange student has been great: I have learned more not only about the subject I am studying but also about myself. I have had many new experiences that helped me grow and improve. I really think that studying abroad is worth it because it is one of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone and learn more about life in general. However, study exchange and studying as an international student full-time is quite different. I have interviewed my friend Basma Kassimi from Morocco, who is studying in FH Kiel as a full-time international student in order to understand the differences between being an international and exchange student.

First of all, why did you decide to study abroad?

It is kind of a long story. Firstly, since my first language is French, the most obvious thing for me was studying in French but I didn’t want to because that is such a common thing in Morocco. I wanted to try something new, so I’ve decided to try Germany. However, I wasn’t thinking about studying abroad at first but the covid19 hit and study programs got a lot stricter. By then it made more sense to me that I should leave the country: my friends talked a lot about studying in Germany and we kind of came to study here as a group. Obviously, we did not get to study in the same cities but I would say it was definitely the biggest motivation for me to come here.

Which program are you studying in FH Kiel?

I am currently doing my bachelor in business administration.

What do you like the most about your study program?

I like how it is very practical and focused to the industry I’m interested in.

Why did you choose Kiel?

I chose Kiel due to having family friends here that helped me with finding rent which wasn’t possible where I wanted to go first.

How is Kiel different from your home city?

It is, in fact, very different. My home city is very big and noisy and Kiel is small and quiet. I actually live in a more quiet neighborhood in Morocco but it is still the opposite of my home. One thing they have in common, however, is that there is a lot water and beaches, it is the one thing that really reminds me of home.

What does your usual day look like?

First thing I do in the morning is wake up and get breakfast (or not). Then I go to the university and get back to my dorm if I have a long pause – that is one of the main privileges living near the FH Kiel. I have lunch and usually relax by watching a movie or something, then do my homework. I don’t like going out a lot to the city but I like taking walks all around. There is not much to do on this side of Kiel, to be honest, so that has got to be of the main disadvantages of living near FH Kiel.

Would you recommend FH Kiel to other international students?

I would recommend other foreign students coming here, especially in the summer semester because the weather is so nice. The teachers at FH Kiel are also very helpful and supportive, which is, I guess, an important thing for every student.

Do you think that you made the right decision studying here?

I am actually not sure. My business program, first of all, is not as international as I thought it would be. It is more than less German and I would have loved if it was more international, so I would put my other language skills to use. One thing that I regret is that Kiel itself is far from many places I wanted to go and didn’t go due to not finding accommodation. But, still, I have learned a lot studying in here and I consider learning in FH Kiel a good choice.

As you can see from the interview, all experiences of people are more or less different. For me Kiel reminds me a lot of my home because I live not that far from Germany as Basma and I honestly love this city because it is small and calm (introverts, like me, love such places). My experience in FH Kiel this semester was very similar, I could say and I would totally recommend it to fellow foreign students.