When I thought about studying in Germany, I was scared by the culture shock, especially coming from a country as far away and different as Ecuador. However, when I walked through the doors of Frankfurt School my worries were gone. FS has a vision of being a totally international place. This is reflected in the language of the university. Absolutely all instructions, posters, and information are available in both English and German. Also all professors give classes and solve our doubts in English. In the administrative area, even the staff in the cafeteria are all speaking English. This is a great convenience for international students as the German language will not be a barrier for them to get around on campus.
Everyone is here aware of the advantages of being in an international environment and the community is very interested in learning about new cultures. This is also reflected in the many events that are intended to highlight the cultural richness of the university. For example, the International Day or the events organized by the initiatives. They even brought international alumni to tell us about their work experiences in Germany.
After a few weeks, I already felt part of the FS community, and this is much more reflected within the whole intake. There is always somebody that can help you with anything! This is especially significant for international students who will encounter difficulties or doubts while living in another country. For example, I wanted to go to Cologne for the carnival and I had my doubts about the German transport system, so I talked about it to a few students in my class. Soon after, a classmate wrote to me saying that he was also going to Cologne for the weekend and that he could give me a ride in his car. It was a very fun trip where I practiced German and they showed me German music. When we arrived, he gave me tips and recommendations about the city. It is that kind of friendship and helpfulness characterizes all FS students.
There are always students organizing parties or social events where everyone is invited, so it is very easy to integrate. The parties are incredible and usually take place in the FS Dorms or in some club or bar in Frankfurt. But there is also the other side of the coin. When I want to concentrate on studying for the exams, I can also easily find a study group and organize sessions to review the subjects and share notes in the library. I have also created a study group in which we support and motivate each other. When the exams are finally over, there is always a student group that organizes the Semester Closing Party.
As for Frankfurt: It’s a city that breaks the stereotype that big cities are chaotic and messy. Frankfurt being the financial capital of Europe you would expect this to be the case, but it is a good balance between peace and quiet and all the advantages of a city such as events, culture, shops, public transport and infrastructure. My favorite event of the year was the International Automobile Fair. Manufacturers from all over the world brought the most impressive cars I never thought I would see.
The world of finance is also present in Frankfurt. It is impressive to see the skyscrapers of the big banks, there are also many startups and a visit to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is a must for any student of Frankfurt School.
The public transport is very good, you can go to any point of the city without having a car and the student ticket makes the transport quite economic.
However, venturing to study abroad also has its challenges. Personally, the most complicated part was to carry out all the bureaucratic procedures and contracts. Usually, in my home country it is easier or in many cases I took them for granted, such as Wifi, telephone, bank account, apartment search, visa or residence permit. But after some time I realized, that it is actually not that complicated! Now that I am going to follow International Management as my concentration, I will have to spend 2 semesters in a different country, surely, I will have to repeat this process, but now I feel more relaxed because I have already gained experience.