As a mandatory component of my Bachelor of International studies degree I departed for Gießen, a small university town north of Frankfurt in Germany. It was the first semester of my third year and I chose Justus-Liebig University so that I could partake in subjects that would count to both my German and International Relations major. The town is small and friendly with a very large student population. Student life is a very integral part of the atmosphere and it is rare to go an hour without seeing someone you know or have met.

I owe a lot of my close friendships to the intensive German course that is available at JLU before each semester. I largely recommend it as it offers great language classes as well as excursions and outings within Gießen and its surrounding towns. I found the university itself very different. With half of my subjects in German and the other half in English, I found myself in class sizes of no more than 15 students. I participated in a number of ERASMUS-designed classes, which allows international students to undertake lessons in German aimed at foreign speaking students seeking to better their German skills. I found this very beneficial as well as a great way to meet other international students. There were a number of differences to UQ that I experienced at JLU, including dogs being allowed in the classroom and lecture halls as well as attending the local bar with a professor after a lesson or a class trip.

I lived at one of the university residences and found it the most beneficial way to integrate and experience life as a German local. I managed to improve my German immensely with the help of my German neighbours and couldn’t have been happier with the international students I had befriended from all corners of the world. Together we attended the infamous ‘Grillfests’, a term which is necessary for every German student’s vocabulary. These events, similar to that of an Australian BBQ, would occur weekly outside our student residence and reflected the family-like atmosphere of our student residence, Grünberger Straße. Forgoing days without English became the norm as the semester progressed and I befriended more and more Germans. I felt at home as we attended events together and participated in copious traditions customary to a German student in Gießen.

On this site

Go to top