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By: Abel V. Isaac
Oru German Katha
Germany. Deutschland. The land of milk and honey. Call it what you want, but, the lack of a bidet pipe in the toilet makes me cringe every morning. Other than that, Germany is everything that we could have imagined of as a place to do our higher education and we could not be more grateful to Rajagiri for their Double Masters program to Ingolstadt.
What we love about the place is the stress free environment that helps us and the German education system that seeks to empower students to learn and teach themselves and others around them. There is a stark difference in the education system which is immediately visible. Personally I feel that the education system in Germany is more flexible than India and an example for that is with regards to taking an examination where a student can choose between two possible exam dates spread over 2 months and whichever suits them comfortably, they can choose.
Another difference is with regard to the concept of an Internship program which has to be a minimum of 6 months here in Germany whereas is just a mere 1 or 2 months in India. Why 6 months of Internship or what the Germans call Praktikum? Because, it takes about 2 months for an intern to learn the working processes of the company and the remaining months they are expected to be productive to the company and themselves. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to mention that every internship is also paid well.
Germany has also been a new learning experience as all of us have started to learn basic German and have cleared the first level of German examinations. It has helped us to see look at situations from a different perspective and it will greatly help us when we become future managers and need to work in a multicultural environment. Germany is also full of some of the nicest people on the planet. But, There is a saying that if you break through the outer coconut shell of a German, you are now family. While in India every other person might be your brother, here in Germany every other person is just a person or an acquaintance.
All of us exchange students have been having our own personal little moments of joy which includes meeting new people and learning to talk to strangers for Akhil to hitting every party in the continent for Vivek to cooking new dishes every 2 hours and learning to climb over rocks and challenges for Ajay to visiting Priests all over the European Continent for Father Sebes. Let’s not forget Cris Moozhiyil whose motto is “Go hard or Go home”. Now considering the fact that we are in Germany I’ll let your imagination run wild. Whereas, my moments of joy are in cycling all around Europe and hitting the Alps every month. Additionally, having done my internship in the field of social work previously in Europe is also a reason for my jubilance as I get to meet my old friends.
6 more months to go and we are all pretty optimistic that it’s going to be a good ride till the end!