Going on exchange is a big decision. There’s a lot of planning that goes into the entire process, and there’s even more after you get accepted. The stress involved with applying for a visa and searching for places to stay made me apprehensive about studying overseas. I doubted myself and second-guessed my choices. All that initial fear has disappeared. Going abroad has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
The Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) is a small university in a small town called Schwäbisch Gmünd. At the HfG, exchange students are permitted to choose subjects from different disciplines. This semester I entered a ceramics course (which is part of product design), this being a thing I’ve always wanted to try. The exchange student group is relatively close and plan many events such as dinners, drinks and hikes. As a result, you can bond with everyone in the group – you’ll always have a friend.
Schwäbisch Gmünd is a beautiful place, one that I would never have visited if not for exchange. The European landscape is so different to the Australia bush and I am constantly in awe of the scenery and environment. Like Sydney, the weather changes drastically. This morning I woke up to the sight of the city covered in blanket of snow while the week before, it was warm and sunny.
The school and shops are within walking distance. It’s easy to get around, and there’s a river that runs through the city that is home to ducks and swans. Schwäbisch Gmünd is so small that the chances are, you’ll be living with other students from the HfG. This size facilitates a feeling of intimacy and family which I find very comforting.
I always knew that Germans drank a lot of beer. Only coming here and joining in on the German drinking culture, have I realised how big it is. In some places, water is more expensive than beer. On Sunday, like most European cities, the shops are closed. You can go on a ‘Spazierengehen’ (a stroll), cook food with friends or stay at home. The first two weeks in Gmünd have been eventful and positive. Hope this good trajectory continues!
Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication
Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd (University of Design Schwaebisch Gmuend)