How to make the most of your first semester at a German University?
As an Indian student preparing to move to Germany for higher education, it’s understandable if you are apprehensive, nervous, and restless about your move. After all, it’s not only a new course you are going to be a part of, but also a new cultural experience as a student in a foreign country. The lifestyle, the food, the people, and the culture that Germany offers can be quite different from your home country. The key to making your year abroad a success is to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.
Immerse yourself in the community
Whether it is your Residence Hall Association, the Student’s Club, or a Sports Club, find something that speaks to you. It may be intimidating to attend the first meeting or to speak to one of the club executives, but once you break the ice, you will find comfort in the group as you share similar interests. University is not only about attending classes and studying. It is also necessary and beneficial to be part of the community you are living in. Indulging in various activities is a good way to engage in the diverse culture community of Germany, and learn skills and life lessons outside the classroom.
Become a volunteer
This is the best way to stack up experience points for your resume. Try to find a volunteer position related to your program in the lab or research facilities. You could also work on campus as a librarian, tutor, or a club member. This is a great way to meet people, network with professors and senior staff, and it counts as work experience which will add to your skill set.
Be proactive in your academics
During your degree, you will have the freedom to take different classes, electives, and experience classes of all sizes. In large lecture halls, professors won’t be able to give every student individual attention, so it is up to the student to catch up with the lectures. Professors usually have office hours in which you can visit their office personally for extra help with the course. You could also form a study group with students in your course, and meet up every week to go over details from the lectures. This way you’ll be caught up with the course, and won’t have to struggle before the exam.
Stay healthy and hydrated
It is typical for students to leave their health and wellbeing aside as they try to keep up with all the activities. Plan your time wisely, make sure you get enough sleep, and try to fit in exercise in your schedule as well (find an exercise buddy to help stay motivated!). You also won’t be able to work and study if you don’t eat a balanced diet.
Use resources if you need any help
As a first year student, you may feel overburdened with your studies, social life, volunteering, and catching up on sleep! Time management is stressful, but there are many resources you can use to cope up with the situation. You could visit a guidance counselor to help plan your courses and prepare for exams. You could attend study sessions hosted by students for tips on course preparation. Attending club meetings could help with stress relief as well. Make sure you are aware of the available resources and utilize them for your benefit.
Follow these tips and make your first semester a success!