If you don’t already know, or haven’t heard me blabbing on about it for the past month, I’m currently studying in Hannover for a semester as part of ERASMUS. I had zero expectations of the city, culture or university life – so it was going to be completely brand new to me. Before leaving, I was both excited and nervous. There were so many things playing on my mind, and I’m not embarrassed to admit I had my fair share of meltdowns the month running up to my departure.
What I did do to try and calm my nerves was research into other students who had also done the same. Thousands of students take part in study abroad, so if they could do it, why couldn’t I? (I tried to tell myself this but I was secretly shitting myself…)
I have currently been here in Hannover for a month, and I’m still alive! Woo! I’m doing fine, great actually and I’m so happy I didn’t chicken out. I thought I would share with you a few tips I’ve learnt or wish I followed before haha! I still have a few months to gather a whole bunch of more experiences and knowledge, but so far – this is what I want to share!
1. Get excited! Research the city and university you’re heading to and look forward to the new and amazing experiences you will have.
2. Plan your packing beforehand. You will soon figure out you have a lot of stuff you want to take, but limited space to do so. You’ll have to prioritise what to bring. There are shops everywhere, so know that you will end up buying clothing and a lot of things you need over in your new country. I’m hoping to write a whole entire blog post on packing tips and what items you forget you will need.
3. Don’t be afraid to meet new people! There will be so many new faces you’ll meet in your new country, and it’s so exciting and interesting learning about people from around the world. I’ve found that a lot of the people I’ve met are also ERASMUS students, so they’re from different countries around the world and its so fun to hear about their culture and life. I’ve also met a lot of people from Germany too, and they’re all so friendly and they speak amazing English which is very, very lucky for a non-German speaker.
4. If you can, learn the language. Or at the very least the basics! A lot of the universities will offer language courses that you can take part in throughout your semester, which is an amazing way to learn the language. You’ll also pick up some phrases and words naturally as you’re more familiar with the country. There are also a tonne of apps that you can download to get a head start before you leave. I recommend the app Duolingo, it was free and super easy to learn on the go!
5. Finally, have fun. Enjoy the experience while you have it, because I’m only one month in but I already feel like its zooming by. Embrace the culture and new opportunities and experiences you can do!
I’m hoping to do an overall tips once I’ve completed my semester abroad, and I’ll hopefully have a lot more knowledge and experience by then too!
Thank you so much for reading!
~ K x