2021 - Tarlan Omarbayli - University of Schmalkalden Applied Sciences
It would be true to say that being an Erasmus exchange student in Germany was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Erasmus exchange was a decisive step in my life. It allowed me to assert the desire that has always been present in me: to know different cultures, mentalities, and lifestyles. Moreover, Erasmus is a process of leaving our comfort zone and having a common sharing of an unforgettable experience that remains etched in our memories. During my stay in Schmalkalden, I met both local Germans and international students from other parts of the world and made new friends. It made me very happy and proud to represent my culture and values there, and at the same time, to get acquainted with other cultures. Although Schmalkalden is a small city, it is full of kind and open-hearted people. I met many local people who break the stereotype that "Germans are standoffish and cold." I also really liked the design, style, and simplicity of the houses and buildings there. Knowing the background history of the city made it even much interesting. Schmalkalden's nature is worth mentioning. Surrounded by forests on almost all sides, this city is a unique place to walk out of the city center and explore nature. Besides exploring Schmalkalden, you can also take a train for free with a "Thoska Card" issued by Hochschule Schmalkalden to travel to other must-see places in Thuringia. While I was there, I tried to discover German culture to the maximum and develop my German language skills. I didn't confine myself with Schmalkalden and traveled to Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne cities of Germany as well as cities of other nearby countries, such as Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. For me, Erasmus was just the beginning, and it gave me the syndrome of desiring to continue traveling and knowing different cultures.