Erasmus+, GO Student Ambassadors

Pegah Besyarfard

School of Law and Politics

Erasmus+ study placement

Where did you go?

Hamburg University in Germany for a year abroad.

Why did you decide to study abroad?

I was interested in being able to study and live in another country for a certain period of time and a year abroad offered the perfect opportunity to do that. By living abroad, I was able to improve my language skills as I continuously communicated with people who spoke German, and learn more about a different culture. I was also able to meet people from all over the world who were on an exchange programme too and make long-lasting friendships.

What were your top 3 highlights from your experience abroad?

  1. Being able to travel to 9 cities during my exchange year
  2. Attending the Oktoberfest
  3. Meeting Angela Merkel in Berlin

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was understanding the different, very strong accents, that German students had. I wanted to continue talking to them, so I politely asked them to repeat or rephrase sentences and talk slower. After a few weeks I got used to their accents.

How has your placement benefitted your studies or your future career?

The exchange year offered me the opportunity to gain various employable skills, such as intercultural and problem-solving skills, resilience and the ability to adapt to a new environment very quickly. I also completed various internships in Germany which is valuable work experience that I use on my applications for graduate roles in the UK.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you left?

I wish I had researched student bank debit cards in Germany sooner as the process took 3 weeks and left me without a bank card for a while.

How would you sum up your experience abroad?

“A journey worth taking.”

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