Sukie at the University of Economics Varna
How did you come to this semester abroad?
My name is Sukie. I am a 27-year-old student of the program "International Trade" (MBA) at the University of Applied Sciences Anhalt in Bernburg.
The first points of contact with the Erasmus exchange program I had in the International Office of the University of Anhalt. After an introductory talk with the Erasmus coordinator, Rebecca Fischer, I became aware of a program at the partner university in Varna, Bulgaria.
With the support of Prof. Dr. med. Cornelia Scott, Program Director MBA, I decided to apply for an exchange semester. Everything worked out perfectly and so I started my third semester in beautiful Varna. It was always a dream of me to live in such an impressive coastal city. Because in China, my homeland, we do not have such places.
At first arrival in Varna and I fell in love with the city directly. I was overwhelmed by the Black Sea, the coast, the food, the people - actually everything!
During the time in Varna my German roommate Anna and I became best friends. We shared many hobbies such as jogging, traveling and writing. And we are both vegetarian! Anna also helped me to improve my English skills. With her patient nature, she helped me with grammar and pronunciation. We also talked a lot about German culture and sometimes about German food. Thus, I also got to know Germany better.
How did you manage to settle in Varna?
On 02. September 2017 I arrived a bit disoriented in Varna. During the welcome week I tasted the traditional food and drink called Bonizza and Boza. The head of the International Office taught us some first useful Bulgarian words. We spent half a day getting acquainted with the culture of Bulgaria.
Bulgaria is a country in southeastern Europe with an area of about 110,994 km². Traditional Bulgarian culture is mainly composed of Thracian, Slavic and Bulgarian cultures. There are also other influences from the Greek, Roman Ottoman, Persian and Celtic cultures. This explains the many churches and ecclesiastical buildings in Bulgaria.
We spent another two days playing a city game organized by the Lecti-Office. This is a kind of "scavenger hunt" and helped us get acquainted with the city and people in the area.
What did you experience during your time in Varna?
After a few days in the city, our journey with the Erasmus family through Bulgaria began. First stop: Balchik and Kaliakra. Balchik is a wonderful seaside town at the Black Sea and a seaside resort with a lush natural landscape.
Our next stops: Burgas, Plovdiv, and Sofia-Bulgaria's capital. Sofia is the most modern of these cities. My favorite city was Plovdiv. My impression is that this city is a perfect combination of old charm and modernity. Plovdiv has an artistic atmosphere, where you can find a different picture on every corner. Walking in the old town, you can see people enjoying the lively area, drinking a cup of coffee or reading a newspaper.
Watching the city has made me realize that this is the life I want to lead. Unlike in China, people in Plovdiv can enjoy life every day.
In addition to the trip, various events were organized by the International Office. One evening, a European short film event took place in the café for all Erasmus students. Short films from different countries were shown here. It was the first time that I participated in this kind of event. It made me think a lot about my current life.
Events like these can bring people together, especially in today's digital age. Another interesting event was the International Art Night on "How I learned not to worry about Bulgaria anymore but to love it". The words about life in Varna reflected my feelings. And although we were not in Germany, we also celebrated "Oktoberfest Varna".
What did you learn during this time?
First, I had the opportunity to improve my English. Before I came to Bulgaria, my English was not very good. In just half a year, I've found that my English has improved considerably.
Second, my studies. In Varna I have chosen 6 courses: Talent Management, Sales Management, Soft Management Skills, Business Communication, Online Research Methods and Innovative Marketing. At first I found it a little bit difficult. I tried to answer all the questions asked and to participate in the discussion during class. In the end, my ambition was rewarded - I received very good grades in all courses.
Third, Hochschule Anhalt. I would like to thank my university in Germany, Hochschule Anhalt. The training I received was very good, so I was consistently among the best in my classes with my performances. For example, one of the tasks in the Talent Management module was to write a 15-page term paper. Here I was able to achieve the best score.
Fourth, Erasmus. I think the Erasmus exchange program is very useful. I can say that it was a turning point for me because I got to know the culture of the country with the help of the locals. During this exchange semester, I learned to love Europe. Eating together helps overcome cultural barriers. I enjoy life abroad and in Germany. Although it was only a semester, it helped a lot. Now I have the confidence to live abroad and to visit more places and people in Germany.
Last: I also thank Prof. Dr. Cornelia Scott and Ms. Fischer for giving me this opportunity to study abroad.