Helen - Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg

B. Arts / Diploma in Languages
Semester 1, 2015

Academic experience

I’ve been studying at Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, an institution that pre-dates the Kingdom of Great Britain. It’s pretty mind-boggling. One is able to undertake areas of study outside of their usual, meet and work with amazing people from unexpected places and life experiences and learn about their academic capabilities outside of their everyday context. I've taken several German courses on culture and language as well as a course on intercultural communication. One really interesting aspect of German Geisteswissenschaft study is Referats. Basically, every course has them and it's a great way to be involved on your own and your classes study areas. I also got out of my comfort zone and undertook a maths course in German, which unfortunately was too challenging for me! I learnt a fair bit from that experience about pedagogy and my learning style

Personal experience

For myself, the ability to travel and wander around the countryside here has been wonderful. However, my most rewarding experience during this exchange has been getting to know people from many diverse places, life journeys and cultures. I’ve made some great friends who have taught me much. Going this far from home, humility and openness are key. Humility has opened me up to new people, new experiences and new information. I've also tried not to act upon previous stereotypes. By judging prematurely, you’re going to narrow your experiences.

Accommodation

In Freiburg, please, please take the offered housing. Otherwise, you're going to have a challenging, expensive and stressful time finding somewhere to live.

Professional development and employability

Walking through the Schwarzwald
Walking through the Schwarzwald

I believe that the capability I have developed to reflect upon my cultural position and relate to those around me without understanding and without judgement will allow me to work in the future in more diverse fields. Furthermore, independence, uncertainty and experience have extended my self-dependency. 

Simultaneously, I've learnt a lot more about some different pedagogic structures. The academic history of this place lends it's self to an entirely different learning experience.

Highlight

I believe that the capability I have developed to reflect upon my cultural position and relate to those around me without understanding and without judgement will allow me to work in the future in more diverse fields. Furthermore, independence, uncertainty and experience have extended my self-dependency. 

Simultaneously, I've learnt a lot more about some different pedagogic structures. The academic history of this place lends it's self to an entirely different learning experience.

Top tips

  • If you're planning to go to Germany and make it back to UQ for the next semester, you're going to have to go in Semester 2. Also, it's going to be a bit hard.
  • Secondly, in Germany, if there is a rule, there will be no bending of the rules.
  • Thirdly, speak to your teachers and lecturers. The university culture here is more respectful, but also more interactive.
Helen - Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg