From Mexico to Germany; An international student at FS
Master in Management / 23 January, 2019
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Master in Management Class of 2019
Luis Javier Valadez Fuentes is a Master in Management Class of 2019 student from Mexico and an FS ambassador

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I was really happy when it became official I would pursue my Master’s degree at Frankfurt School. Back in Mexico, some of the words we associate with Germany are: efficiency, quality, power, performance. However, there are some stereotypes that can be a bit intimidating: “Germans are cold”, “Germans are too competitive”, “Germans are not open.” On my way from Mexico to Frankfurt, I asked myself how difficult will it be to adapt to a culture which seems to be completely different to any Latin American culture. After being here for four months, I can reflect upon several aspects.

Cultural Integration

While getting to know my German classmates, and also some locals in Frankfurt, many stereotypes have been broken: Germans are actually very friendly, eager to embrace and get to know other cultures. Most of my German classmates are constantly encouraging the international students to practice our German; this is the best opportunity to advance and truly improve mastering the language. Also, if people see you struggling to speak German at most establishments, they try to communicate with you in English. This has made the integration much easier.

On the other hand, I have been able to share that Mexico is more than stereotypes that are often showcased in the media. Whenever I have a chance, I talk about my traditions, how rich Mexican food is, the breath taking nature and other highlights that make Mexico an amazing country to visit.

Employability in Frankfurt

Frankfurt is and will continue to become a strategic place to be in Europe. Even though the core business in this city comes from the banking and consulting industry, I have discovered that if you dive deep into the job offers, you can find positions in a range of different sectors from developing brand strategy and dissecting consumer insights, to helping any firm who seeks to compete within the world of digitalization.

Companies offer different internships, working student positions and full-time positions, for several sectors. And while speaking German is highly appreciated, in many cases it is not a ‘must-have’. Therefore, my advice to any future international students is:

“Do not be scared if you are not fluent German speakers! Take advantage of the lessons offered at Frankfurt School and within the city, and try to practice as much as possible.”

What Frankfurt School offers

There are two main things that I love about Frankfurt school. First, I am enjoying a lot the class diversity in my Master programme; we are around 15 nationalities, roughly 50/50 in terms of males and females, and we come from fairly different academic backgrounds. This enriches the learning environment and our discussions are always interesting! The second thing I really like is our 3-day model, which means we only have classes 3 days a week. This truly allows us to make the most of our time here at Frankfurt: you can pursue part-time work, do German lessons, or join any sports / cultural initiative you find interesting.

So, the answer to how difficult is it to integrate in Germany? It is not as hard as it seems. If you are open to get to know new people, interested in learning the language, and making the most of what Frankfurt School offers, I am pretty sure you can expect experiences and friendships to cherish for a lifetime!

This post is part of the “An International Student at FS” blog series, covering different nationalities at Frankfurt School. This blog series aims to highlight different cultural perspectives and help you integrate with your international class mates at Frankfurt School.

To learn more about all the master programmes click here.