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Foreign Student at University of Hamburg: Past, Present, Future

02. März 2019 admin Keine Kommentare

Since the autumn of 2014, I am living in Hamburg, and I have been a biology master student at University of Hamburg since 2015. Being a foreign student in Hamburg and at the University of Hamburg has been a challenging and hard, yet valuable experience. From the very beginning, language was a big hurdle and in many cases, a huge inconvenience. However, the help provided by the university, professors and other students made it easier to overcome this problem and to study among German students. Written by Aida Rahmani Mashhour.

Help and consultations of the UHH

One of the obstacles by which the University of Hamburg has offered great help to me as a foreign student new in the city was accommodation. In the beginning, I was not able to get a room at the dormitory; however, the university staff gave me information about the available housing facilities in Hamburg. This helped me a lot in finding my current apartment. It should however be note that finding a dormitory room in Hamburg can be an extremely hard and frustrating task, especially for foreign students who have no support in this regard.
Additionally, the university offers consultation for students, which has been very helpful for me, since I was not familiar with many of the organizations in the university, the rules and the educational structure. There are also scholarships for students, the information of which are given by the university. The students, especially the foreign students, have the opportunity to apply for these scholarships to get funding for their stay in Hamburg.

Supportive atmosphere

With the beginning of the master studies, I felt the difficulty of keeping up with the courses considering the new language and the different materials being taught. However, the professors had a great understanding of our situation and helped us a lot with the courses by introducing new books and sources and following up on our progress in our studies.
Aside from the professors, the other students were also a great help during the studies. They helped by providing additional materials for the courses and by inviting me to study groups. In general, the atmosphere of the university and the classes has been very supportive for me as a foreign student. This has been steadily improved during the three years that I have been at the University of Hamburg, thanks to the greater number of students from abroad that are currently at the university. Consequently, the communities of foreign students have grown and the university is more diverse than before. It helps the new students enormously as they will be in contact and get help from other students who have gone this path before.

Up to date topics in biology

During the studies at the university, I had the pleasure to take very interesting courses in biology with great professors. Examples of such courses are the molecular neurobiology and the animal physiology. It has been a great experience for me to learn about up to date topics and to have access to well-equipped laboratories at University of Hamburg.
I also had the chance to continue my master studies directly after the bachelor studies without having to repeat any courses. In many universities, the validation process of the courses and certificates acquired abroad is very hard and time-consuming. This often leads to students having to take courses again. My experience at University of Hamburg in this regard has been very positive.
In the first semesters, there were courses during the whole week, which mean, there were no free days for other activities for students. This has however changed recently, which shows the well consideration of the administration of the university regarding the students’ time management. Nowadays, the students have at least one day free in a week. They can use this time for personal activities, following up on courses and homeworks and learning extra- curriculum materials.
In future, the university can improve in some aspects regarding the students coming from abroad by facilitating the accommodation especially in the first few semesters. In general, the University of Hamburg has been a great place for me to continue my graduate studies, and it has helped me as a foreign student in many ways to make the student life on and off the campus easier. This is improving and will improve more in the future by increasing the diversity of the university and supporting the communities inside the university.

The university of Hamburg plays an active role of the worldwide scientific research. In this direction, I wish a bright future for the biology community in Hamburg. I would like to express my happiness to the University of Hamburg for the next 100 years. Aida Rahmani Mashhour


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