I’m Clémence, originally coming from France (Bordeaux). I like culture (of other countries) and art in general (I’m counting music, painting and books in). I’d love to learn a lot of foreign langages because languages permit you to have a different look on things and the world and I find it extremely interesting! Unfortunately I’m not a fast langage-learner ;-(
What brings you to Germany?
I study things that don’t exist in France that is media science and next year history (well, this exists in France). It’s a course with two subjects, something that is almost impossible in France… (France is too traditional with its University courses, that’s also the reason why I’m glad to be here: people are more relaxed when they think about their future).
Do you feel integrated into the German society?
I don’t know… Most of my friends in Germany have roots in different countries… People are nice too me, but I only know two or three Germans that I like to meet. And as I cook my own food, I don’t really have the feeling to live “like a german”.… I think people feel integrated when they have friends 😉 I have some friends now in Germany, so I’d like to say yes.
What is it that you like/dislike about German Universities?
I like the diversity of courses and the low level of stress, and the fact that I’m considered and treated equally like everyone else. Furthermore, now we are not thousands, like in the first year of almost every course in France because there is absolutely no selection, so everybody goes in because nobody knows what else to do (the system of Azubi is less developed and has a bad reputation).
I dislike the lack of tests (never thought I’d ever say that!). In France we have regular tests and it lets us to know if we learn well enough or not.
Has your lifestyle changed since you moved to Germany? if yes, how?
I cook myself (yes, before my mother did, and I ate at school – each pupil does it in France and I am sick of this kind of food)! I also eat a lot less bread (i mean baguette!! – and I find bread more expensive here, so instead I often buy toasts), but else… France and Germany aren’t that different after all.
Oh, and busses are better than in Bordeaux. Really practical!
What would you like to “import” from Germany to your home country?
My friends and the “cool attitude”, foreign shops (it’s not so developed in France), the drivers who let almost systematically the walkers cross the streets ;-), the “indifference” towards the veil (well, it’s better tolerated than in France), public transportation system, tolerance, diversity and a lot of vegetarians and vegan products!
Does Germany seem multicultural to you?
I don’t think France is more or less multicultural, but I do think that foreign people are better integrated in Germany, or at least not as much looked at weirdly as in France. But people don’t come from the same countries: in France we have a lot of people from Africa, a lot from former colonies or north Africa (the Maghreb region)…
What is the the first thing you do when you go back home?
Hug my mother!
What stereotypes about Germany have been confirmed? 😉
Lot of bicycles… 😀
Have you learnt anything about your home country while living in Germany?
Bread is not expensive, people are too stressed out about their future and they have no interest into other cultures compared to the persons I met in Bonn. (French might be interested, but they will never think about doing anything to get closer to a different culture, perhaps only traveling to other countries, but as a tourist you mostly likely don’t learn about other cultures – and that’s one of the reasons why, I think, French suck so much in foreign languages! 😉 )
Advice to a new expat who is thinking of moving to Germany?
Have patience: it took two-three months before I met people who wanted to manage real friendships!
And forget stereotypes and already-made ideas and enjoy!!!