There are some of us that have always dreamed of studying/living abroad, or maybe not always but at some point of life. It happened to me too! Around 2.5 years ago, someone talked to me about studying in Germany, and my current situation is actually this: I’m studying in Germany. Is it how I expected? I’ll tell you more about it!
I have been learning the German language since the third grade and meanwhile learned about Germany more and more every day, since German was a regular class at my school. To be honest, I liked German more than English, even though I was learning English since the first grade. With everything I knew about Germany, I liked it a lot. One day, in high school, one of my best friends came up with the idea of studying together there. At first I didn’t even think about it and denied. How did I actually end up here then? That is another interesting story, which I will share with you next time! This time we’ll find out if studying in Germany was the way I expected it to be.
Well, since I was only a high school student before I came to Germany, I never had university experiences or even knew how it really worked. What I had heard about being a student was all: you have a lot to learn and more responsibilities. But since I was going to study in a foreign country, I was aware that there will be one more important difficulty: Language. I also knew that I would have to live alone and take care of life all by myself. And that was all my expectation, I didn’t think about details. The reality of studying in Germany as a foreigner (in my case).
When I left Albania and moved to Germany for the first time, I was an Au-pair. In this way, I improved my German language skills. And not only that,I also got used to living with that language, got used to the place, German culture & traditions, rules, how the day-to-day life functions, public transport, how and where to get help in different situations…etc. I learned a lot more that I really knew from the books, but I can say that I already had the basic knowledge about some things. This whole understanding was very important when after one year I moved to the city where I actually study: Deggendorf. Here is where my reality as a student started.
First of all, I can say that even the difficulties that I expected to face while being a student in a foreign country, it was a lot harder than I thought, since not everything (procedure) was in my hands. I would describe the beginning of my student life in Germany in one sentence: “I needed a place to stay, for which I needed money to pay the caution and rent, and this money was in Fintiba (blocked bank account), in which I could have access only after uploading the residence permit document, and this one I could only have after having a registration certificate of a place that I was living in Germany.” Sooo…it’s basically a circle, but I needed to start somewhere! But before that, I have to remind you that at this time we were in the beginning of the 2nd Lockdown and I started my studies during a pandemic, so it wasn’t the best time for the things to get done fast.
I started searching for a place to stay in Deggendorf before arriving here but I still had to come, have a look at all of them, and then decide. Unfortunately, I was too late to find a place in Student-dormitories, so I chose the best chance I had at that time. But anyway: I had a place to live for the moment! And since I still couldn’t activate my bank account because the documents take time, I had to find a student job as fast as possible! Luckily, after one week, I started a student job at a restaurant.
As I mentioned before, my Au-pair-year helped me to get to know how many things work in Germany, so the part of the documents was an easier problem. Not to forget, it still needed time! After 2 months, finally this all ended: I got my residence permit and could have access to my bank account.
But during this time, I had already started studying at THD and it had been around 1.5 months. With all the stuff I had to deal with alone, I was distracted a lot and here comes also the part of the language: studying in a foreign language, one of the difficulties that I had expected. Until the moment of starting with the university, I didn’t have much trouble with the language, only sometimes it was a bit hard to translate some posts, but the real problem started when I figured it out that it was very difficult for me to concentrate, focus and really learn something in German language. I needed time to get used to that!
In the meantime it wasn’t only this what I had to take care of, it was also myself and daily life also takes time. I knew that I have to take care of my life alone, like: cooking, cleaning, laundry, thinking about transport (since I didn’t live near the university) and being on time…etc., but I never thought that it would take so much time.
One day after around two months in Deggendorf one friend talked to me about his work at the International Office of THD. It seemed really interesting! So apart from all the things I mentioned above, I decided to have a second student job: working there.
In the end, I can say that there are always, every day, coming up small/big difficulties that I have to deal with, but I think that’s life, never perfect. A good tip from my side will be: never procrastinate small difficulties until they become a big problem. As for me: I see my life as an adventure, I always did, living alone or with my family, being a student or not. I always found myself something to do, so it never gets boring and even a pandemic won’t break me for always having something to enjoy and motivating me, having the result of my work in everything.
Lusiana Berberi is a bachelor student of Applied Computer Science. She comes from Albania and is a part of ESN Deggendorf. People describe her as an exceptionally optimistic and energetic person. As she states: she enjoys challenges and life is the most interesting one. ,,Be positive and spread happiness“. Just like her motto, she tries her best to keep a positive attitude and be grateful.