European semester for students at the Institute of Foreign Languages. Story three: Greifswald (Germany) July 4, 2022

Continuing the cycle of stories about the academic mobility of students at the Institute of Foreign Languages ​​in the spring semester of 2021/22, we travel to the very hospitable to Ukrainians city of Greifswald located in the north of Germany.

Every summer for many years in a row, our teachers and students have participated in the international symposium Greifswalder Ukrainicum, which is dedicated to Ukrainian studies as well as summer language schools at the local university. The introduction of Erasmus+ scholarship programs in Ukraine made it possible to bring the cooperation of the two universities to a new level. As a result, Victoria Storonska, a student of NA-24 spent a semester at the Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald.

“To say that I am satisfied with accommodation, studies and leisure time is an understatement! I would like to divide my story into three parts. Due to the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine I came there sooner than had planned. Although my arrangement with the dormitory only started on April 1, they found me a room where I could live comfortably. There is an excellent Buddy program here: local students take care of visitors to make it easier for them to adjust to a new environment. It turned out that I was the youngest of all Erasmus+ students there. This is a big plus for Drohobych University, which gives a chance to gain experience abroad in such a young age.

As for the studies, it is fundamentally different from what we Ukrainians are used to. The biggest and most pleasant surprise to me was the lack of grades. I attended only seminars (there were no lectures in my schedule this semester) and I am delighted with these classes. I’m studying German as a Foreign Language (DaF) and mostly my homework required me to read an article or chapter from a book and answer questions on Moodle. By the way, about Moodle: it is a site where teachers display the materials used in their class and publish homework. And here there is no mandatory attendance of classes! The main thing is to show your knowledge at the end of the exam, which offers multiple choice options. You can choose an exam in the form of a test, a written work or an oral answer. Here you can attend language courses of any level from A1 to C2, which are free for foreign students. For this you can get additional ECTS credits.

Due to the war, many Ukrainian children arrived in Greifswald and they are obliged to attend school. So I had the opportunity to work professionally and teach children German on a volunteer basis. It’s a win-win situation: I get experience, and the kids get knowledge!

And the most interesting thing is local entertainment. Although I am more of an introvert, I have found real friends with similar views. And it is very easy to get to know each other here, especially for exchange students. In Germany, there is such a thing as Stammtisch – it is a party that can have different themes, and karaoke, and silent party, and various games, or just a social evening. At such parties, people find you and start communicating, so you definitely don’t feel lonely there! It should not be forgotten that Greifswald has a wonderful beach, which makes it a very attractive place for tourists and students. LEI (Lokale Erasmus Initiative) also organizes tours around various cities in Germany: I, for example, visited Berlin, Dresden and Stralsund. Incredibly wonderful people organize everything for international students!

In the end, I will emphasize one more point that really impressed me: I was the only one here from Ukraine! This testifies to the fact that University of Drohobych is really cool!”

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