Phumelela hatte die Möglichkeit letzten September bis Dezember 2016 in Ravensburg ein Austausch-Semester zu absolvieren. Er hat für Thatha Ithuba einen Bericht geschrieben:
NB: neben der big City Zürich hat er auch uns in Chur besucht :-)
"I remember while I was doing my first year, I came across the poster of the exchange program put up so perfectly in wall next to the faculty office at campus. I thought to myself that I want to partake in that, that I want to be one of the few awarded this opportunity, little did I know that two years later I would the “lucky one”
When I had to compile and submit documents of application for the programme, we were asked to explain how we see such a dream benefiting oneself. The thoughts that came rushing to my mind were not even an ounce compared to the experience that I got with this trip. I remember announcing the news at home and the excitement that was on everybody’s face, especially my mother as her last born would be the first person in the entire family to set foot on foreign soil.
Often at times, the media shapes up our minds as how we are to perceive people and with this being said I had a bad perspective of German people and this being one of the reasons behind me choosing Germany over France, I needed the challenge – however with great happiness the Germans did not live up to my expectations or perceptions. They turned out to be nicest people although they are a bit laid back than us Africans.
Being in foreign country was very challenging, more so because of the language barrier. Firstly, I live with my family at home and I went across the world to live on my own which proved to be more challenging than what I expected. I found it hard to adapt at first, but as days went by I found myself living the “German way” more and more. If there is anything I missed about Africa was the food, Africans eat and we are not quite fussy over how much or what we eat like Europeans. I found myself adapting to this lifestyle, which resulted to me losing the bit of weight I had been trying to get rid while at home.
The school system, especially that of Duale-Hochschule Baden-Württemberg it being a cooperative institution is quite challenging. Being in Germany allowed a great amount of cognition in my life. I was exposed to to topics and operations I had never seen let alone hear of in my life.
The whole trip allowed me to grow as a person. I was living in house with other students whom come from different countries an obviously have different ways of doing things, this proved to be challenging. It pushed me into a point where I am open minded when it comes to people and their, it has influenced a great amount of respect for different cultures and traditions. It has further proved that we are all the same but prefer different ways of doing things. I got to travel to Austria and Switzerland, and this was very exciting for me, as I would learn more about Europe.
There is absolutely nothing I would change about this trip. It has grown my self-confidence as I saw my ability to compete academically on an international level. All that I have learnt, I will ensure I pass it down to those who may interested."