Around this time last year, I was starting my year abroad in Konstanz, Germany. The University of Essex provided me with an amazing opportunity to study in a different country for a whole year. I remember getting off the train that got me to Konstanz and being incredibly nervous of where I was going to go from that point. Very quickly everything began to settle down and I got to really enjoy living in a new environment.
Since I have returned from my year abroad, I have definitely been more confident and truly feel that I have a wider knowledge over things in general. I would recommend that everyone look into finding out what is available for them in terms of taking a year abroad. If you already have a place in mind or want to find out more, the Essex Abroad Office in Square 2 will be more than happy to provide you with more information.
If you are thinking about how to make a decision on where to go for your year abroad, for me in particular there were 3 things that I was mainly looking for:
- a great university, where I can study something that I was not able to do at my home university. For instance, I have mainly focused on learning more about Data Analysis and got involved a series of Big Data Challenges and Data Mining projects.
- a fantastic location, where I can go on little adventures and explore the city. I have also lived 10-15 minutes away from the shore line and my favourite thing to do was to go for a walk/run near the water.
- plenty of travelling opportunities, where I could go beyond the city I was based on and explore other places. Konstanz acts as an intermediary between Austria, Switzerland and Germany, which makes it super easy to go travelling and see something different every time.
Some of the things I have loved:
- the people. I have met some really lovely people throughout my year abroad that I hope to see again in the future. In the top picture, I am with some my friends on a trip to the Fürstenberg brewery in the town of Donaueschingen. On the second picture, two of my friends and I are enjoying the amazing Christmas market in Munich.
- the location. Konstanz abounds with great sites including museums, gardens and historical buildings. My favourite places were the Island of Mainau and a small city over the Bodensee lake called Meersburg.
- the Christmas markets. Around December time every year, the Christmas markets season begins. It is a very welcoming atmosphere, where you can wander around to find some thoughtful gifts and of course enjoy some mulled wine!
- the beer gardens. Summer at the university does not have to be boring. My classmates and I would go enjoy the sun and a pint of beer to take a break from the all that coursework and exam preparation. In addition to that, I have included the view from the university’s canteen which is really amazing.
Do consider going on a year abroad, because you will definitely have an amazing time and you will come back completely changed, ready to take on board your final year at university.
Auf Wiedersehen or see you again!