New sprouts of student mobility in Greifswald (Germany)

Greetings to everyone! My name is Ivanna Kasiy. I am a fourth-year student at the Faculty of Ukrainian and Foreign Philology, and today I would like to share a kaleidoscope of impressions that arose during my studies at the University of Greifswald where I had the opportunity to spend an interesting and rich semester thanks to the Erasmus+ program.
First of all, I would like to thank the coordinators of both Drohobych and Greifswald universities who always supported me and gladly helped to solve various issues throughout my stay . Even prior to leaving, we were taken care of by senior students – buddies, who willingly helped with organizational matters, processing documents and choosing a route. They were the first to greet us in Germany and accompanied us during the settlement in the dormitory, etc.
The first days of our stay in the new city seemed very eventful: meeting other exchange students who became good friends, city tours, Willkommenstag, where we met the wonderful International Office team, learned interesting facts about the university, student life, organizations, which provide versatile and fun leisure time for students.
Program and learning process. We were strongly attracted by the organization of the educational process and the choice of disciplines: the students have complete freedom to choose both lectures and seminars that they want to attend during the semester, and even more, with the right to make changes during the first four weeks of study if this or that discipline does not completely correspond to the student’s field of interest or the student simply does not like it. Registration for the desired seminars and lectures takes place online through the student’s personal account created before the start of training.
Especially impressive are large book collections.It is not only convenient to study in the library but also incredibly pleasant to spend time in the company of a huge number of the most diverse books – both modern and ancient editions. It facilitates and improves the educational process helping to prepare for classes.
In addition to compulsory disciplines, the seminar “Slavic Cultures” made a special impression, where we studied the traces of ancient Slavs in the lands of Western Pomerania and their importance in the development of the German people. We were quite impressed by the excursion to the sites of the former and now restored settlements of the ancient Slavs located in the open-air museum (Freilichtmuseum Groß Raden) that we took together with the teacher, an archaeologist and other fellow students . Ancient artifacts and objects of archaeological excavations are definitely worth seeing, but to realize the importance of the Slavs in the history of Germany among whom, quite possibly, our ancestors might have been, is an amazing feeling.
An unforgettable experience was working with children during pedagogical practice, which took place this semester. I was not only warmly welcomed by the school administration and the teaching staff who helped to calm down a lot of internal excitement. Although it was my first experience as a teacher, I was able to easily blend into the student environment. It was there that I was once again convinced of the correct choice of profession.
Leisure. Indeed, the time spent after classes is the most memorable, especially when you are in interesting company. Student organizations, which provide fun and adventure-filled leisure activities for young people, did not let us get bored. Among the highlights that made our stay in Greifswald educational, interesting and full of colors are: thematic gatherings every week – Stammtisch, where we could play different games, share the curiosities of our own people’s culture and make more friends. One of the evenings was dedicated to the national cuisine of the country where you come from, so here you could try delicacies from different countries of the world. Of course, we couldn’t do without Ukrainian borsch and dumplings, which became the favorites of the evening.
To learn more about the history of the city, we were helped by a trip to the local history museum and an evening tour conducted by an appropriately clad city guard.
I can’t help but mention two trips to the German capital Berlin and Hamburg – one of the largest cities in Germany, also famous for the largest number of bridges in Europe. We managed to see the most famous sights and visit the museums of Berlin, walk through the streets of Hamburg, where the legendary “The Beatles” used to walk at the beginning of their creative journey, visit the Elbe Philharmonic, visit Christmas markets and feel the spirit of German Christmas.
Of course, it would take pages to describe all the delight and colorful palette of impressions received while studying in Greifswald, where I continued to get to know German culture and learn more and more new facts about the country. But I would like to sum up what was written in the words of the outstanding Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez: “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
The days spent in Greifswald will undoubtedly remain in my memory forever, and even more, I am sure, will definitely have an impact on my further development and search for myself in this world.
Ivanna Kasiy,
Fourth-year student