Andrea studies social work at the university of Griona in Spain and spend the summer term 2014 as a student at ASH Berlin.
Hello Andrea, where are you from and where are you studying?
I was born in Columbia, but I study at the Universitat de Girona in Spain.
What do you study at home?
What do you study at ASH Berlin?
Social Work as well.
Do you like it here?
Berlin is amazing! I loved it and the university, it was good. It was very different from my experience in Spain. We have different ways of working and doing things. I don’t know if it’s better or worse, it’s just different.
What do you like less at ASH?
I’m used to structured and organized classes and it was hard for me to come here and they tell you that class starts late and at other times class is cancelled in advance and then here’s block week– that was weird, but you get used to it.
Where do you see differences between ASH Berlin and your home university?
Yes! I think it’s harder in Spain, because we have to do a lot more work. For every subject you usually have to do an assignment, such as a summary or a reflection paper and then you have to sit an exam or two exams, like a mid-term and a final exam. Additionally you usually have to do a presentation and then a final project or essay. Here you just do one thing and they rely on people having a real interest here, you know?
Why did you choose ASH Berlin for your exchange programme?
We had a few options and I don’t know any other languages except Spanish, Catalan and English, so it was either going to England or Germany and I just decided that Berlin was better.
Why did you choose Berlin?
I’ve been here before a couple of times and I always liked that while it’s a capital city and you have everything a capital city has it is still very relaxed. It’s a mixture of things; it’s just not as hectic as other big cities.
Did you get to meet any regular students at ASH Berlin?
Yeah, a lot of the English classes from the international curriculum I had were with regular ASH students.
How did you experience the contact between lecturers and students?
It really depended on the teacher and I guess it’s like at any other university. You have teachers that are very formal or they expect you to call them by their full academic title or other ones that are fine with you using their first names. But I think that’s like that everywhere.
What kind of cultural activities did you experience in Berlin?
I went to almost every important museum. I guess I experienced “cultural” in the sense of meeting people from all over the world.
So which was your favourite museum?
I really liked the one that used to be the Hamburger Bahnhof. The contemporary art one!
Do you have any suggestions for someone who is new at the University or in Berlin?
No, just enjoy Berlin! Maybe not speaking the language lead me to not hanging out with as many Germans as I would have wanted to. I met so many people from all over the world, but hardly any Germans.