I really appreciate Professor Yang and Vice Director Wang to give me this opportunity to study in Germany. It has been two months since I arrived in Germany. There is no denying that the first a few days are an absolute torture for me, fortunately, it is getting better now. With great pleasure, I am willing to share my experience in Germany and impression on German with you, which I hope will guide the next years´ groups as well as broadening their horizons.
The first two weeks is completely a struggle for me. Unlike other students, I am the only one that had already rented a room in advance. So I did not live with others as soon as we arrived in Braunschweig. And this was the beginning of nightmare. The university administration did not allow me to live where I rented, they asked me to live in the dormitory where international students live. Otherwise,I could not get the housing contract to fulfill my registration. Finally,I had to compromise and moved out. Apart from paying higher price for rent and a big loss in deposit, I spent whole two weeks going around the city only to find this worst solution. Showing little additional care for international students, sometimes even being indifferent, maybe this is related to their strict character. I had to admit at that time I was extremely disappointed.
However, growth always follows failure. I realized what made me so upset is that I got too accustomed to the life in China. In this new circumstance, I should adjust to it rather than letting negative feelings haunt me. Once I start to think this way, in turn, all improves. In the meantime, Professor Yang and Vice Director Wang came to Braunschweig to visit us, which made us feel so impressed and touched. And my supervisors in TU are so friendly and patient that I gradually fall in love with this place.
After settling down, it comes to the most significant part of my life in Germany---- studying. As it is known by world, German are so strict that sometimes even rigorous and this is why they produce so many machines of the highest quality. I experienced a lot here. In fact, they are always ready to argue on every small detail and make efforts to find reliable evidence to prove it. For instance, when I ask my supervisor a question or discuss something, besides explaining by words and rough draft, he never feels reluctant to find some relevant literature to prove his points and to help me grasp the idea.
However, I reckon that this is not the only reason for them to succeed in academics. One interesting thing I find is that they never work late. All the faculty and students get back home before six p.m., and they do not take work home, nobody works in holidays, and it is said that German have about 180 holidays every year. How can they make such great success with fewer minds and working hours? I suppose the answer would be the efficiency at work. The institute always comprises of a professor, many doctors, students and a secretary. Doctors and phD students guarantee the institution an intelligent working group. And they seldom do what is irrelevant to their major, thus they can focus on what they are proficient in. All the trifles are dealt with by the secretary. What’s more, the major working force—doctors here are all interested in and are enthusiastic about their fields, they seldom complain about their work even it is a repeated boring simple task. More importantly, it is advisable that they set a clear line between work and private space, that is, when they are at work, they pay 100 percent endeavor, and after work, 100 percent in relaxation. All above contribute to the high efficiency of German working style, thus facilitating the productive academic achievements.
Although I have already adapted to academic life here, in spare time, it’s a hard time for me get through. People are so friendly and there are a huge number of magnificent buildings, but you will not be curious about them in fewer than two weeks. They enjoy a total different life in weekends. What German like is to order a cup of beer in a bar, then start their diverse topics. And it is so strange that German girls are even as fascinated by alcohol as their male counterparts. So in the weekends, all that I can do is to watch football games and develop my cooking skills. In addition, all the films and TV series online are charged and downloading always involves copyright problem.So after consuming resources brought from China, I get back into boredom. So far I haven’t figured out a good way to get rid of this great suffer in spare time.
This a brief summary of my first weeks’ experience based on my personal recognition. I try my best to air it in an objective and unbiased way. I hope this will serve as a reference when you are deciding to go abroad.
By Xu Yiming