Ambassador Vlada

Hey there! My name is Vlada, I’m 19 years old and I’m an exchange student from Moscow. Currently, I study Management program at Karlshochschule.

When I found out about the opportunity to become an ambassador of the university, I decided to grasp it right away. There are many reasons for such a decision but the main one is: I got mesmerized by this place as soon as I saw it during my orientation week. The choice of studying programs is rich and diverse, the lecturers have an impressive practical experience which makes our classes as beneficial as possible. Moreover, I find the culture of feedback that flourishes here an outstanding way to reach mutual understanding between students and teachers of the uni. One of my favorite features of Karlshochschule is that this place is people-oriented. The university does its best to make students feel as comfortable as possible. All cases of discrimination are prevented, all conflicts are paid attention to, all opinions are heard and listened to. I genuinely support the mission and values of Karlshochschule and long to share them with others. Basically, this is my main motivation to become an ambassador. I want Russian (and other) students to get to know this place, gain new knowledge here, broaden their horizons and develop an open mind.

What do I expect to learn at Karlshochschule? To be honest, I don’t want to devote this paragraph to my studying program (I do want to become an event-specialist though :) ). I’m willing to be more aware – of the people who surround me, of the environment, of my own goals and mindset. Quite often I reflect on my actions – sometimes I am happy with them, sometimes I think I can do better. I want to become a more sympathetic, more independent, more mature person. I want to understand other people and to always know how to support them. I want to become more responsible for my actions and thoughts. And I feel that this place can help me do that.

If you’re looking for any sort of advice, I’d be happy to be there! Although the environment here is pretty friendly, I understand that it may be hard or overwhelming sometimes. So feel free to contact me! :)

BTW - this photo of Moscow was taken by a good friend of mine. You can find him on instagram - @teemoorkim

„The sense of community and collaborative spirit here at the Karls is sure to support you in achieving your degree and what lies beyond.“
2021/02/15
Student initiatives in Karls

I consider myself a rather sociable person so usually I try to check out all local activities I can participate in. One of the things I was surprised with most when coming to Karls was the number of initiatives it has. There you can not only find a group of people sharing same interests and ideas, but also discover an environment where you can develop your skills and knowledge on various topics. Let me walk you through all the initiatives and tell you a little bit about each one of them.

First of all, we have Hakuna Matata (sounds good, I know!) – a place when students are encouraged to interact with each other, exchange cultures and grow personally and socially. It is a safe space that can be especially comfortable for international students.

We also have KarlsStorytellers – an initiative where people get an opportunity to tell their stories in any imaginable format – articles, video blogs, podcasts and so on. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are. Even if you struggle with a new topic, editing or shooting the video, people are always here for you! It is a real opportunity to master your creative abilities.

Student Board (or STuV) consists of people representing student community of Karls. These guys gather all sorts of feedback from the students and help to make our uni a better place. It doesn’t cover just the educational side, the board also pays attention to the university facilities, events and atmosphere in general.

KarlsforFuture is a group of people who share the eagerness to care about nature, lead a sustainable lifestyle, stay green and promote these values around Karls students. They organize events and exhibitions and communicate with others on relative topics.

KarlsBeratung is another initiative and, as my german is good enough already, I know that Beratung means consultancy (just kidding, I translated in on google). Here, students of Karls who search for a way to develop their start-up or who seek a job can find potential employers. It can be especially helpful for those who just start their career without any connections.

KarlsBuddies are people who don’t let international students get lost or experience something what is known as culture shock. Personally, I had a buddy when I just arrived in Germany (and I still have – we chat from time to time which is pretty cool) and I can say that it helps you a lot! Your buddy can support you emotionally, show you the cafes with the most delicious waffles in the neighborhood, help you to buy a sim-card, exchange money and deal with some annoying bureaucracy stuff (so you won’t suffer alone!).

KarlsGamers is a place where you can play online and offline games, chill, talk to people, have fun and, moreover, learn stuff! Sometimes they call speakers from the gaming industry and listen to the lectures on Gamification processes.

If you’re into sports and soccer in particular, KarlsKickers are waiting for you! It’s a university team of soccer players which is always glad to see newcomers!

Karls is about diversity and open mind. That’s why you can feel safe when discussing various topics which excite or worry you with others. We even have a place where students come with this purpose – and that’s Voices@Karls. Questions, answers, debates, discussions, support – come and get it all here.

Guys from KarlsConcerts do a really great and hard job since they literally organize concerts by themselves. They look for the artists, locations and finances and make the uni life even brighter.

Finally, we have KarlsMUN – Model United Nations initiative. Here, students represent various countries as their delegates and speak on recent topics within their committee – that’s a place for people truly interested in politics!

So yeah, I did my best to tell you a little bit about our rich social life in Karlshochschule. I do hope that you’ll find something for yourself and won’t miss an opportunity to talk, share and develop!

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2021/01/26
Living in a student dorm

When I was planning my exchange semester, one of the questions I had to deal with was where should I live – in a student dormitory or in a shared apartment. I’ve been living in a dormitory for 4 months already and I can say that it was one of my best decisions so far. Especially during the lockdown.

To begin with, it’s relatively cheap – on average, dormitories cost less than any other type of accommodation. It doesn’t mean that conditions here are worse. On the contrary, usually you get a nice, not large yet cozy room you can organize however you want to. Apart from that, you get all necessary and not really necessary facilities which can liven your days here up. For instance, in my dormitory, we have music rooms, gyms, metal and wood workshops, photo lab and photo studio and more. Of course, we have such things as electricity, heating, bathrooms, kitchens and the internet (because we need to survive).

Besides, you meet a bunch of new people you’re going to spend lots of your time with after moving in – your neighbors. From my experience, the majority of dormitories residents tend to be really friendly and sympathetic people. I distinctly remember how lost I was on my first day in the dormitory. I didn’t have my own fridge and shelf in the kitchen yet, I didn’t know where I could do laundry and how to sort the garbage. But as soon as I got acquainted with one of my neighbors, she organized a whole excursion for me explaining and showing every detail. Now I’m making cookies for her :)

You also should know that I arrived with really poor knowledge of German. One day one of my neighbors asked me if I can speak it and I answered as always – “ein bisschen”. She switched to German, I panicked but played along. Now I can speak muuuch better thanks to this practice and it really encourages me to keep learning and speaking (but I’m still panicking a little bit though).

Finally, as you probably know, lockdown is going on in the whole Germany. We can’t travel much and we’re advised to decrease the number of people we meet every day. I am a quite sociable person so I was frustrated at first. However, soon I realized that you are not affected by the regulations that much if you live in a dormitory. I am always surrounded by people - we cook together, do puzzles, play games, sing and have fun! Dorm 1 – 0 quarantine.

As you can see, I’m having a nice experience living in a dormitory. I thoroughly recommend you consider this option while planning your exchange semester in Karls since here a lot of outstanding people and moments are waiting for you. :)

(I didn't know which photo i should attach here so look - in this one I'm drinking coffee and meeting sunrise on the rooftop of our building)

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2020/12/09
Studying abroad during the pandemic

I can honestly say that the year 2020 was the biggest irony in my entire life so far. And here’s why: studying abroad became my main goal when I was enrolled at my uni in Russia. I really wanted to see other places, to meet new people, to dive into different environments. That’s why I decided to make as much effort as possible to get this opportunity. And, you know, I tend to believe that if you’re really committed to something, if you devote your time and energy to it, it’s definitely going to pay off. But 2020 came and shook this faith and optimism even in me. Hashtag coronavirus.

All spring and summer were quite strange and uncertain. I kept on preparing for my exchange program with a fear of failure deep inside. Finally, I realized: there’s literally nothing I can do to control COVID-19 (if I could, I would, I promise :) ). So the best thing I could do was to calm down and wait.

To be honest, I’m so bad at calming down. That’s why I was still nervous at the airport and even on the plane. And only when we got through passport control in Stuttgart I managed to breathe out and smile in spite of the exhausting flight. I don’t know how, but I reached Germany in the middle of the pandemic. The feeling was mesmerizing!

That’s when I found the first advantage of the whole situation. Because of all these difficulties and stress, you learn to appreciate every good thing which happens to you. Even if it’s something small and insignificant. And it works the other way around as well – all those little troubles suddenly become not so frustrating! I hope I'm going to keep this mindset in the future.

I am not going to lie and say that my semester here turned out to be perfect. Of course, as always there are some unpleasant moments. For instance, I am a rather sociable person and attending classes physically means a lot to me. However, the main part of online classes at Karlshochschule is organized really well. And I can eat pancakes listening to the lecturers (I really love pancakes).

Due to the restrictions, it has become hard to travel around Germany now which is another important point. However, it’s still possible in case you keep social distance and wear your mask. I think these a little bit annoying, yet simple steps are definitely worth it! My friends and I have already visited a bunch of places nearby - for instance, Freiburg. I'm going to attach a photo from there since we really loved the town!

Last but not least: I can vividly remember how much I struggled while looking for accommodation in Karlsruhe for my exchange semester. The thing is, I’ve never lived in a student dormitory before. That’s why I was torn between a shared apartment and a dorm. And you know what? Going for the dorm was the best decision I could make! Here, I’m surrounded by people from different parts of the world. We chat, cook together, play games, learn funny useless phrases in various languages and throw parties (with no more than 10 people of course ;) ). So, if you are planning to spend your exchange semester in Karlsruhe, especially during the pandemic, I thoroughly recommend you living in a student dormitory!

As you can see, I do not regret spending my semester abroad in 2020 – not at all! On the contrary, I try to consider this a unique experience. And if you still have doubts as to whether you should go all the way to Karlsruhe in such a peculiar time – cast them aside and come!

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2020/03/18
Barcelona, ES

Barcelona! What a great city! I wish I could go back in time and be there again with the relatively perfect weather, warm and open-minded people and great sights, food and gastro spots. Here is a picture I took in front of the daunting Sagrada Familia on a beautiful but windy day. Here I thought that there is ever only ever construction in Germany!? Anyway, I was lucky enough to beat the outbreak of Covid19 and my trip went seamlessly. However, at the moment, most of us are camped out inside, as most people back in the US are. As I’ve been working since age 16, I always think that with too much free time, I’ll end up with cabin-fever and go insane. After not having much to do a few summers ago apart from work, I realized that boredom can be the pathway to creativity and discovery. As I’ve also learned in quite a few snowstorms, being shut inside with friends and family can sometimes drive us crazy, but we can also enjoy intimate times together playing card games, listening to music or podcasts gathered around the fireplace. Whether you have a fireplace or not (and I’m missing mine), I hope that everyone is able to make the best of an unfortunate turn of events and most importantly, I wish you and yours health and safety in these trying times. As always, feel free to message me with any questions you have about Karlsruhe, Karlshochschule or if you’d just like to have a chat!

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2021/02/15
Student initiatives in Karls

I consider myself a rather sociable person so usually I try to check out all local activities I can participate in. One of the things I was surprised with most when coming to Karls was the number of initiatives it has. There you can not only find a group of people sharing same interests and ideas, but also discover an environment where you can develop your skills and knowledge on various topics. Let me walk you through all the initiatives and tell you a little bit about each one of them.

First of all, we have Hakuna Matata (sounds good, I know!) – a place when students are encouraged to interact with each other, exchange cultures and grow personally and socially. It is a safe space that can be especially comfortable for international students.

We also have KarlsStorytellers – an initiative where people get an opportunity to tell their stories in any imaginable format – articles, video blogs, podcasts and so on. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are. Even if you struggle with a new topic, editing or shooting the video, people are always here for you! It is a real opportunity to master your creative abilities.

Student Board (or STuV) consists of people representing student community of Karls. These guys gather all sorts of feedback from the students and help to make our uni a better place. It doesn’t cover just the educational side, the board also pays attention to the university facilities, events and atmosphere in general.

KarlsforFuture is a group of people who share the eagerness to care about nature, lead a sustainable lifestyle, stay green and promote these values around Karls students. They organize events and exhibitions and communicate with others on relative topics.

KarlsBeratung is another initiative and, as my german is good enough already, I know that Beratung means consultancy (just kidding, I translated in on google). Here, students of Karls who search for a way to develop their start-up or who seek a job can find potential employers. It can be especially helpful for those who just start their career without any connections.

KarlsBuddies are people who don’t let international students get lost or experience something what is known as culture shock. Personally, I had a buddy when I just arrived in Germany (and I still have – we chat from time to time which is pretty cool) and I can say that it helps you a lot! Your buddy can support you emotionally, show you the cafes with the most delicious waffles in the neighborhood, help you to buy a sim-card, exchange money and deal with some annoying bureaucracy stuff (so you won’t suffer alone!).

KarlsGamers is a place where you can play online and offline games, chill, talk to people, have fun and, moreover, learn stuff! Sometimes they call speakers from the gaming industry and listen to the lectures on Gamification processes.

If you’re into sports and soccer in particular, KarlsKickers are waiting for you! It’s a university team of soccer players which is always glad to see newcomers!

Karls is about diversity and open mind. That’s why you can feel safe when discussing various topics which excite or worry you with others. We even have a place where students come with this purpose – and that’s Voices@Karls. Questions, answers, debates, discussions, support – come and get it all here.

Guys from KarlsConcerts do a really great and hard job since they literally organize concerts by themselves. They look for the artists, locations and finances and make the uni life even brighter.

Finally, we have KarlsMUN – Model United Nations initiative. Here, students represent various countries as their delegates and speak on recent topics within their committee – that’s a place for people truly interested in politics!

So yeah, I did my best to tell you a little bit about our rich social life in Karlshochschule. I do hope that you’ll find something for yourself and won’t miss an opportunity to talk, share and develop!

ctrl-down
2021/01/26
Living in a student dorm

When I was planning my exchange semester, one of the questions I had to deal with was where should I live – in a student dormitory or in a shared apartment. I’ve been living in a dormitory for 4 months already and I can say that it was one of my best decisions so far. Especially during the lockdown.

To begin with, it’s relatively cheap – on average, dormitories cost less than any other type of accommodation. It doesn’t mean that conditions here are worse. On the contrary, usually you get a nice, not large yet cozy room you can organize however you want to. Apart from that, you get all necessary and not really necessary facilities which can liven your days here up. For instance, in my dormitory, we have music rooms, gyms, metal and wood workshops, photo lab and photo studio and more. Of course, we have such things as electricity, heating, bathrooms, kitchens and the internet (because we need to survive).

Besides, you meet a bunch of new people you’re going to spend lots of your time with after moving in – your neighbors. From my experience, the majority of dormitories residents tend to be really friendly and sympathetic people. I distinctly remember how lost I was on my first day in the dormitory. I didn’t have my own fridge and shelf in the kitchen yet, I didn’t know where I could do laundry and how to sort the garbage. But as soon as I got acquainted with one of my neighbors, she organized a whole excursion for me explaining and showing every detail. Now I’m making cookies for her :)

You also should know that I arrived with really poor knowledge of German. One day one of my neighbors asked me if I can speak it and I answered as always – “ein bisschen”. She switched to German, I panicked but played along. Now I can speak muuuch better thanks to this practice and it really encourages me to keep learning and speaking (but I’m still panicking a little bit though).

Finally, as you probably know, lockdown is going on in the whole Germany. We can’t travel much and we’re advised to decrease the number of people we meet every day. I am a quite sociable person so I was frustrated at first. However, soon I realized that you are not affected by the regulations that much if you live in a dormitory. I am always surrounded by people - we cook together, do puzzles, play games, sing and have fun! Dorm 1 – 0 quarantine.

As you can see, I’m having a nice experience living in a dormitory. I thoroughly recommend you consider this option while planning your exchange semester in Karls since here a lot of outstanding people and moments are waiting for you. :)

(I didn't know which photo i should attach here so look - in this one I'm drinking coffee and meeting sunrise on the rooftop of our building)

ctrl-down
2020/12/09
Studying abroad during the pandemic

I can honestly say that the year 2020 was the biggest irony in my entire life so far. And here’s why: studying abroad became my main goal when I was enrolled at my uni in Russia. I really wanted to see other places, to meet new people, to dive into different environments. That’s why I decided to make as much effort as possible to get this opportunity. And, you know, I tend to believe that if you’re really committed to something, if you devote your time and energy to it, it’s definitely going to pay off. But 2020 came and shook this faith and optimism even in me. Hashtag coronavirus.

All spring and summer were quite strange and uncertain. I kept on preparing for my exchange program with a fear of failure deep inside. Finally, I realized: there’s literally nothing I can do to control COVID-19 (if I could, I would, I promise :) ). So the best thing I could do was to calm down and wait.

To be honest, I’m so bad at calming down. That’s why I was still nervous at the airport and even on the plane. And only when we got through passport control in Stuttgart I managed to breathe out and smile in spite of the exhausting flight. I don’t know how, but I reached Germany in the middle of the pandemic. The feeling was mesmerizing!

That’s when I found the first advantage of the whole situation. Because of all these difficulties and stress, you learn to appreciate every good thing which happens to you. Even if it’s something small and insignificant. And it works the other way around as well – all those little troubles suddenly become not so frustrating! I hope I'm going to keep this mindset in the future.

I am not going to lie and say that my semester here turned out to be perfect. Of course, as always there are some unpleasant moments. For instance, I am a rather sociable person and attending classes physically means a lot to me. However, the main part of online classes at Karlshochschule is organized really well. And I can eat pancakes listening to the lecturers (I really love pancakes).

Due to the restrictions, it has become hard to travel around Germany now which is another important point. However, it’s still possible in case you keep social distance and wear your mask. I think these a little bit annoying, yet simple steps are definitely worth it! My friends and I have already visited a bunch of places nearby - for instance, Freiburg. I'm going to attach a photo from there since we really loved the town!

Last but not least: I can vividly remember how much I struggled while looking for accommodation in Karlsruhe for my exchange semester. The thing is, I’ve never lived in a student dormitory before. That’s why I was torn between a shared apartment and a dorm. And you know what? Going for the dorm was the best decision I could make! Here, I’m surrounded by people from different parts of the world. We chat, cook together, play games, learn funny useless phrases in various languages and throw parties (with no more than 10 people of course ;) ). So, if you are planning to spend your exchange semester in Karlsruhe, especially during the pandemic, I thoroughly recommend you living in a student dormitory!

As you can see, I do not regret spending my semester abroad in 2020 – not at all! On the contrary, I try to consider this a unique experience. And if you still have doubts as to whether you should go all the way to Karlsruhe in such a peculiar time – cast them aside and come!

ctrl-down
2020/03/18
Barcelona, ES

Barcelona! What a great city! I wish I could go back in time and be there again with the relatively perfect weather, warm and open-minded people and great sights, food and gastro spots. Here is a picture I took in front of the daunting Sagrada Familia on a beautiful but windy day. Here I thought that there is ever only ever construction in Germany!? Anyway, I was lucky enough to beat the outbreak of Covid19 and my trip went seamlessly. However, at the moment, most of us are camped out inside, as most people back in the US are. As I’ve been working since age 16, I always think that with too much free time, I’ll end up with cabin-fever and go insane. After not having much to do a few summers ago apart from work, I realized that boredom can be the pathway to creativity and discovery. As I’ve also learned in quite a few snowstorms, being shut inside with friends and family can sometimes drive us crazy, but we can also enjoy intimate times together playing card games, listening to music or podcasts gathered around the fireplace. Whether you have a fireplace or not (and I’m missing mine), I hope that everyone is able to make the best of an unfortunate turn of events and most importantly, I wish you and yours health and safety in these trying times. As always, feel free to message me with any questions you have about Karlsruhe, Karlshochschule or if you’d just like to have a chat!

ctrl-down
2021/02/15
Student initiatives in Karls

I consider myself a rather sociable person so usually I try to check out all local activities I can participate in. One of the things I was surprised with most when coming to Karls was the number of initiatives it has. There you can not only find a group of people sharing same interests and ideas, but also discover an environment where you can develop your skills and knowledge on various topics. Let me walk you through all the initiatives and tell you a little bit about each one of them.

First of all, we have Hakuna Matata (sounds good, I know!) – a place when students are encouraged to interact with each other, exchange cultures and grow personally and socially. It is a safe space that can be especially comfortable for international students.

We also have KarlsStorytellers – an initiative where people get an opportunity to tell their stories in any imaginable format – articles, video blogs, podcasts and so on. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are. Even if you struggle with a new topic, editing or shooting the video, people are always here for you! It is a real opportunity to master your creative abilities.

Student Board (or STuV) consists of people representing student community of Karls. These guys gather all sorts of feedback from the students and help to make our uni a better place. It doesn’t cover just the educational side, the board also pays attention to the university facilities, events and atmosphere in general.

KarlsforFuture is a group of people who share the eagerness to care about nature, lead a sustainable lifestyle, stay green and promote these values around Karls students. They organize events and exhibitions and communicate with others on relative topics.

KarlsBeratung is another initiative and, as my german is good enough already, I know that Beratung means consultancy (just kidding, I translated in on google). Here, students of Karls who search for a way to develop their start-up or who seek a job can find potential employers. It can be especially helpful for those who just start their career without any connections.

KarlsBuddies are people who don’t let international students get lost or experience something what is known as culture shock. Personally, I had a buddy when I just arrived in Germany (and I still have – we chat from time to time which is pretty cool) and I can say that it helps you a lot! Your buddy can support you emotionally, show you the cafes with the most delicious waffles in the neighborhood, help you to buy a sim-card, exchange money and deal with some annoying bureaucracy stuff (so you won’t suffer alone!).

KarlsGamers is a place where you can play online and offline games, chill, talk to people, have fun and, moreover, learn stuff! Sometimes they call speakers from the gaming industry and listen to the lectures on Gamification processes.

If you’re into sports and soccer in particular, KarlsKickers are waiting for you! It’s a university team of soccer players which is always glad to see newcomers!

Karls is about diversity and open mind. That’s why you can feel safe when discussing various topics which excite or worry you with others. We even have a place where students come with this purpose – and that’s Voices@Karls. Questions, answers, debates, discussions, support – come and get it all here.

Guys from KarlsConcerts do a really great and hard job since they literally organize concerts by themselves. They look for the artists, locations and finances and make the uni life even brighter.

Finally, we have KarlsMUN – Model United Nations initiative. Here, students represent various countries as their delegates and speak on recent topics within their committee – that’s a place for people truly interested in politics!

So yeah, I did my best to tell you a little bit about our rich social life in Karlshochschule. I do hope that you’ll find something for yourself and won’t miss an opportunity to talk, share and develop!

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2020/03/06
Diversity of Food in Germany - Karlsruhe

Bubble tea! It might not be for everyone, but I’m sure there’s one Asian restaurant in Karlsruhe that you’ll enjoy! When you consider the waves of immigration to Germany, it’s not a surprise that there’s tons of great Asian, Syrian and Turkish restaurants and grocery stores to be discovered. Instead of going out for a Schnitzel and Apfelschorle (sparkling apple juice), why not change it up and discover something new with one of the other options in Karlsruhe!? Of course, this comes with fewer Jamaican and Mexican and Central/South American options which I always miss, but after a semester or internship abroad, you might find yourself missing at least one of the restaurants in Karlsruhe, like I did. Be sure to contact me or one of the other KarlsAmbassadors if you are curious about the local restaurants and tasty spots in Karlsruhe! I look forward to hearing from you!

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2020/02/03
Karl's Market Place - Karlshochschule

That’s me at the Karl’s Semester Abroad Market Place! I was happy to participate despite the ongoing, somewhat hectic search for an internship! It was great to talk to a few of the Foundation Year, 1st and 3rd semester students not only about Lithuania, but also about how I came to decide on Lithuania. While I had visited quite a few of the western European countries, I had my curiosities about the lifestyle and values in some of the northern and eastern countries, perhaps since I come from the northeast of my country!? It has been great to regroup with a few fellow Karl’s students, discussing exciting prospects of internships, interesting experiences during semester abroad as well as where we’ll work and live, after studies (eventually) finish up. Now is when everything we have learned in class starts to manifest into reality and gradually carry over into our daily work lives. Not only has my experience at Karl’s influenced my work life, but also the decision to stay in Europe (at least for the near future) and has further shaped my worldview. Education has always been an ongoing journey, one that I don’t plan to stop after graduation and Karl’s has fuelled my thirst for adventure and exploration, especially of different theories and cultures. Stay tuned as I delve into my sixth semester!

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2020/01/23
Being an Expat in DE and LT(part 3)

Finally, back to Germany to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, well I guess not any blood family, for that matter, but it feels like my home-base/family in Europe. I was anxious to get back and see everyone for the holiday and to continue on the same topic of being an American in Europe, in this case, Germany specifically, I wanted to talk a bit about the holidays here.

This year, I had the pleasure and privilege of celebrating the holiday with my girlfriends family, which made for a genuine Badisch cultural experience! Since it’s generally tradition in many Catholic regions to eat fish on Christmas eve, Baden-Wurttemberg being one of them, we had salmon and then some traditional meat dishes such as duck and roulade(pickle and bacon rolled up in beef slabs and then broiled) on the following two days of Christmas. In Germany, both the 25th and 26th are Christmas days. Christmas gifts are generally opened on Christmas Eve as in most of Europe (to my knowledge). Quite a few people asked me how I liked the holidays in Germany, and I found it pretty similar to the US, since there is plenty of good food and games and it’s a great time to relax with family. Of course, not everyone celebrates Christmas, but even if you don’t, some of the traditions can be curious to learn about!

For New Years eve, there is of course bubbly to drink, normally raclette at the table and fireworks fill the streets!

Enough of the holiday, back to the complexities of being an American in Germany! While there is definitely a level of entitlement from the American corner, as the current German constitution took some direction from the American Constitution and the US was in charge of helping a section of Germany to get back on its feet after the war, the general attitude of both nationalities is pretty friendly and welcoming on both soils, regardless what each might think of one another’s culture or politicians. Of course, in every population, there’s always people who aren’t quite so well-read and blindly use stereotypes as a blanket statement.

Another complexity in Germany is the language. In the inner-city, most people can speak high German and/or English, but there are many regional dialects and if the people can’t speak even a bit of high German, communication can get complicated. As much as people might tell you to just focus on learning high German, learning a few of the regional greetings and sayings can put a smile on peoples face and show them that you are making an effort to integrate.

If you still have questions about other areas of daily life here, are concerned about paperwork or just flat-out disagree with what I have to say, please drop me a line or a letter! I’m anxious to hear from you! Otherwise, Happy New Year!

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2021/02/15
Student initiatives in Karls

I consider myself a rather sociable person so usually I try to check out all local activities I can participate in. One of the things I was surprised with most when coming to Karls was the number of initiatives it has. There you can not only find a group of people sharing same interests and ideas, but also discover an environment where you can develop your skills and knowledge on various topics. Let me walk you through all the initiatives and tell you a little bit about each one of them.

First of all, we have Hakuna Matata (sounds good, I know!) – a place when students are encouraged to interact with each other, exchange cultures and grow personally and socially. It is a safe space that can be especially comfortable for international students.

We also have KarlsStorytellers – an initiative where people get an opportunity to tell their stories in any imaginable format – articles, video blogs, podcasts and so on. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are. Even if you struggle with a new topic, editing or shooting the video, people are always here for you! It is a real opportunity to master your creative abilities.

Student Board (or STuV) consists of people representing student community of Karls. These guys gather all sorts of feedback from the students and help to make our uni a better place. It doesn’t cover just the educational side, the board also pays attention to the university facilities, events and atmosphere in general.

KarlsforFuture is a group of people who share the eagerness to care about nature, lead a sustainable lifestyle, stay green and promote these values around Karls students. They organize events and exhibitions and communicate with others on relative topics.

KarlsBeratung is another initiative and, as my german is good enough already, I know that Beratung means consultancy (just kidding, I translated in on google). Here, students of Karls who search for a way to develop their start-up or who seek a job can find potential employers. It can be especially helpful for those who just start their career without any connections.

KarlsBuddies are people who don’t let international students get lost or experience something what is known as culture shock. Personally, I had a buddy when I just arrived in Germany (and I still have – we chat from time to time which is pretty cool) and I can say that it helps you a lot! Your buddy can support you emotionally, show you the cafes with the most delicious waffles in the neighborhood, help you to buy a sim-card, exchange money and deal with some annoying bureaucracy stuff (so you won’t suffer alone!).

KarlsGamers is a place where you can play online and offline games, chill, talk to people, have fun and, moreover, learn stuff! Sometimes they call speakers from the gaming industry and listen to the lectures on Gamification processes.

If you’re into sports and soccer in particular, KarlsKickers are waiting for you! It’s a university team of soccer players which is always glad to see newcomers!

Karls is about diversity and open mind. That’s why you can feel safe when discussing various topics which excite or worry you with others. We even have a place where students come with this purpose – and that’s Voices@Karls. Questions, answers, debates, discussions, support – come and get it all here.

Guys from KarlsConcerts do a really great and hard job since they literally organize concerts by themselves. They look for the artists, locations and finances and make the uni life even brighter.

Finally, we have KarlsMUN – Model United Nations initiative. Here, students represent various countries as their delegates and speak on recent topics within their committee – that’s a place for people truly interested in politics!

So yeah, I did my best to tell you a little bit about our rich social life in Karlshochschule. I do hope that you’ll find something for yourself and won’t miss an opportunity to talk, share and develop!

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2020/03/18
Barcelona, ES

Barcelona! What a great city! I wish I could go back in time and be there again with the relatively perfect weather, warm and open-minded people and great sights, food and gastro spots. Here is a picture I took in front of the daunting Sagrada Familia on a beautiful but windy day. Here I thought that there is ever only ever construction in Germany!? Anyway, I was lucky enough to beat the outbreak of Covid19 and my trip went seamlessly. However, at the moment, most of us are camped out inside, as most people back in the US are. As I’ve been working since age 16, I always think that with too much free time, I’ll end up with cabin-fever and go insane. After not having much to do a few summers ago apart from work, I realized that boredom can be the pathway to creativity and discovery. As I’ve also learned in quite a few snowstorms, being shut inside with friends and family can sometimes drive us crazy, but we can also enjoy intimate times together playing card games, listening to music or podcasts gathered around the fireplace. Whether you have a fireplace or not (and I’m missing mine), I hope that everyone is able to make the best of an unfortunate turn of events and most importantly, I wish you and yours health and safety in these trying times. As always, feel free to message me with any questions you have about Karlsruhe, Karlshochschule or if you’d just like to have a chat!

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2020/03/06
Diversity of Food in Germany - Karlsruhe

Bubble tea! It might not be for everyone, but I’m sure there’s one Asian restaurant in Karlsruhe that you’ll enjoy! When you consider the waves of immigration to Germany, it’s not a surprise that there’s tons of great Asian, Syrian and Turkish restaurants and grocery stores to be discovered. Instead of going out for a Schnitzel and Apfelschorle (sparkling apple juice), why not change it up and discover something new with one of the other options in Karlsruhe!? Of course, this comes with fewer Jamaican and Mexican and Central/South American options which I always miss, but after a semester or internship abroad, you might find yourself missing at least one of the restaurants in Karlsruhe, like I did. Be sure to contact me or one of the other KarlsAmbassadors if you are curious about the local restaurants and tasty spots in Karlsruhe! I look forward to hearing from you!

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2020/02/03
Karl's Market Place - Karlshochschule

That’s me at the Karl’s Semester Abroad Market Place! I was happy to participate despite the ongoing, somewhat hectic search for an internship! It was great to talk to a few of the Foundation Year, 1st and 3rd semester students not only about Lithuania, but also about how I came to decide on Lithuania. While I had visited quite a few of the western European countries, I had my curiosities about the lifestyle and values in some of the northern and eastern countries, perhaps since I come from the northeast of my country!? It has been great to regroup with a few fellow Karl’s students, discussing exciting prospects of internships, interesting experiences during semester abroad as well as where we’ll work and live, after studies (eventually) finish up. Now is when everything we have learned in class starts to manifest into reality and gradually carry over into our daily work lives. Not only has my experience at Karl’s influenced my work life, but also the decision to stay in Europe (at least for the near future) and has further shaped my worldview. Education has always been an ongoing journey, one that I don’t plan to stop after graduation and Karl’s has fuelled my thirst for adventure and exploration, especially of different theories and cultures. Stay tuned as I delve into my sixth semester!

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2021/02/15
Student initiatives in Karls

I consider myself a rather sociable person so usually I try to check out all local activities I can participate in. One of the things I was surprised with most when coming to Karls was the number of initiatives it has. There you can not only find a group of people sharing same interests and ideas, but also discover an environment where you can develop your skills and knowledge on various topics. Let me walk you through all the initiatives and tell you a little bit about each one of them.

First of all, we have Hakuna Matata (sounds good, I know!) – a place when students are encouraged to interact with each other, exchange cultures and grow personally and socially. It is a safe space that can be especially comfortable for international students.

We also have KarlsStorytellers – an initiative where people get an opportunity to tell their stories in any imaginable format – articles, video blogs, podcasts and so on. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are. Even if you struggle with a new topic, editing or shooting the video, people are always here for you! It is a real opportunity to master your creative abilities.

Student Board (or STuV) consists of people representing student community of Karls. These guys gather all sorts of feedback from the students and help to make our uni a better place. It doesn’t cover just the educational side, the board also pays attention to the university facilities, events and atmosphere in general.

KarlsforFuture is a group of people who share the eagerness to care about nature, lead a sustainable lifestyle, stay green and promote these values around Karls students. They organize events and exhibitions and communicate with others on relative topics.

KarlsBeratung is another initiative and, as my german is good enough already, I know that Beratung means consultancy (just kidding, I translated in on google). Here, students of Karls who search for a way to develop their start-up or who seek a job can find potential employers. It can be especially helpful for those who just start their career without any connections.

KarlsBuddies are people who don’t let international students get lost or experience something what is known as culture shock. Personally, I had a buddy when I just arrived in Germany (and I still have – we chat from time to time which is pretty cool) and I can say that it helps you a lot! Your buddy can support you emotionally, show you the cafes with the most delicious waffles in the neighborhood, help you to buy a sim-card, exchange money and deal with some annoying bureaucracy stuff (so you won’t suffer alone!).

KarlsGamers is a place where you can play online and offline games, chill, talk to people, have fun and, moreover, learn stuff! Sometimes they call speakers from the gaming industry and listen to the lectures on Gamification processes.

If you’re into sports and soccer in particular, KarlsKickers are waiting for you! It’s a university team of soccer players which is always glad to see newcomers!

Karls is about diversity and open mind. That’s why you can feel safe when discussing various topics which excite or worry you with others. We even have a place where students come with this purpose – and that’s Voices@Karls. Questions, answers, debates, discussions, support – come and get it all here.

Guys from KarlsConcerts do a really great and hard job since they literally organize concerts by themselves. They look for the artists, locations and finances and make the uni life even brighter.

Finally, we have KarlsMUN – Model United Nations initiative. Here, students represent various countries as their delegates and speak on recent topics within their committee – that’s a place for people truly interested in politics!

So yeah, I did my best to tell you a little bit about our rich social life in Karlshochschule. I do hope that you’ll find something for yourself and won’t miss an opportunity to talk, share and develop!

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2020/02/03
Karl's Market Place - Karlshochschule

That’s me at the Karl’s Semester Abroad Market Place! I was happy to participate despite the ongoing, somewhat hectic search for an internship! It was great to talk to a few of the Foundation Year, 1st and 3rd semester students not only about Lithuania, but also about how I came to decide on Lithuania. While I had visited quite a few of the western European countries, I had my curiosities about the lifestyle and values in some of the northern and eastern countries, perhaps since I come from the northeast of my country!? It has been great to regroup with a few fellow Karl’s students, discussing exciting prospects of internships, interesting experiences during semester abroad as well as where we’ll work and live, after studies (eventually) finish up. Now is when everything we have learned in class starts to manifest into reality and gradually carry over into our daily work lives. Not only has my experience at Karl’s influenced my work life, but also the decision to stay in Europe (at least for the near future) and has further shaped my worldview. Education has always been an ongoing journey, one that I don’t plan to stop after graduation and Karl’s has fuelled my thirst for adventure and exploration, especially of different theories and cultures. Stay tuned as I delve into my sixth semester!

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2020/01/23
Being an Expat in DE and LT(part 3)

Finally, back to Germany to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, well I guess not any blood family, for that matter, but it feels like my home-base/family in Europe. I was anxious to get back and see everyone for the holiday and to continue on the same topic of being an American in Europe, in this case, Germany specifically, I wanted to talk a bit about the holidays here.

This year, I had the pleasure and privilege of celebrating the holiday with my girlfriends family, which made for a genuine Badisch cultural experience! Since it’s generally tradition in many Catholic regions to eat fish on Christmas eve, Baden-Wurttemberg being one of them, we had salmon and then some traditional meat dishes such as duck and roulade(pickle and bacon rolled up in beef slabs and then broiled) on the following two days of Christmas. In Germany, both the 25th and 26th are Christmas days. Christmas gifts are generally opened on Christmas Eve as in most of Europe (to my knowledge). Quite a few people asked me how I liked the holidays in Germany, and I found it pretty similar to the US, since there is plenty of good food and games and it’s a great time to relax with family. Of course, not everyone celebrates Christmas, but even if you don’t, some of the traditions can be curious to learn about!

For New Years eve, there is of course bubbly to drink, normally raclette at the table and fireworks fill the streets!

Enough of the holiday, back to the complexities of being an American in Germany! While there is definitely a level of entitlement from the American corner, as the current German constitution took some direction from the American Constitution and the US was in charge of helping a section of Germany to get back on its feet after the war, the general attitude of both nationalities is pretty friendly and welcoming on both soils, regardless what each might think of one another’s culture or politicians. Of course, in every population, there’s always people who aren’t quite so well-read and blindly use stereotypes as a blanket statement.

Another complexity in Germany is the language. In the inner-city, most people can speak high German and/or English, but there are many regional dialects and if the people can’t speak even a bit of high German, communication can get complicated. As much as people might tell you to just focus on learning high German, learning a few of the regional greetings and sayings can put a smile on peoples face and show them that you are making an effort to integrate.

If you still have questions about other areas of daily life here, are concerned about paperwork or just flat-out disagree with what I have to say, please drop me a line or a letter! I’m anxious to hear from you! Otherwise, Happy New Year!

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2019/12/05
Being an expat in LT and DE (part 2)

Being an American expat in Lithuania has been much different from my experience in Germany.
Seeing how Germany is the country with the most American expats in the world, there has
already been a chance for a very strong stereotype of Americans to take hold. America’s role
regarding international relations also plays a large role in how people in Lithuania regard
Americans.

After the end of USSR occupation in Lithuania, the US served as a sort of role model as to how
a modern and current western country could look or be like. While the culture quickly changed
to pursuing “freedom” and the American dream of buying your own house on your own land with
a big SUV to drive, the social culture in Lithuania remains what foreigners would describe as
“cold” or “reserved”. However, it isn’t just foreigners that would describe it this way, I have also
heard my teachers describe how they prefer a culture where you aren’t required to smile at
people you don’t know or talk to the person ringing out your groceries, as they find this
expectation exhausting. At times, or at least at first, it’s difficult not to take these standoffish
interactions personally, but if you take a second to consider the motivation and culture driving
these gestures, you realize you might be just as tired as they are of (at times) forcing a smile.

When I tell someone that I’m American, their general reaction is to ask where I’m from and they
tell me where they’ve been or where they have relatives in the states. People are generally
distrusting or suspicious of their neighbor in Lithuania, and reasonably so, having undergone a
long occupation by the USSR, but once they hear where I’m from they’re generally warm and
welcoming, trying to relate and asking what brings me to their quaint little country.

Being a smaller country that is underrepresented, people are much more likely to want to be
friends and make connections and also are quite reserved. These observations are of course
based on my own perceptions and interactions, where I’ve mainly only spent time in the city of
Vilnius and I’m sure my perception would be different were I spending more time in the country
where there are next to no foreign people visiting or living.

I hope this answers some questions about my experience and if you get the chance, definitely
come up to the Baltics and make some friends! Please write me if you have further questions or
disagree with my opinions! =)

Picture is at the Vilnius Christmas Market!

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The Karls-People

In Germany, students call each other ‘Kommilitonen’ – this is based on a Latin term that means something like ‘fellow combatants’. And that’s exactly how it really is: At Karls, I feel like I'm surrounded by people who are working for the same things and want to stand up for what’s right together. The professors, staff and other students are inspired by the idea of creating something bigger – committed to the environment, sustainability and a better world. That's why I don’t feel like there are any hierarchies here. I can chat with my professors as easily as with my roommate. I can confidently say: The people here are the ones who have made Karlsruhe a second home for me.

The Karls-Philosophy

Karls has developed its own constructivist philosophy and didactics. The exact wording can be found on karlshochschule.de. But I can tell you in my own words how this philosophy feels to me and how it has become tangible in my life. Put briefly: At Karls, I can let myself and my ideas blossom. I can incorporate my knowledge, my ideals and my expectations and deepen them in a lively dialogue with my fellow students. My ideas are taken seriously here – I learn from my professors, of course, but my professors also learn from me. Instead of a strict curriculum and tons of theoretical knowledge, at Karls, I am given a wide range of information that I can structure however I want, and many opportunities to try it out in practice.

The Karls-Education

When I arrive at Karls in the morning, I overhear scraps of conversation between my classmates in English, German, French, Spanish and many other languages. It is precisely this open intercultural exchange that also shapes the experience of studying at Karls. Here, it’s totally normal for your course of study to cross the boundaries between disciplines. For example, it’s simply a matter of course for economists to be concerned with topics such as sustainability, environmental conservation and social justice. Conversely, sociologists at Karls are developing business models that will change the way we understand management. There’s no question that the idea of a language barrier is unimportant at the Karlshochschule. Most of the courses take place in English, and learning German is on the curriculum from day one.

Management

What should our future look like? How do we want to manage tomorrow? In the Management degree program, you will learn to take responsibility for a complex world in which negotiating skills are just as important as understanding and empathy. The pop-up menu gives you more information about your specialization options.

International Business

If you do not want to conceive of economics merely as a game of numbers, but instead want to understand and apply economic questions in an intercultural context, then you’ve come to the right place. You can design your own course of studies and specialize in three different areas.

Society

The world needs not only doers, but also thinkers. People who write the rules of the future and act as protagonists on the international political and economic stage. In these four courses of study in the field of ‘Society’, you’ll get exactly the know-how you need.

Management (M.A.)

The reality of economics and business is negotiated again and again between those involved in it. There are no universal truths, but rather well-functioning viewpoints. This is exactly what the course of studies conveys: Here, students and teachers work together on cultural and social science topics and apply them to management practice.

Spezialisierungen

Would you like to enter the creative industry or set up your own start-up? Do you want to make a difference in the political system of your country or, as the person in charge of an NGO, foster social change? Whatever your vision is: The Master's program offers you six different specializations from which you can choose two – so you can tailor your studies to your exact goals.

„The interconnectedness of modules within and across semesters is stunning. This Master’s is definitively about ‚Rethinking Management‘ and requires engagement on the brink of my comfort zone.“

Mischa Burmester,

Alumnus Master of Management

Conditions

At Karls, we know that grades are not everything. Here, what counts above all is a person’s commitment and the values that define them – and that cannot be measured. The most important thing about your online application is therefore your letter of motivation. This is your chance to show us who you are and why you are a good fit for Karls. Karls is an officially accredited university and must adhere to the rules of the German registration authorities in the application process: Therefore, another prerequisite is a recognized secondary-school degree in Germany.

Help Center

I've put together a bunch of PDFs for most countries on the South American continent. Here you will find a step-by-step checklist for your journey to Karls – from your letter of motivation to how to apply for grants and scholarships and even the application form for a visa. Also, the exact requirements for your education are in the PDF for your country or your region. In addition, you will find in the PDF the contact details of the most important contact persons, e.g. your consulate or embassy. If at any point you feel unsure – don’t worry: I'm here for you.

Download PDF
International Foundation Year

Are you thinking ‘Karls is exactly what I want for my life’, but unfortunately are missing the appropriate degree? Maybe you also have a very good school diploma, but it is not recognized by the German registration authorities? Don’t despair! Many of my fellow students once felt the same way. The solution for you might be the Foundation Year: Within a year, you will learn all the necessary content and then take an exam. This means you’ll meet the admission requirements and can enrol at Karls. Wondering if a Foundation Year is also for you? Write to me and I'll explain everything else, including where and when you can do it.

Do you have further questions about Karls or your studies? Then just write me. I will be at your side with words and deeds and look forward to hear from you.

Karls-FAQ

https://karlshochschule.de/en/faq/

Ambassador (by me)

While German is always useful, you can easily get away without speaking German. All bachelors students are required to take German, but for Master’s students, it isn’t compulsory(but highly recommended!).

There are many different expat clubs in Karlsruhe to meet and network with people. I would be happy to recommend cafes and pubs that are especially international and friendly.

The student visa allows you to work a maximum of 120 full days or 240 half days a year. In Germany, there are mini jobs which pay 450€ per month, untaxed, normally at 16 hours per week, depending on the job. If you earn more than 450€, you will need to pay taxes on the amount that exceeds 450€, a part of which you will be able to get back at the end of your studies by filing.

Try to network as much as possible and keep an open mind regarding a job. It’s relatively easy to find a job as a bike courier whereas it might be a bit more difficult to find a job as a bartender or waiter/waitress. Most of these jobs require service industry level German, which is quite easy to pick up. From my personal standpoint, I would add that I have made a lot of friends outside of university through my job, so it's a great way to branch out into the community. 

From Karlsruhe, which is basically smack dab in the center of Europe, there are many means of transportation to get you wherever you wish. With budget airlines offering flights as low as 5€, trains leading everywhere, budget bus lines and carsharing apps, it makes it easy to travel and meet family and friends in Europe. Most other students are also interested in traveling and can usually recommend cheap and easy ways to get just about anywhere. To get an idea, Karlsruhe is 45 minutes from the Black Forest, 15 minutes from the french border and here is a short list of distances to nearest major cities:

 

From

Cities

Distance (km)

Time by Train

Karlsruhe

Stuttgart

80

40 minutes

Karlsruhe

Frankfurt

142

1 hour 15 minutes

Karlsruhe

Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

235

2 hours 45 minutes

Karlsruhe

Zurich 

270

3 hours

Karlsruhe

Munchen (Munich)

291

3 hours

Karlsruhe

Paris 

556

5 hours