1st October 2012
Ok, so let’s see, it’s been a week or so since I have been in Germany and so far, life is turning out better than I expected. It is really very different over here as compared to life in Malaysia. I hope not to fret or exaggerate but it is really true. There is nothing here that reminds me anything of Malaysia (as far as Iserlohn goes).
Adapting to life in a new country can be really difficult. The culture can be really different. The people can be totally different. The lifestyle, morality and understanding are more of a blur than a realization. Coming to Germany seemed somewhat like a dream come true. The opportunity to study in one of the most prestigious private universities in Germany, a semester costing up to several thousands of Euros (equivalent to an entire bachelors programme in Malaysia). I have my family and relatives to thank for their constant support and care over me. I have my university to thank for giving me the opportunity to study here while they COVER ALL TUITION FEES. And of course my friends to thank for always checking up on me.
However, the first few days here was really difficult. I remembered vividly as tears poured out of my eyes wishing I was back home enjoying my mums home cooked food. There is nothing here that is similar to Malaysia. The weather here is dull and gloomy most of the time. It will only rain or shine. If you are lucky, you will be able to see some sunshine but that’s only if you’re lucky. The temperature on most days ranges between 9 degrees Celsius maximum and 2 degrees Celsius minimum. For an Asian especially a Malaysian, that is suicidal temperature that makes Genting Highlands seem like a tropical paradise.
The food here reminds me not of the usual food I eat back home. The people here, so different from the people of Malaysia. But there is a saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
The town in which my university is situated is called Iserlohn. Probably, no one has ever heard of it so to identify the exact location, I would usually announce the place as Dortmund or Cologne (cities nearby to Iserlohn, obviously larger than it).
Anyway, the name of my university is Business Information and Technology School (BiTS). The best part of this university is that it accepts only a thousand students at one go. There are strict requirements in order to enter with qualification of IELTS and TOEFL as a start.
Main complex of Business and Information Technology School (BiTS)
One key factor that has kept me feeling better most of the time is because of my newfound friends over here in BiTS. Majority of them are international students but they share a common experience but more importantly, we are in the same boat. It is truly amazing to be able to exchange experiences as well as ideas (I will talk about this in another post).
All in all, the first week has been a rat race of adaptation. Behind the tears of pain and fear, there will always be a silver lining somewhere. Through the first week alone, I have come to learn that it may take some time but getting used to the environment is essential if I want to survive. Will continue to update when possible.