The EHU Times.
Always aware.
Erasmus and its six shades. Passau.
The minimum of the theory is the maximum of practice & 187; & # 8212; This impression was created by third-year student Irina Lozko, who continues her studies on the program “Media and Communication” at the University of Passau.
Irina Lozko, 3rd year, Media and Communications program, receives a scholarship.
What were your first impressions?
Upon my arrival in Passau, I had some mixed feelings. Before that, I always lived in the capitals, and in September 2015 I was in the small town of Passau in southern Germany with 50 thousand inhabitants, of which 12 thousand are students. But I’m very attracted to cities that are located on rivers, on the seaside or even the ocean, so I liked Passau.
As soon as I arrived, the first impression was rather ambiguous. Refugees! This is the very first thing I saw in Passau. It’s one thing to see this all in the media, and the other is live. Problems always seem not so large, until you yourself do not face them. But, to admit, at some point it seemed to me that I have a lot in common with them. I, too, gave up everything I had: friends, parents; came to a foreign country to test my luck: lucky or not. But I did not think about the refugees for long, literally until they disappeared around the corner. Then my thoughts occupied the city. Not that I was very impressed by his beauty, but here everything is different, not like in my hometown.
Although I will not deny that the city is really beautiful: the merging of three rivers, colorful houses, hills, forests, bridges & # 8230; But most of all I was struck by a mark on the wall of the city hall – the water level in 2013. I immediately remembered the news. Then I was horrified by what I saw, and sincerely sympathized with the poor people, whose houses were flooded. Then I could not even think about the fact that in two years I will go to university in this city.
Where do you live (hostel or apartment)? How much do you pay for housing? How far is it to the university? Was she looking for a place to live, or did someone help? Are you satisfied with the living conditions?
Literally a week after I saw my name on the list of students accepted for the Erasmus 2015-2016 program, I received an official invitation from the University of Passau, and then there was a lot of information about the city, the various options for places of residence, information about the visa etc. In order not to complicate my life, I wrote a statement for the hostel, because finding a place in Passau is really a problem. There are a lot of students, but there are not enough houses. Therefore, I live in a hostel, but what is called a hostel here! This is a two-storey house on a small hill. Accommodation costs 260 euros together with the Internet. But the washing is done separately: you have to walk to the neighboring building with your powder and pay 2 euros. I have my own room, bathroom, and I share the kitchen with 8 students. Also next to the house there is a rest house – there are billiards, table football, a bar with a kitchen, TVs, steep leather sofas and a room with a piano. This type of housing I really like: you can always go out into the kitchen and chat with foreign students, but at the same time you have your own corner with a certain atmosphere.
How much do you spend on transport? Is he expensive, in your opinion, or not? Maybe you ride a bicycle? Away from the hostel to the university?
Passau is a small city, so everything here is quite close. On foot I go to the university for 20 minutes, and if on the bus – it’s about seven minutes. By German standards, I live far from the university. But I am very satisfied with my hostel, because the location is comfortable, the atmosphere is pleasant and the muse comes at the click of your fingers.
At the beginning of each semester, students must pay 70 euros for a student card, which includes a travel card. It is very convenient, the main thing is not to forget it at home and not to lose. Generally, in Passau only buses travel, one-time travel costs 2 euros (much more expensive than in Lithuania and Belarus). At the beginning of the year, I wanted to rent a bicycle, but since I live on a mountain, it is problematic to move on this type of transport.
How much per month do you spend on food? Is it expensive, in your opinion, in comparison with Lithuania or Belarus? Do you have to save because of its value?
The products are more expensive than in Lithuania. Of course, there are cheap products here (“Ja” is called, like “Cento” in Lithuania), but if you eat good quality products, it’s generally expensive. Every month, my budget varies. It seems to me that I give about 150-180 euros for food. Of course, I save money and therefore I go to travel! In the cafe in general, everything is expensive: soup – 5 euros, coffee in different ways, but a cappuccino, for example, 2.50 euros worth.
How do you spend your free time? What kind of events does the university host for Erasmus students? How do you have fun outside these activities?
Passau, in principle, has everything you need for a good life. In my free time I go to the pool (he’s here as an aquapark is made – various saunas, baths, slides, outdoor pools, whirlpools – everything your heart desires). I like to walk just along the Danube or go to Austria. Immediately across the bridge, and, voila – hello, Austria! But in general, as soon as three days are released, I buy tickets and go on a trip.
The arrival in Passau was marked by three orientation weeks – every day there were classes in the German language until about lunch. And after the language courses, a number of events were offered for each day: these are informative meetings with talks about Germany, organized hikes in bars, sports games, themed parties, separate events for Erasmus – about national food, culture, etc. And on weekends we went on trips – I was here in the Bavarian forest and in the Alps! Unforgettably!
I try to communicate more with the Germans in order to improve German and understand their mentality. There are a lot of students who know Russian, I also spend time with them, of course. Here I have a mentor, together we always come up with something: we went to Nuremberg, for example, at fairs different on the days before Christmas.
Do you like being taught at the university? What are the differences in teaching compared to our university? Maybe there are some “extra-curricular” activities? Do teachers have special requirements for Erasmus students? How much do you download and do you like to study?
I generally like the education system. Although I can only talk about my specialty. I am a student of 6 semesters (the Germans do not speak “on the 3rd course”), and now I have many practical subjects. We constantly write articles, shoot small programs, interactive videos or make layout of magazines. The minimum of the theory is the maximum of practice. The student chooses the subjects himself. There are modules: A – basic subjects, B – a little more on the specialty, C – specifically on the specialty, so you make your own curriculum. You can study 3 days a week and be loaded, and you can stretch the pleasure for all 6 days. Each student knows fully his schedule before the end of the semester and can pre-plan the trip or trip home. I often study on weekends, because subjects are practical, classes are block-seminars.
The teachers are very friendly and always ready to help. The difference here is that there are few seminars in comparison with the EHU, and there is no homework (with rare exception). Maybe one presentation for the whole semester needs to be done. Basic subjects are just lectures every week, and at the end a written exam. Thus, study focuses on self-education: you must come after couples, sit down and independently read the texts. During the session, you can not get into the library. Extend even the schedule: it works up to 2 nights. I can say from my experience that there is no indulgence or vice versa regarding Erasmus students. With me all the teachers talk, as well as with other students. The only thing I can ask at the end of the pair, and they will explain everything to me with a smile.
With what difficulties did you encounter, maybe the level of the language was not quite decent or did not have enough money? Did you have to get a job? Do you get a scholarship, or do you have to pay? How did you master it in the first time?
I came with a level of German A2 and did not understand anything at first. And then there’s the Bavarian dialect. But at first I did not care whether it was a dialect or hoh-doich – I still did not understand anything. The first weeks were stressful, because you had to register a residence permit, open a bank account, a lot of paperwork, in a word, but my mentor helped me with everything, and all problems were solved. I get a scholarship of 400 euros. But this is not enough, because the living wage in Germany is 690 euros. Therefore, my parents help me financially.
And in general, now, having experienced on myself what it’s like – to come alone to a country without a good level of language, without representing the city and the university, I advise everyone to take part in exchange programs, other various programs, workshops. Because you will gain invaluable experience, get acquainted with different cultures, see and try a lot of everything new. Everything will be in your favor. I am very pleased that I am studying in Germany. I’m in paradise, to be honest , and I do not want to leave, but I still have a whole semester ahead of me, so there’s no reason to get upset!