Studying abroad can be a daunting experience. A new country, different people and different customs. However, it’s also a very defining experience. It is often a once in a lifetime opportunity that one should take advantage of. The HdM has a lot of partner universities from countries all over the world and therefore a lot of students from abroad join the locals each semester. Camilla is one of them. The 24-year-old Danish digital concept development student just finished her semester at the HdM and has a few things to say about the city, uni life and Germany in general.
What made you choose Germany as the country for your semester abroad?
I really like the language plus it’s an advantage to know how to speak German in Denmark as Germany is a very big trade partner. It’s a bit embarrassing but when I was younger I was very much into the band Tokio Hotel and I wanted to understand what they sang about and so I started to learn German. Another thing that I like about Germany is the nature and the mountains. You don’t have many of those in Denmark.
What was your first impression of Germany?
There’s a name that the Danish use to describe the Germans and it’s “pølse tysk” which translates to sausage German. This is actually what we associate the Germans with the most and from my time here I can say that it really is true (laughs). Other than that I also had the feeling that the Germans aren’t as fashionable as the Danish when I first came here. But these were just my very first observations.
What is your impression now that you’ve lived here for over half a year?
The Germans are very welcoming towards foreigners. That’s something I’ve learned from my time here. In Denmark, if people try to speak Danish brokenly, the Danish get annoyed real quick. That’s exactly the opposite here. The Germans actually like when you try to converse in German – even though it might not sound perfect.
Why did you decide to study at the HdM?
The courses matched perfectly with what I’m studying at home plus the HdM is a partner university of my uni at home. I study at the Business Academy in Aarhus. Before coming here I also heard that Stuttgart is a nice city so that weighed in on my decision as well.
You’ve studied at other German universities before. Compared to those what makes the HdM special?
For one the equipment and facilities are top notch at the HdM. I haven’t seen that at the other universities here in Germany to this extent. This is also the first university where I feel that the people care for the internationals. At the other German universities I went to no one really cared for you or tried to help you in any way. Here, the people from the exchange offices do care for you and try to help you as best as they can if you have any questions. They also help you with finding a place to live and are generally very nice and understanding.
Do you have any tips for other students that plan to study at the HdM?
I’d suggest learning a bit of German before coming here and even if it’s just something along the lines of “Ich hätte gerne ein Bier” (I’ll have a beer). The Germans appreciate that and are instantly more open and welcoming towards you. It really helps a lot. Other than that you should try to be confident in yourself. Be open minded and try to enjoy your time here. I know it can be daunting at first but that will vanish as soon as you’ve made yourself at home and got to know a few people. Try to engage in a lot of activities. This way you’ll get to know more people easier.
Were there any difficulties arriving in Germany?
Generally not. In my case, I wanted to have my own apartment and had to go on an apartment hunt which is time-consuming and nerve-wracking but that was my own choice. Normally, when you arrive in Stuttgart you will get to live in a shared flat with other international students that is provided by the HdM.
What’s a place other students should check out once they’ve arrived in Stuttgart?
I like the Killesberg the most. I love standing there and looking at the mountains. It’s a beautiful view and I could do that for hours on end. It’s just so soothing.
If you are interested in studying at the HdM and you are a student at one of our partner universities, head on over here to learn more about the application process and your first steps after you’ve been accepted for a semester abroad.