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Cold Weather, Warm Welcome

Three exchange students talk about their semester at ESB Business School

Amélie from NEOMA Rouen (France) is an exchange student in the MSc International Accounting, Controlling and Taxation / MSc International Business Development.

Naiara from the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (Brazil) is an exchange student in the BSc International Operations and Logistics Management.

Vlad-Nicolae from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Romania) is an exchange student in the BSc International Business.

By Katrin Reil

Despite all the Covid-19 hurdles, they have come to Reutlingen from countries all over the world including Sweden, Mexico and Taiwan. A total of 22 students from 10 countries are currently spending an exchange semester at ESB Business School. Amélie from France, Naiara from Brazil and Vlad-Nicolae from Romania share their experiences in an interview:

ESB Business School started the winter semester 20/21 as a hybrid semester. Did you get to attend face-to-face classes on campus or have you been in online mode all along?

Vlad: I had two options, to come to Germany and study on campus or to remain in Romania and do my courses online. I chose to come to Reutlingen and stay on campus because the experience is far better, having the benefit of intercultural exchanges with colleagues and more interaction.

Naiara: Among the courses I am taking, only two of them started with classes on campus. But that was very good because I had the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of classroom learning and to find out more about the university.

How did you like ESB Business School’s campus? Did anything stand out in particular compared to your home campus?

Amélie: It was pretty empty because of the hybrid semester organisation but it is really huge!

Vlad: I like the campus, it's big, well structured, and very well maintained, with a lot of green zones. I am living on the campus, in the student's dorm and I find it the best way to experience student life, creating new friendships and exchange memories and knowledge.

Naiara: I loved meeting new people and being able to experience a little of life on the university campus. It‘s very interesting how everything is interconnected through the student card system. From printing documents to picking up books from the library and how simple it is to return them.

Currently, we are back to online teaching. How is that going for you?

Naiara: Taking online classes is surprisingly good! All of my courses are taught in English, which makes it very easy to exchange information with my fellow students. Also, the teachers are very attentive and always try to make the class as interactive as possible.

Amélie: It was better with the hybrid system and I think that it is harder to follow classes online. However, online teaching has its advantages (sleeping more, cooking proper meals, etc). Moreover, some teachers try to make the courses interesting and dynamic.

How do you keep contact with your fellow students – those in your courses, other exchange students, or students from other programmes?

Vlad: In the first months of the semester, the situation was easier of course. We had a meeting at the faculty with the exchange students as well as a tour of the campus and around the city centre with our student buddies. Also, I participated in a city tour that I found really fun and interesting. Thank you to the student associations that are making our integration process easier, they are very well organized and friendly!

Amélie: I am fortunate enough to share a flat with students from the university who are in other programmes. Because of the partial lockdown and the Covid-19 restrictions, it is quite hard to take part in extracurricular offline activities. However, with social media, it is easy to communicate.

Why did you decide to become an exchange student at ESB?

Amélie: ESB has a strong partnership with my home university NEOMA Business School and has a very good reputation there. In addition, I wanted to improve my German. So I’m happy to have been able to still go on an exchange semester inspite of the current situation, and to still have been able to discover new places and to make new friends.

Naiara: A few years ago, some friends of mine did an exchange semester at ESB Business School and their experience was simply amazing! The semester abroad is not mandatory at my home university, but I really wanted to experience this. So, as my university has a partnership with ESB Business School, I decided to come here.

Vlad: I wanted to enhance the student experience and improve myself. I consider that an experience like this changes a person in a good way, creates a different point of view, being more independent, adapting more easily to challenges and the most important thing, creating memories and new friends.

What is the main difference between studying at ESB Business School and studying in your home country?

Vlad: The main difference is that studying at ESB Business School is a truly international experience, having the possibility to meet different cultures and also experience a different environment!

Naiara: First of all, the weather for sure! As I am from Brazil, I am not used to low temperatures and I know it can get even colder. But, I think the main difference would be that here there is a good support system for exchange students. In addition, I get the chance to experience a new culture and meet people from all over the world, which is such a magical experience!