My name is Maria Gracia, originally from Ecuador and I came to Germany already a couple of yours ago to study.

There are many things that I both like and dislike in Germany. I like, for example, that the education level is really high and you can learn many things….you can learn the language pretty quickly by attending one of the  language schools. I have also learnt a bit of photography and attended many other courses that are relatively cheap here. If you compare those extra curriculum courses to my home country, they are much more expensive in Ecuador than here.

I don’t like the smaller things that within time become big stones in your shoes that bother you everyday. For example, the fact that there is not enough sun during the year, at the beginning I thought it was something stupid and I should not worry about it. I come from a city where all year-long there is sun, I thought I would not miss that….now that I really hardly see it here, it affects me, my mood and my humour… The other thing I am not so passionate about is food, I am not a big fan of German cuisine and I don’t drink beer. 

Do you think Germany is a multicultural society?

I don’t know how to answer this because there are many foreigners in Germany, that’s a fact. I don’t know if Germany is really a multicultural society because in the end you see foreigners looking for the people from their own country or for other foreigners.

Do you feel yourself integrated?

Yes, I do! Nothing is new to me anymore. I have been living here since more than 7 years. I know the system and understand Germans and they understand me, but at the same time, I still feel like a foreigner. I don’t feel like I am at home…

What  is home then?

Difficult to answer. It’s a feeling of being surrounded by the people who know you very well…and they make you feel like you belong to a certain place. I don’t feel I belong to Germany, plus I don’t see myself for that much longer here. I often think I am on a long vacation (laughing – ed.).

How would you summarise your experience in Germany so far?

Growing up, studying, everything connected with college life…