Student of the programme about studying in Germany
Student of the Master's programme "Applied Social Psychology" Sita Miller shared her experience of participating in the academic mobility in Jena (Germany)
Russia was my first country I ever visited outside of my home in America. After falling in love with the culture and the sights I was eager to see more of the world. After my plans fell through to study my second year of my Masters program abroad in Holland, I was desperate for another route into Europe. I applied to the second call of the mobility program at Friedrich Schiller University and was quickly accepted.
I managed to get from Russia to Germany after many failed attempts at securing a plane ticket. When I arrived in Jena, I was shocked. I didn't really know what to expect in Jena, due to the poor quality of the internet photos when you google the city. However, when I arrived after many long hours of train rides I was greeted with an incredibly lush city. The city of Jena sits in the bottom of a basin and is surrounded by nature and trees. There are many trails to walk through the Jena forest. The weather here never really goes below 0 celsius, making it easy to travel around outside by foot whenever you feel. The city itself is quite small, many small local shops and high quality food. The tram takes you everywhere you need to go very efficiently. Many of these shops have closed due to corona restrictions, and all of the classes have now been moved online.
The quality of the education at Friedrich Schiller University Jena was still high even though classes were online. I think some of us expected life to go back to semi normal around the fall of 2020. When that didn’t happen and restrictions became increasingly tight, the teachers were incredibly accommodating. They understand the stressors that quarantine has brought on everyone, and are always willing to stay and chat longer with the students or offer support. Even though we did not have classes in person at all this semester, there is still a sense of closeness with your classmates and professors.
It has been rather difficult to make friends during this time, as there are quite large limitations. If you are lucky, you will land an apartment with friendly roommates who will keep you company and tell you all of the ins and outs Jena has to offer. Accommodation through the university is relatively cheap, though they are not the newest of spaces.
Don’t hesitate to apply for mobility, but be sure to be well read on the restrictions that your potential destination has in place. Hopefully, with the release of the vaccine the world can get back to freely traveling. Know that it is difficult to make friends when all of the classes are online, but not impossible:)