It is known that studying abroad allow students to enhance their intercultural skills, their language and the development of their capacity to understand their new surroundings, by giving them new tools that will help to strengthen and improve their academic formation and to behave correctly not only in daily activities but also in the professional field. In particular, the engineering students could increase their knowledge in their specific field of study because they could be in contact with new equipment and to learn novel techniques, which in their home university would not be possible. However, despite the well-known advantages, each student has to take the opportunity that it was given and use it in the best way possible.
During my studies as a Material Engineer in the National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina, I obtained a scholarship from Germany to spend 1 year in this country with the aim of attending to lectures and doing my “Master Arbeit” and an internship. In my opinion, this was one of the most enriching experiences that I have, both from a personal and professional point of view.
Nowadays, I become a PhD student and I am living in Germany for second time in the same city. After almost a year, from my experience, I support the idea that everything depends on the student and how he or she is involved in the new culture and work environment. Be a part of an investigation group in which everyone speaks another language and have a different culture, is a challenge that I would have to overcome every day because I am the one that have to understand how this new world work and not the other way around.
In this lecture, I will speak about these two expressed before experiences living in Germany and why they have been so different, in order to stimulate the students to absorb and acquire the main characteristics of the people around them when they are abroad.