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Students Activities


Students Activities


The first semester in Dortmund

At the beginning of February the Iraqi students finished their first term of spatial planning in
Dortmund. That's a good time to ask: How do they like studying and living in Germany?
Three of them tell their impressions.

by Jonathan Focke, 2011

"It is hard but absolutely worth doing it", Aree Sadoon from Duhok sums up his impressions after
one term of studying spatial planning in Dortmund. "When we arrived in Germany in summer last
year it has been really hard to communicate with anybody because everything was in German
language right from the beginning." Learning German five hours a day the language skills of the
eleven Iraqi students have developed in an impressive way. "Now it is really working well", Heezil
Khaleel adds.

"The trips we do all over Germany have really contributed to improve our German", Marwa
Al- Obaidi says. "And it has been very interesting to learn so many different aspects about German history and culture." Looking back at their first term
of spatial planning in Dortmund the three students are more than just satisfied. "We have learned a
lot since we arrived here", Heezil from Duhok says. The need of professional planning in their home country and the interdisciplinary character of spatial planning - that's what made the three students
apply for the planning course in Dortmund. And of course it is the experience to study in a different country. "It has always been my dream to go out studying in a different country and discovering it",
19-year-old student Marwa says.

After more than six month living and studying in Germany the Iraqi students almost feel at home
in Dortmund. "When we go on a trip to somewhere else in Germany", Marwa from Diyala says and
smiles, "I really start to miss Dortmund." But the impressions the students gain at their excursions
usually compensate the homesickness.

The first few months in Germany have not just pushed the students boundaries in terms of
getting to know a totally new country and culture.
"We really got into spatial planning", Heezil says. "The trips all over Germany have shown us how different all the cities are and how the old parts of
the cities have been revitalized and reused in an appropriate and attractive way. I really like all that

But how is it like coming to a country and actually live there that is so far away from your home
country? "It is a hundred percent different", Aree answers straight away. "There is not much the
same compared to Iraq. But I like the city and the people here are really nice." The challenge of
managing life in a totally new environment is seen as a real chance by the three students. "We
really got trained in self-confidence coming to Germany", Heezil says. And his fellow Aree adds:
"It contributes a lot to the development of our personality. Our stay in Germany gives us the chance
to gain experience we can use in our later life."

And what did the students make out as typically German? "It's the attitude towards working", Aree
says. "I think people here really love thier jobs." "Discipline and punctuality are typically German,
too", Marwa adds to it. "And of course it's chips."



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