Report of Experience by Lavinia Marin

Report of Experience by Lavinia Marin,
Summer Semester 2013

Why I chose Göttingen?
I didn't know what I chose back then, it was pure luck. I wanted to learn German and Göttingen was the only German university in the consortium, so I opted for it. But afterwards Göttingen University proved to be a pleasant surprise, it was much more than I had expected - not that I knew what to expect. After I live in a city for a while I consider it my hometown. So for me Göttingen University is not my host, but my home, together with Uppsala. I don't care what bureaucrats say about this, I have two home Universities so far. So here is what I like about my second home university:
What I like about the city of Göttingen
The bicycle lanes - I've never felt more safe while biking than in Göttingen. The silence in the evenings or every Sunday morning - it's a very strange sensation, as if the world is in slumber and you are the only one awake. The church bells - also on Sunday. The flower gardens: everywhere you go, from spring onwards, the flowers are blooming everywhere, not only the roses as Barbara sang. The woods that surround the city, the mountain-like atmosphere. I like that it's a small town with little traffic. The botanical gardens: the old one especially, but the new one is also cool, especially if you hike to get there. The woods and the white fairy-tale tower hidden in one of these woods. The lazy cats on the streets. The chalk drawings on the sidewalk.
What I like about the University of Göttingen
The libraries. Their architecture with surreal accents. Being in the Oeconomicum library and looking through the glass ceiling at the rain which is falling from above. All the university libraries have something breathtaking in their architecture: the SUB, the KWZ - these are really special buildings.
That you can't get lost in this huge campus, because there are signs everywhere so you always know where you are.
The single student card that serves as library card, printing card, portable wallet and you can use it for free transport on some trains. Just one card and it's so simple to have all the advantages of being a student. And the procedure to get the card is very easy.
The Mensa is cool with cheap prices for students and available all day. But even cooler than the Mensa is the Cafe Central, a really hip place in the campus where you can have a coffee or a sandwich in a really bohemian atmosphere. The SUB cafeteria is also a cool place to be, you go up to the last floor and see through the glass walls the main campus, you can work there alone with your laptop or have a group meeting for group projects, it's a place buzzing with ideas and coffee.
This University, or maybe this German style of asking the best from students, forced me to work more than I thought I was capable of. Here I gave 100%, more than I thought I could ever achieve in an academic career. Göttingen university really pushes you for performance, even if you don't want to.
What I like about Germany
German humor. "This is so German!" said German people looking at some lists of rules while giving us tours of the city/the library/the university. It would seem that some Germans really like to design rules for everything while other Germans laugh at these rules. So far I met only the latter population which makes me wonder whether the rule-makers aren't a lost civilization that somehow vanished after leaving the rules behind.
The fact that they call the curry-bratwurst as a national dish. This is also humor.
German weather. I love the rain.