Student life in Germany: expectations, growth, challenges & tips!
Camille Sofia Hennemann, Food Engineering student from Unisinos, Brazil shares her experience in Osnabrück during her UAS7 exchange. She first learned about the program in the second semester of her bachelor’s degree, in 2018, at an event about UAS7, hosted by Unisinos. It was at this point that it became clear that her dream of doing an exchange semester was one step closer to becoming a reality.
In 2022, Camille moved to Germany for an internship. She worked in the R&D department of a food technology company, where she was also part of a project which enabled her to incorporate the research into her bachelor's thesis.
It's very good to have the opportunity to write my thesis during the internship with the support of the company
Besides the high expectations for the internship and the whole experience, Camille says she was anticipating growing a lot as a person during the exchange semester, but she didn’t think it would be so intense and she’d learn so much about herself.
I can say that everything that happened turned out to exceed all expectations.
LIVING & WORKING IN GERMANY
Camille highlights the best parts of living and working in Germany: “The best thing about living in Germany is the safety”. She mentions the life quality is really good as well, and considers Osnabrück as the perfect city for an exchange student.
It’s not a big city, but it has everything you need. Also, there are lots of international students, so you get the chance to meet people from all around the world.
Camille, who left Brazil 9 months ago, is different from the Camille you meet today . All of the life lessons that she has taken away from this experience will stay with her forever. “I can say that it’s a life changing experience. You go from parties/having a lot of fun to the most difficult moments of your life. You learn a lot about dealing with your emotions and you realize who your real friends are.”
On a professional level, the networking that she got from the UAS7 internship program helped her to find another internship and to gain a lot of experience as well.
It’s always hard to describe this experience in words, but I became more mature, learned a lot about myself and about life.
CHALLENGES & TIPS!
“You will always face challenges during your exchange program. I already knew basic German, but the language barrier was a big issue. So, I strongly recommend that you study German before coming to Germany and during your stay, it can avoid some headaches. Another tip is to have all required documents for your Visa (residence permit) sorted out. The university helps a lot with the bureaucracy, but it’s always good to look for some information by yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Another big challenge is the “saudade” (longing). So, make sure you spend a lot of time with your family and friends before traveling, bring some photos and some comfy foods from your country. On the other hand, it’s always helpful to have friends around when dealing with this kind of feelings. During the time abroad all of your experiences are intensified, so your 1-month friendship will feel like a 10 year friendship.”
You’ll make good friends for life, and they will be your family when you are far from home.