Claudio is an Industrial Management student from Mexico. He came to Esslingen in winter semester 2022/23 and is doing an internship now.
My stay abroad in five words:
Challenging, culture shock, independent, pleasant
Deciding for Germany/Esslingen:
Going to Germany has always been a dream for me. For engineers Germany is like a “mecca” for the German way of working. It is different and really efficient and also known for high quality work. I chose Esslingen because it is close to Stuttgart. I didn’t expect much, cause friends that have already been to Germany studied in small cities where there was not so much to do. When I came to Esslingen, I was surprised that it turned out to be a nice city with many possibilities for different activities.
My biggest worries and what I was looking forward to:
I was worried about adaptation and immersion, what somehow came true. When you are in a different culture you have to adapt and learn stuff, embrace the differences and enjoy them. Different is not bad, it is just different. I was looking forward to the German lifestyle. I wanted to be in Germany long enough to feel/have a sense of belonging. If you only stay for a few months you feel like you want to stay longer in the end. I also wanted to figure out if staying in Germany longer or again is an option for me.
Studying in Esslingen:
The professors in Esslingen are really invested on their topics. They have a great knowledge and a nice professional background and correlated the classes with that. My courses were successful, I learned tons and met really nice people. Not only other Incomings but also German students. I still talk to some of them regularly and we became good friends.
I already learned some German in Highschool. I could have invested more time and energy on learning, so I was not the best back then;) I’m still not the best in German now, but compared to what I arrived with, I see an increase of course.
Living in Germany/Esslingen:
I live in a dorm close to the campus. It is good, but not the best. With so many people (students and young people) it is normal that some things are not quite according to the “rules”. But the whole experience is great to force you to respect the social life of others and learn solving conflicts. Also, in dorms you have privacy only in your own room, which is both good and bad at the same time. I love being able to go to a lot of places in a short time. It is easy to move around here. I like that I now have earned enough money to travel around. Just to name a few, I’ve been to Marrakesh, Spain, France, Austria, Czech, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. In Germany I visited München, Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Rothenburg and a lot of places in the Schwarzwald. The travelling goes along with the whole purpose of learning and exploring on Germany and Europe.
On the weekdays I work and I’m not exhausted afterwards, so I have time to go to the gym, take walks, go to motor sport events,… I also like hanging out with my friends, cooking and dining out. I have enough time for everything. All in all, the best experience is the easiness that comes with the lifestyle here which has probably something to do with the sense of security I’m having now.
If I could ask the German students around me to do one thing for me, that would be…
… take me to local places to see what local Germans enjoy. It is difficult to explore a city with language difficulties and without knowledge of the city.
What I also like to say (to future incoming students at Esslingen University):
If you come to Germany, take the time to learn about the country. Be open to cultural differences, cause otherwise you might overlook what there is to learn. Don’t be close-minded. Enjoy!