We are happy to welcome our new incomings in winterterm 19/20 . We were curious what impressions the students have gained of Germany and especially of HFT so far. We interview Shih-Mei Chan from Taiwan and she told us about her experiences.
Every semester we welcome incoming students from our partner universities. In the Master's programme in General Management the students Shi-Mei Chan, Andi Bintang Mapanyukri, Nur Faizah Aliah Md Marzuki, Muhamad Saifullah Muhamadewa, Nik Maizatul Akmal Afzan Nik Mohd Kamal, Muhamad Hilman Roselan, Nurul Nadia Rosli, Ntombikayise Tshemese are double-degree students at our university since the winter semester 19/20. We were curious to know what impressions the students have gained of Germany and the HFT so far. Shih-Mei Chan from Taiwan told us about her experiences.
1. Nice to meet you! Tell us a little about yourself. Hello, I am Shih-Mei Chan from Taipei, Taiwan, but everyone calls me Charlene! I am 23 years old and am currently doing my Master Double Degree in General Management here at the HFT. I am very optimistic and outgoing, and I am particularly interested in everything I do - because I always want to achieve the best I can! My hobbies are cooking, baking and reading.
2. how long have you been here in Germany? I arrived here in Stuttgart at the end of August 2019 and first attended a German course in September. At the beginning of October 2019 my official classes at the HFT began.
3. How long will you stay in Germany? In total I will stay one year. Since one semester has already passed, I only have one semester left. Time flies!
4. Is this your first time in Stuttgart, Germany? Yes, it is not only my first time in Stuttgart, but also my first time in Europe!
5. Why did you decide to do a double master study in Germany? As I have never been to Europe before, I was very curious to explore more of Europe and gain more experience with the European culture and language. Although there was another possibility to go to the USA, which was offered to me at Tatung-University, my university in Taipei, I decided not to go to the USA because I wanted to learn a new language. Another reason was that I wanted to join a new educational system, because I heard about the different teaching methods compared to my home country.
6. What was your first/current impression of Stuttgart and the HFT? At first I was very shocked because I saw so many pigeons everywhere! It is very different from my home town Taipei, because we rarely see so many pigeons everywhere, for example at the train stations. I also noticed that there are many parks in Stuttgart and that everyone spends their free time outside with friends and family. In Taiwan, on the other hand, everyone prefers to go shopping at the weekend. However, in Germany all shops are closed on Sundays, which is not possible in Taiwan. In general, Stuttgart is a beautiful city and offers various outdoor activities where you can not only train alone but also meet and talk with your friends.
My impression of the HFT is also good. It is perfectly located as it is close to the train station and the city centre and is quite easy to find. The classrooms are quite similar to the classrooms in Taipei, but I especially appreciate the kindness and patience of all the people here and that everyone tries to help you anytime if you have any questions.
7. What cultural differences have you noticed since your studies here? I would say that the Germans are more detailed and follow many rules, orders and plans. Most of them are very well structured. In Taiwan, we often change plans without a forecast. And I admit that the German language is quite difficult to learn in the beginning because it is so different from the Asian language. Reading and writing is easier for us, while listening and speaking is more of a challenge.
8. Which courses do you attend at the HFT? I am currently attending the courses Corporate Finance, Doing Business in Europe, Management Accounting, Business English, Purchasing & Logistics and Change Management in my first semester. In addition, I attend the German course at the HFT on Wednesday afternoons.
9. What is your most exciting experience since you started studying here? Definitely the Canstatter Wasen. You could hardly see anyone without a costume and I was so impressed that I even took a souvenir photo with them! In every corner you could play games or participate in competitions, which is quite interesting. The atmosphere was very cheerful and although we could not enter the tent because it was too full, we had a lot of fun and you could feel the solidarity of the people. One of my highlights was also visiting the Christmas markets in Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Esslingen and Strasbourg.
From my experience at the HFT I would say that there is a lot of group work and teamwork is therefore an important part of it. In Taiwan the focus of group work was more on presentation, but here everyone stays more connected and helps each other - also in other courses.
10. Which difficulties did you have during your stay in Germany? The language barrier was a little bit difficult because I couldn't speak a word in German before. As I am very ambitious, I was always among the best in class during my studies in Taiwan and had a strong self-confidence. But after my arrival in Stuttgart, I first lost my self-confidence because I thought I couldn't compete with my classmates. Now I have regained my self-confidence because I realized that nobody is perfect. Each of us has qualities in other areas if we are not outstanding in a particular course.
11. What do you miss most about your home country? Food, of course! The German food is not bad, but in Taiwan we have more variations, especially street food. In Germany everybody eats only bread! :-)
12. Would you recommend studying abroad in Germany? Yes, of course. The educational system is quite good and the contents of the courses are more detailed. So it is possible to deepen the contents. I also noticed that during our studies in Taiwan we paid more attention to the results. But in Germany the right answer is not necessarily the most important one, but the learning process itself!
13. Describe the HFT in 3 words! Caring. Professional. Beautiful (The architecture is beautiful)