Around 90 young people from 22 different nations arrived at Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences (RWU) in the summer semester 2019. Whether during enrolment at the university, at the residents' registration office or at the bank – the first bureaucratic and linguistic hurdles were overcome.
During the so-called "Welcome and Orientation Week" at RWU, they were mainly interested in organizational matters. Most of the international students come from India, Nepal and Pakistan, but young people from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Malaysia, Mexico and Belarus also came to Weingarten this semester. For most of them it is the first time in Germany.
Unlike in previous semesters, the orientation programme organised by the International Office did not start with the traditional "Käsespätzle" on Monday. Already on Sunday evening, the group of international students met in the student pub alibi in Weingarten to get to know each other.
Panutda Jankeaw from Thailand has already experienced German culture: "I landed in Germany on Friday and then went to see the carnival parade in Weingarten on Sunday, which was very interesting," she says. She will spend a year studying at RWU as part of the International Academy.
But Germany is not foreign territory for all the new international students. Bahadir Taha Ülkü from Turkey has often taken a vacation here. And in preparation for his studies abroad in Weingarten, he also came to Upper Swabia several times. "I wanted to make sure that everything went well with the admission," the 19-year-old explains. He will be studying for a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. Homesickness doesn't matter to the young student: "I feel very comfortable here, Weingarten reminds me of my hometown of Sakarya".
The "Welcome and Orientation Week" was followed by a week of intensive German language courses before the official start of studies in the 2019 summer semester began.