Kathrin is a traveller from Germany, currently living in Leicester to enjoy the wonders of the United Kingdom. She not only loves to experience different cultures, she also loves books and good stories, so blogging came as a natural consequence. Her blog The Ambitious Bee focuses on studying and working abroad and how your career can benefit from this experience.
1. What’s your name, age, occupation and country you are from?
Hello everyone! My name is Kathrin, I’m 23 years old. I’m currently studying for a Master’s degree in England, and I am from Germany!
2. Why did you decide to study overseas?
I always wanted to do something that I can be really proud of, I wanted to challenge myself and I wanted to grow personally. Studying abroad gives me the chance to go beyond myself.
I not only have the chance to improve my English but am able to meet people from all around the world. It’s been a great experience so far!
3. In which country did you study and how long?
I completed my undergraduate studies in Germany, in a city called Regensburg, where I lived for three years. I am now studying at postgraduate level in England. I’ve been here for seven months now. I’ll graduate in September but am planning on staying even longer, if I can find a job 😉
4. Share a favourite photo taken while you were studying abroad!
This is a photo of Abbey Park in Leicester, the city I’m currently studying in. Abbey Park is one of my favourite places in this city and it’s just a beautiful place to relax!
5. How did studying abroad make you change your perspective of life?
Leicester, the city I’m studying in, is very diverse – there are lots and lots of international students, there is a huge Indian community in Leicester, and just a motley bunch of people living here from all around the world. This really taught me that people can benefit from diversity, that it’s a good thing, and that you can learn so much more about yourself as well. Isn’t it great that since I’m here, I didn’t only improve my English, but also learned a few Mandarin Chinese words, because the majority of my classmates are from China?
6. What was the best thing that happened to you on this trip?
There are two things that I will always remember about this trip. First, all the friends I found here. It’s such a great thing to know that you have friends from all over the world and you canalways rely on them despite the distance between you. I also learned to appreciate my friends from back home much more, as they’re still always there for me!
Second, all the things I learned about myself. Through studying abroad, I have become much more independent and confident in my ability to make decisions. And living abroad also encourages me in my dream to see the world!
7. How did you overcome a challenge that you faced while you were overseas?
When I started studying here over half-a-year ago now, I really didn’t like this place very much. I didn’t think Leicester was the place for me, and it was really hard for me to find friends. Most of the Erasmus students were just here to party – which is completely fine if you’re only here for a few months. However, I think it’s a very different experience if you live here for longer and if you complete your whole degree here (because, you know, you actually have to study). So, the first few months weren’t as I imagined them to be. But now, a few months later, I feel much better.
What did change? I guess the first thing I did was going out more. I tried to explore the city, tried to find nice coffee places I enjoy going to. The second thing was that I asked people if they want to join me. I met up with people, and of course, not everyone turned out to be my best friend, but some did! And now, I feel much more at home here.
8. What’s your favourite travel website, whether it be for travel planning or travel inspiration?
I always read teacaketravels.com. It’s just one of my greatest inspiration sources, I love the branding and the stories!
9. If you had 2 tips you could share from your study abroad experience to students feeling apprehensive about taking this leap, what would they be?
First thing is probably just “do it”! It’s a great experience and it gives you so much back. It’s not as hard as it may seem and even if you encounter difficulties, they rather help you grow as a person.
Second, if you have the chance, stay for two semesters / a year. You need three months to settle in completely and feel comfortable. You want to do some trips and enjoy your time. Be brave and confident and stay for a year. You’ll not regret it.
Another extra tip for once you’re overseas: Get to know the students from your study abroad country and other international students rather than only people from your home country. You didn’t travel half way around the world to hang out with people you can hang out with back home!
I cannot help but add that I completely agree with Kathrin’s last point and make it a point not to stick with my homies when I’m abroad to get the best out of your international experience!
Student Travel Series seek to showcase travel stories from students, for students. The aim of this series is to inspire more youths and students to take the leap and discover a world outside of your own!
What do you feel about Kathrin’s story? Let us know below!