After planning for exchange for over one year, I thought the day of departure would never come. Yet in a blink of an eye, three weeks of exchange has swiftly flown by, and each day brings forward a new lens to how I view the world.
Three weeks in and I’ve been able to meet my group of Erasmus students, and it blew my mind how many cultures and languages were all in one room when we first met (there were people from Italy, USA, Finland, New Zealand, China, Canada, England, Israel…the list goes on). Together we were able to settle into this tiny quaint town of Schwäbisch Gmünd quickly.
Despite this little country town not having much, everything is very centralised – all the necessities are in one place, and everything is walking distance. This small neighbourhood is distinctly recognisable with houses being distinctively European, and much of it has been well preserved as this whole town was left untouched during WWII. As a result, the view that this town brings is not even remotely comparable to Sydney’s. Something notably different from Sydney is that all stores are closed on Sunday – a little inconvenient, but I’m mostly getting used to this.
The Erasmus team in HfG have been absolutely outstanding in introducing us to the beautiful university and to one another – there’s always an event on to make sure we’re really getting to know each other well. We have also been blessed to be doing a semester in the Summer, as Germany has an incredibly amount of public holidays – I guess it’s more days to travel around Europe for me!
The weather has also been incredibly cold for a person who craves for summer. I used to be almost knocked out by Sydney’s winter, but now that I’m here in Gmünd I feel like I’m constantly living in a freezer. I always pile on layer after layer, but when nightfalls my body shivers even more against the cold winds blowing against my face.
It didn’t hit me how brilliant HfG was until we had a tour there – the facilities were absolutely amazing, and it was incredibly how they could have a commercial size photo studio that is incredibly well equipped for students to readily utilise.
All in all, I am looking forward to when the classes with the local students officially start – I am curious as to how it’ll work, and how the barrier of communication can be overcome with both the professor and German students.
By Angel Cheung (98062654)
Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication
Exchange Partner University: Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd (Germany)