My name is Ronak Gandhi, I grew up in Junagadh, India but moved to Australia in 2008 to do my degree. After finishing my degree I liked Australia so much that I lived there for few more years till 2013 working and travelling. I arrived in Germany (TU Chemnitz) in Oct. 2013 to pursue my Master’s in Information and Communication systems.
In my free time I like to take pictures, travel, go for hike and play chess.
Along with Germany I was looking for countries like Australia, US and UK to pursue my Masters, but I found Germany to be the best country to finish my Master degree because of “High quality of education in comparison to other countries and German degree is recognized around the world” and also “German universities are free for international students, which means no tuition fees” in addition to these two reason, as Germany being at the heart of Europe, I can travel more due to many countries being stone throw away 😉
How do you enjoy your life in Germany?
To keep myself busy and in good mood I would go for bouldering with my friends or play chess or if I need some time alone I would go on a day hiking trip to the nearest forest. Recently, I have started to explore abandoned place in Berlin (currently doing my internship in Berlin). Abandoned places are connected with loads of history and I really like to know the history of the place where I live.
Do you feel yourself integrated in the society?
Not being fluent in German sometimes I feel like an outcast but most of the time friends I have are very supportive. They are happy to teach me German and they have lots of patience specially when I try to talk in German.
Could you tell me a bit more about your blog?
I always wanted to improve my photography skill and when I moved to Berlin in August I thought it was the perfect time. So I challenged myself to upload 1 photo everyday for 90 days on facebook and keep a track of it. I created a facebook page called “90 days photo challenge” starting on the 6th of September.
By challenging myself:
1) I am able to capture the small moments and essence of Berlin
2) I can keep the record of Berlin in digital way, so in the future I can look back and remember that particular day much easier
3) I can show the beauty of Berlin to my friends and family who are living in different cities and in different countries and most importantly
4) I have a chance to improve my photography skills from the feedback I receive from my friends and family.
What do you miss about India the most?
I miss my family the most in India. Without the help and support of my family members I would have not been here. The second most missed thing about India is the street food.
What’s the first thing you do when you go back to India?
My first morning in India would start with the walk around the neighborhood. I would take a long walk and will see the changes happened to the area I lived since my last visit. There have been instances where completely new building were built next to my home and in one instance my house was completely renovated while I was abroad. So first thing I like to do is to see and get used to the new things.
An advice to your fellow Indians that are thinking of moving to Germany?
One advice I would like to give not just to Indians but to anyone who is planning to come here for a long term is to learn German as early as possible. If you are living in a big city it is possible to survive with English or limited knowledge of German, but if you want to get integrated with the German culture than learning language is a must.
So far I have good experiences in Germany, whether it is couch-surfing in Hamburg or travelling to Chemnitz for first time without knowing the language. Germans have always helped me and have made my stay incredible!!!