March 13, 2018
Razia Gul is a junior student at AUCA who is currently majoring in International and Comparative Politics and minoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. Razia has spent her 2017-2018 fall semester in one of the oldest universities in the world Philipps University Marburg, Germany which was founded as Protestant University in 1527. Her exchange was with the help of Erasmus+ student mobility program of ICP department which could be given to two or three students in each semester who fits to their requirements. Razia said that it was an honor for her to be one of the students from AUCA’s ICP department to study at that university which had remained as a place of research and teaching for almost five centuries. The Philipps University Marburg has 75,000 of total population and 25,700 students out of this population are students in Marburg. Due to large number of students in this town, people believe that it would be better to say that Marburg is a University. Almost 12% of the students come there from all over the world. There are various campuses in different parts of the town.
“I was one of the international Erasmus students in Marburg who got the opportunity to meet the students from all over the world. My roommates were from Russia, Germany, and the United States. It was great experience for me to be abroad where students like me had great enthusiasm to take as much advantage of their semester as possible. Living with students from other places was an amazing chance to learn more about their culture and language”.
The courses I studied were totally of my interest such as “Key controversies in European Integration”, “Gender and Political Violence”, and so on. The courses were different from AUCA`s ones in terms of their length and Syllabus. We did not have to do daily assignment, weekly quizzes, and midterms. Attendance and participation were not compulsory things there which in contrast are the most essential things at AUCA. We were supposed to have extra knowledge about the topics we taught in class. Thus, it was the reason that students spent most of their time at libraries and computer labs. I also had an opportunity to attend two days’ workshop about the Gender issues from both Afghanistan and Pakistan which was held by a senior researchers and a professor in Germany, Dr. Andrea Fleschenberg. Dr. Andrea Fleschenberg worked in these two countries for several years and shared her works and findings with us through this workshop.
Besides, the academic things, I could travel to many places in Germany and also out of Germany to such countries as Norway, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, and France. The interesting thing was that through this exchange program I met my family and friends whom I had not seen for a decade. Luckily, there were many holidays during the winter semester in Marburg, which was another good point to travel and spend time with my family.
To spend a semester abroad was a very tremendous experience for me to study at the oldest university in the world, but I also missed my friends at AUCA. Personally, I think studying abroad is really the best opportunity to observe new places.