Chen Jiong

As an exchange student from Beihang University, I spend one semester in Paderborn University. It is indeed an attractive experience for me, however, time flies, and I have to say Goodbye now. Thanks to Prof. Mertsching, Prof. Böcker, and Prof. Jiao, Prof. Yuan. Thanks them to give us such a valuable opportunity to study abroad, and make a nice begnining of the cooperation between two University.


It is my pleasure to share my experience during this period, and I hope it will be helpful for the following exchage students. Moreover, I write down these to record my life in Paderborn.


The Life, The Difference


Germany and China are quite different countries, in natural environment, in culture and in language. Curiosity makes this experience more interesting.


Accommodation: There are two kinds of accommodation, one is dormitory of University, another is one room in Wohngemeinschaft. I rent a room of a flat, and share utilities with other 3 students. It is hard to say which one is better. On one hand, dormitory is cheaper, and you will have more private space of your own, on other hand, living in WG is more convenient, you can use dishwasher, washing machine and all kinds of tableware; you can talk with localstudent more frequently, and so on. So, for me, I am satisfied with my accommodation. I am so lucky that I rent a room very near the University, it is also a important point to choose the accommodation.


Eating and Drinking: The most difference between China and Germany is that, Chinese people prefer to cook fresh food, and in Germany there are more semi-finished food, for example, pizza, fried chip, salad, various of bread, cheese, sausage and can, etc. Fresh vegetable and fruit also can be found in the market or supermarket, but not as many sorts as in China. Drinks in Germany is quite good, milk, yoghourt, juice, red wine, and of course German beer! Mostly, I cook by myself. I like some kinds of western food, but not all. Sometimes I go to Mensa for lunch, which is also very delicious and not expensive, but not as Chineseuniversity, no breakfast and supper offered there.


Transport: I think German people should be proud of their transport! It is really excellent.


By bus: Buses always come at the exact time what I can get from bus stop or Internet, I do not need to waste time to wait for bus. From 5:00 to 23:00, there always are bus service, so when I go out early or come back late, I never worry about it.

By train: Trains in Germany are also very punctual. Furthermore, very detailed information can be found on the Internet, as well as in every train station, when the train come and leave, the intermediate stops, the platform. So, I like to take trains during my trip, and they are also not crowded.

By car: My friends rent a car in Germany, and brought me to Belgium and Luxemburg. It is very cool to travel by car, since the comfortable autobahn in the Europe. And if 4 or 5 friends travel together, it is cheaper and more flexible than by train.

By air: It is the first choice when I plan a tour far away. There are some airline companies, which supply some simple service during the flight, so the price of the tickets is cheap.


Language: I have been in Paris for one week, when back Germany, I should say that I am so lucky that live in Germany. Most of the German people speak English well, especially in the University. But I still meet some problems, when I go to supermarket, when I watch TV, when I listen to the radio notice on the train. But all of them do not make much trouble for me, only not so easy. However, if some one want to stay in Germany longer, I think it is necessary to learn German, not only helpful for the living, but also useful for studying, for making friends, for communication.


Tourism: Due to the good transport system, it is easy to travel around Germany and European. The international office and the Eurobiz also organize some excursion, there is some fund supported by University, so, it is very cheap. I have been in Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn with other exchange students. However, I have to say that the trips organized by Eurobiz are always too hurry, we should spend a lot of time on train but stay in the city not long enough to enjoy it. So if you have more money and time I recommend you to plan a journey by yourself or with your friends.


Shopping: Not as in China, the price of goods in different city in Germany seems to be the same, even in the point of interest. And I never see people bargaining here. Though the price level is higher than in China, I still can find many things not so expensive. It depends on the quality of the goods. But for food, even if I choose the cheapest one, it is still not bad. And be careful, If you do not want choose a present for friends in China which made in China, Too many “Made in China” here.


In a word, Germany is a orderly country, so the life here is easy and safe for foreign