Cristian Alvarado is studying Nursing Management with a focus on Nursing Science at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. The special feature here is that the young man already has extensive knowledge in the nursing field, as he already completed a nursing degree in Spain. In addition, the student works part-time as a health care worker and nurse at the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart.
In his scarce free time, Cristian Alvarado volunteers in the special care of Covid 19 patients. For his above-average academic achievements and his social commitment, the student will receive the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) prize of 1,000 euros. University Rector Prof. Christof Wolfmaier will personally present him with this award at the graduation ceremony on 29 July.
Initially, Cristian only wants to work as a nurse
Cristian Alvarado first came to Stuttgart in 2014 to work as a nurse. Originally, he only wanted to stay for two years and then go back to Madrid, where the native Ecuadorian has lived with his parents and siblings since 2003. As the job situation in Spain is so tense, especially for younger people, that in 2017 he decided to improve his German and then study here.
The course of study is obvious: nursing management. "It's a very good academic complement to my more applied and practical studies in Spain," he says. Studying is easy for him and he makes friends easily. The only thing he struggles with is the German language. "German is quite difficult," says Cristian. He needs help, especially with the written papers, but he gets it from fellow students at the university or colleagues at the hospital.
He also has to get used to the social norms, values and rules. "When I arrange to meet my friends in Madrid for 8 pm, it can happen that we don't meet until 9 pm," the student says with a laugh.
"I experience a lot of gratitude"
Besides studying and volunteering, Cristian always works at the hospital to earn a living but he doesn't mind that. "I like working," he says. "It's a profession that gives you a lot back and where I experience a lot of gratitude."
So what are his plans now that he has completed his Bachelor's degree? Cristian Alvarado wants to gain further qualifications and possibly complete a Master's degree in nursing science in Esslingen in the long term. First, however, a long summer break is on the agenda.
In the meantime, his sister also lives and works in Stuttgart, so he has brought a piece of Spanish-Ecuadorian home to Germany. "I haven't felt foreign for a long time and I'm well integrated," he says. Even his parents will be travelling to the graduation ceremony tomorrow, Friday.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awards the prize to outstanding students who have distinguished themselves through special academic achievements and remarkable social or intercultural commitment. The aim is to make it clear to a broader public what an enrichment foreign students are for the university community.
This text was translated with DeepL.