Takashi Kobayashi studied in Esslingen from September 2021 to February 2022. He was taking classes from the International Industrial Management Bachelor degree programme.
My stay abroad in 5 words…
Challenging, unforgettable, travel, kind, people
Deciding for Germany and Esslingen
My hobby is watching football games. Over the past few years, a lot of Japanese football players have played in the Bundesliga. All of them had a favourable impression of the German character and culture. Based on this information, I really wanted to spend some time in Germany and communicate with German people. But to be honest, before coming to Germany, I didn’t have any information about Esslingen. I knew a bit about Stuttgart because of VfB Stuttgart. A Japanese player, Endo, is the captain of this team. For another reason, my home university and Esslingen university had an exchange agreement. That’s why I chose Esslingen.
Studying in Esslingen
Compared to Japan, many classes in Esslingen were small with about 20-30 participants. Also, students were actively engaged in the classes. I really admired this attitude! One thing I remember the best about my studies in Esslingen is a group presentation I did about the Global company TOYOTA together with 2 German students. This was memorable.
My biggest worries and what I was looking forward to
When I was a child (maybe 1 year old), I lived in Malaysia with my family. But living alone in a foreign country was the first time for me. I was worried whether I can make friends with other guys. In addition, I was not sure if I would feel comfortable with the environment and food, etc.. But none of my worries came true! Every exchange student and local student was kind to me. Even when I made mistakes in English, they said to me, “it’s okay keep on going!” and my worries disappeared soon. I was looking forward to watching football games in Germany. Especially, I wanted to see a Bayern Munich game. Unfortunately, that didn’t came true because Covid spread widely in the winter season… Did I learn some German? Das ist richtig. Ein bisschen. (That’s right. A bit.)
About my free time in Germany and German food
In my free time I was watching Netflix and did a lot of travelling. I went to cities in Germany (Frankfurt, Berlin, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Munich, Regensburg) and in Spain (Barcelona and Sevilla). The most beautiful experience I had was when we went to Neuschwanstein Castle with my friends living in Stuttgart! Out of the German food I got to know, I definitely love “Schnitzel und Pommes”. No other any choice. It looks like “Katsu” from Japan. When I think back, if I could have asked the German students to do one thing for me, I would have asked them to cook some great Schnitzel and Pommes together :-).
What I also want to say (to future incoming students at Esslingen University)
Take care and enjoy staying in Esslingen!