Report of Experience by Lukáš Vojáсek

Report of Experience by Lukáš Vojáсek,
Summer Semester 2010

There are several reasons why Georg-August University in Goettingen is a good choice once the idea of studying Euroculture in Germany either for the first semester or the second one (see the structures of the studies) is being considered.


First of all, Goettingen owes its exceptionality to its location. Being situated in central Germany, the city is easily accessible from the major German cities such as Berlin or Frankfurt am Main, which is appreciated by any international students who come to study in Goettingen, and, later on, plan to travel into the surroundings or neighbouring countries such as France, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, etc. Having all the attributes of a typical European city, Goettingen, as a place, serves as a representative of European culture, which adds to the effectiveness of studying Euroculture programe right here.

Public transport in Goettingen represented by buses and taxis works well and connects even the most remote places. Tickets can be purchased at a very reasonable price, taxi services are not overcharged. If a place cannot be reached by walking, the bikes are usually used as the most common means of transport for students. Finding a bike to buy is not a problem at all. Shops selling them and other necessary accessories can be found everywhere.

As far as shopping is concerned, various kinds of shops, baker´s, groceries, but also bigger supermarkets are situated in the downtown and offer foods for prices comparable to other European towns or cities except the bigger ones or the capital ones, areas further from the city centre are covered by supermarkets and shopping malls.

If you really think of Goettingen as your next study destination, take into consideration other facts such as a new language acquisition. German is one of the languages that ranks among the biggest in terms of number of its speakers. Goettingen offers a lot of opportunities to study German or to practice it. Moreover, this region including that one of Hannover are said to speak a very nice and understandable German. Since Germany is traditionally chosen by international students for their studies, Germans really feel free to interact with people from different countries and have mostly no prejudices. This very fact makes the interaction easy and quite comfortable.

Goettingen is a university city with a long tradition. The number of students becoming a part of the population for every academic year made other businesses adopt to it and develop services that are focused on young people´s interests. Thus, you can attend a great variety of university clubs, sports clubs, gyms, etc. Even the transport services such as some of the train connections offer numerous discounts for students.

What might be a real problem at the beginning of the semester is the accommodation. It sometimes takes a lot of time and effort to find a good place to stay. That is why it is recommended to look for a room a long time before your arrival. To get a place at a dormitory is almost impossible. Usually, knowledge of English is not a problem as means of communication. Most Germans speak a fluent English. Accommodation available is usually that of dormitory type, flats, and houses. It is advisable to make a profile on one of numerous bedroom-search websites and keep searching. However, most places are advertised in German. If in trouble, ask the Euroculture studies assistant to give you some tips. It was the assistants to Euroculture coordinator that helped me to find a nice place.

The University

The Georg-August University ranks among the best ones in the country. What might make you even more proud about your studying in Goettingen is the the number of Nobel Prize laureates that have studied at the university. There have been 44 of them so far.

At the very beginning the Euroculture students receive an information package that is to inform them about the Euroculture classes, insurance, German language courses, etc. What is necessary to do before you come to Goettingen is to go through the online registration with the university, then you can receive your student card that serves both as an identification card and, for instance, as a train ticket. After arrival in Goettingen, the other place to register with is local authorities. It is not much paper work at all and you always receive guidance by the Euroculture staff. It is the Euroculture staff that organises city and campus tours that familiarize the students with the university, the university library, students catering, etc. This is very helpful and makes your stay easier at the beginning as well as other events that bring the Euroculture class together. The Euroculture staff also participates in these events and, thus, creates a real Euroculture family.

What the university prides itself on is the University Library. Being a real landmark of the campus, the library is the best place to study. The opening hours are very long and the place also houses a cafeteria, study rooms, computer rooms, copy rooms and so on. As a Euroculture student, you will be advised on how to use the library or its online resources during the campus tour.

As for the catering, the best place to go is the students canteen which is a good value for money and serves people with a great variety of meals and foods. It is located within the campus and the prices are low.

The campus consists of several buildings that are very functional. Most of the Euroculture classes take place here or in another building not far from the campus.

There are 4 – 5 classes per semester that require regular attendance. Some of them may start later on. Some of them may be added as there are hosting professors coming from partner universities to give lectures. Some of the classes require readings, some of them are designed to discuss your research, some of them are focused on intercultural interaction, and there are also classes emphasising practical skills. In my opinion, the contents of the classes are related to the concept of Euroculture studies, which is very good. One of the classes prepares the students for their IP paper presentations, which is very helpful. I also appreciated that the classes were interconnected and compatible with Euroculture studies focus. As a student, you are always welcome to discuss your research and class problems with Euroculture staff. Moreover, the students´ progress is regularly checked by reports and portfolios submission, which makes them busy as well as in touch with their academic work.
Goettingen is a place that combines a nice environment with a tradition of high-quality teaching performed by a very helpful staff.