This semester of expatriation was for me a real opportunity to improve my academics and linguistics skills, my self-confidence, learn more about me, a new country and a new culture.
This expatriation is, for me, an essential part of our school cursus. It is necessary for us to be preparing for an international career. And even for a career in France, the language skills are very important, and the autonomy that the expatriation give us.
After an internship of 5 months in Mexico City during the first semester of my third year, I choose this semester to study in the University TH Köln, based in Cologne, Germany, and specialized in Technology, Art and Sciences.
I was excited also to discover a culture very different than in Mexico and see how the education is different than in France. Cologne was a very logical choice for me. In fact, Germany is the first European power and an example of education and working method all over the world.
Firstly, the discovery of Cologne, a city that I didn’t know before, was for me a very good surprise. The city, where more than 2 millions of inhabitants live, is on a human scale. It is easy to move in the city, go by walk in interesting places, etc. I decided to live in the center of the city to be comfortable, and I had all that you need around me: supermarkets, bars, shops, stations of tram.
Moreover, compare to Paris, it is cheaper to live in Cologne, generally 45% less, so there are good opportunities to live.
The city is beautiful, full of churches and gothics monuments. The cathedral of Cologne (Kölner Dom) is the place to visit in Cologne, and it is the most visited monument of Germany.
Secondly, I really enjoyed the university where I was, and the method of teaching.
The culture of the university where I studied is very rich, based on the benefit from diversity and the development of competencies. They welcome a lot of international students from all over the world, mixed with German people. The atmosphere was very good and it was easy to meet new people from different cultures.
I chose to study 5 courses, and all of them were very interesting. I studied:
- Business Ethics, where the goal was to make you able to do business with an ethic point of view
- Behavioural Economics, which shown how humans can be irrational economics choices,
- International Management and Export Marketing, a course which presented an international approach of Marketing,
- Effective international planning and control, to learn and apply techniques to plan and control activity of a global company, by applying a simulation game,
- German courses, at a beginner level, to learn the basics of German and can talk in the life of everyday.
I learned a lot during these course, which were all in link with the courses that I did in IPAG Business School, but I also discovered a new method of teaching. In fact, the relationship between students and professors was very friendly, based on a major part of discussion during the courses. It was strange at the beginning to saw it, but I enjoyed doing this. And I think it was a very good way to became me more adaptable.
Obviously, the discovery of a new country, a new culture, a new way to study, in short, a new life, was a little bit strange and difficult sometimes but very interesting in terms of personals lessons.
I really advise you to visit Germany and Cologne, which is a very good city to study, make international friends and discover the German culture. I enjoyed my expatriation in this city and I will keep very good memories.