After welcoming, before Christmas – It is that time of the year again!

Mastering the best job ever. Photo: Alara Yaman

The academic calendar in Germany is quite different from the ones in other countries and for the international students it takes time to get used to it. Certainly, the steps that must be taken in these weeks vary between students. For instance, some international students are waiting their renewed residence permits excitedly; some of them still needs to deal with some paper works for Foreigners Authority and some already got theirs. But actually this time of the year almost all of the students have something in common: Having a full schedule with meetings for the group projects and library dates with many articles and books while counting down to the Christmas Break! I call it as “in-between” time; it is after the Welcome Week and the first smooth two weeks of lecture and before the sweet rush of Christmas Holiday.

In addition, the start of the registration period for the exams whispers that exams are also on their way, which awakens me from my autumn coziness and makes me a little bit more stressed. Luckily, Nuremberg is the city that is famous for its amazingly beautiful Christmas Market and one of the best cities to experience the Christmas spirit. This is a kind of motivation for me to get to work more to deserve to enjoy a cup of “Glühwein” soon with my friends and my visitors who prefer to come to Nuremberg especially in December even though they are aware of the fact that it will be freezing cold.


My first year in Germany

Nuremberg is not as crazy as Hanoi or New York – but a perfect place to calm down. Photo: Anh Tran

It’s been almost one year since I came to Germany to do my master program. By now I can get around the city central without having to look at Google map. One year may not be enough time to explore every place in Nürnberg, but I can get the hang of it. I have established some daily routine, where to buy grocery, my favorite route to the Uni and to my student job. Sometimes, I venture on a new way back home and then congratulate myself for being so adventurous.

A lot people asked me: Why did I decide to come to Nürnberg? And I always give the same answer. I got accepted into FAU and it seems like a nice city, very peaceful. Nürnberg may not be as glamorous as New York, or as chaotic and crowded as my home city, Hanoi. It is peaceful in a sense that I can take my time walking around without being pushed by people. I see greens in the parks and on my way to Uni. I can let my mind wander without being bombarded by ads and flashing billboards.


Working in Germany as an international student

Student jobs can be found at FAU's job search engine "Stellenwerk": (screenshot)

Student jobs can be found at FAU’s job search engine „Stellenwerk“: (screenshot)

In Germany, it is quite common for students to have a part-time job and be financially independent. In addition to earning extra money, having a part-time job gives students a chance to explore their career options. You will find out which kind of job or which business function in a company is best suited to your preferences and abilities. A part-time job is a great way to find out what you like or don’t like. In this article, I will talk about my own experience of having different part-time jobs as an international student. Weiterlesen

The country of a thousand lakes, solitude and coffee – my exchange semester in Finland

Bonfire and Coffee with friends – the Finnish way of life. Foto: Hannah Riemann

I still remember the reactions of my friends and family when I first told them I was going to Finland to study a semester abroad. Most reactions where along the line of: “Finland, how come?!?! Isn´t it like super-boring up there?” Others were totally confused and it was not uncommon to hear “Oh Helsinki… That is somewhere in Sweden, right?” One of my professors even asked me to send him an E-Mail after my stay to tell him whether I turned into an alcoholic or not- I did not. BUT unfortunately, I turned into a coffeeholic, as Finland has the highest coffee-consumptions worldwide. 5 cups of coffee per day per person! First fun fact of Finland – many more to come.

So why Finland?

Do you want my honest answer? Because I myself knew as little about Finland as my friends, family and probably most of you. All I knew was that it is up north, has long and cold winters and lots and lots of forests. Apart from that I had no clue about anything Finnish. Not about their history, their culture, their politics – nothing at all. So, the answer to the question is: I was ready for a new adventure and Finland was the chosen one.