Love it or hate it, Erasmus program changed many lives. Every semester Anglo-American University students go on exchange to other countries to study and gain unforgettable experience. Just returned, they have some fresh memories to share.
Adventures in Germany, Maltese Way
Students of University of Konstanz of Applied Sciences in Germany don’t necessarily need transport to travel to other countries – the Swiss border is just half an hour walk from the university campus.
Karl Antony Borg, an Anglo-American University student from Malta, can’t hide his excitement when talking about Konstanz. This is his last semester of the Master’s program, and going on exchange was one the best things he experienced while being a student.
Liechtenstein is an unusual place to go, but if not now, then when?
Konstanz is built in the traditional German style of timber framing and is located near the famous Constance Lake (in German Bodensee) which borders Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
The city’s inhabitants are mostly students, so it has everything a young person needs; from the Zeppelin museum to salsa dance clubs. It is however a bit pricy for students and doesn’t offer many job opportunities.
The university has around 10,000 students, mostly German nationals, but Borg did not feel lost or forgotten. With the help of exchange students’ coordinators, who organized plenty of events, he felt at home. Thanks to them he had his first ice skating experience on an icerink located 30 seconds from the German-Swiss border. Borg laughs when talking about ice skating; he fell couple of times and needed his friends to support him most of the time.
While AAU students get to know English and American educational traditions, German education offers a completely different system. As an International Relations and Diplomacy student, Borg points out AAU’s program is more focused on theory, while in Konstanz students mostly practice political sciences. “It’s like learning something other students already know. It’s not horrible, but it is a challenge,” says Borg.
During his exchange Borg decided to go to a tiny country called Liechtenstein. The road was not easy – he needed to change three trains, two buses and had a stop in Switzerland. He said it was worth it: “Liechtenstein is an unusual place to go, but if not now, then when?”
One of his brightest memories of the exchange was Constance carnival (in German Konstanz Fastnacht). It is a week-long celebration with the main purposes of chasing out winter, which goes with different costumes and masks, street musicians and foolish games. Borg is still under the impression of the carnival: “It is something you don’t see every day and it’s a very special event for Germans.”
If a student is in doubt whether to go on exchange or not Borg’s example can prove that difficulties are worth the adventure. This experience can be a perfect ending of the student life.
By Oleksandra Kovalevska