Nhung Vo

My name is Nhung. Currently I am first-semester student from Master of Management program at Karlshochschule. My journey with Karlshochschule has indirectly started 4 years ago (2015) when I got a sponsorship to participate the Karlshochschule Summer Academy for 2 weeks. To learn, to live and to experience the Karls intercultural environment is one of the strongest reasons encouraging me to apply for the Master of Management Program. 

2019/12/05
Weihnachtsmarkt!

Christmas is in the AIR! So this is my second Christmas in Germany. And someone said: “Nobody in Germany should come and leave Germany without a visit to one of the Christmas markets” – Yes. Christmas Market German-Style is a-thing you should not miss. 😉 What is waiting for you at a Christmas market? 

Food and drink take account of the fact that these markets, contrary to all logic, are held outdoors in the middle of winter. It leans to roasted chestnuts, hot sausages and hot spiced wine (Glühwein)

The stands, which also feature handcrafted items, ceramics, and wooden items, are where I think you could learn best about German culture.

Entertainment, this is I think usually around 5 p.m. and not every Christmas market has, can include choral serenades or trombone recitals from a balcony overlooking the scene.

A lot of children… (I meant a lot of stands specified for Children!) The eyes of excited, cherry-cheeked children, bundled in winter clothes, light up at the sight of the treasures they see. Toys, Christmas tree ornaments, and the candy are piled high in the rows of wooden stands hung with evergreen boughs and lights.

And more importantly, Christmas markets open also on Sunday, like, every Sunday in December! (Which is, trust me, really a big deal in Germany…)

 P.s: Here is Weihnachtsmarkt in Karlsruhe and I proudly introduce my “survival kit” in Germany – the two helping me to “survive” during this Wintertime.    

I am so sorry if this post is boring, because....I come from a country where there is not Christmas market at all. However, I can see a similar pattern of Christmas time and our Vietnamese “TET” (Lunar New Year) – which I will tell you in another post later. See you! 

ctrl-down
2019/11/18
Pan-Asian Identity?

"Global citizen" is a strongly increasing concept in recent years in Vietnam. However, the more I live here in Germany, get to know more people in Karlshochschule (which is nearly 50% are international), and some friends of my friends from other cities and regions around Germany, I realize that "global citizen" is a concept that me - a Vietnamese student who learns 100% in English in Germany - cannot really relate. 

I was confused all the time if something happens and I took any action - whether that action (or decision or even thinking behind it) comes from me - as a Vietnamese who carries all of Vietnamese background and culture with me? or as an Asian in general because we did share some common patterns? or it not really from both of it - it is just my personality? People talk a lot about Asian stereotypes - good at maths, shy, don't like to talk, traditional, skinny, look like 12 years old... - and others talk about "No, we are not your Asian stereotypes!". That is where I feel confused because I am exactly that stereotypes - I am good at Maths (because my major in high school is Maths...), I really don't like to speak (and don't talk about presentation, I hate it too), I am traditional and conservative, skinny...

And then people also talk about Westcentricism then Eurocentric or Eurocentrism, then the Raise of East Asian and ASEAN way... Well, not to mention my two best friends here at the Uni are Indian and Turkish, I also met a Korean whom I can share things and we are good friends since we found a lot of things in common - not only the habits but also the thinking toward things. And I and two other Taiwanese friends also called it a date as we celebrate this Lunar new year together this year. So maybe Pan-Asian is a thing? Is it also considered as an Identity?

I used to be afraid of confusion. Being confused is not good. Being confused means you are losing yourself. But I don't know how it is with the others, a big thing I learned here at the Karls is: it is OK to be confused. Being confused means you care and you didn't take things as simple as how it looks like. Being confused encourages me to read and explore more about it - (this is when I found Pan-Asia articles, surprised ;) ).

Nationality may indicate the home-country or state of one, but it is an essentialist or static representation of one’s background and does not take into account the changing nature of identity shaped by the experiences and world-views of one. And I believe generally just by traveling the world for a while, you cannot really have a real sense about "identity". I believe if you feel it enough, at the end of the day, you will define somewhere you belong proudly - even it is somewhere "in-between" or "hybrid-space" whatever it's called, but it would not be "global". 

ctrl-down
2019/11/06
Just a thought about “immigration”.

The desire of changing your life (or just changing the way you live) can be considered one of our main characteristics that makes us human – and moving is indeed a human instinct. From a historical standpoint, if there was not immigration, the global population might not be as scattered and globalized throughout the world as it is today.

When people talk about immigration these days, normally at their first thoughts, would be someone crossing the national border. But I do believe it is not as simple or narrow as that. Internal immigration is also another type of it immigration people don’t often consider. I was born and raised in a poor fishery village in Central Vietnam. Since the age of 18, going from the countryside to the city and staying there for the following 10 years for my bachelor degree and for my working experiences that followed, to me, was also migration in itself. Some people (and many do) might do this the other way around - leaving the city to go to the countryside to live with a garden to start a family is also a way of migration. Internal migration is not necessarily less “dangerous” than external migration. The process of migration, crossing a border to completely new world, with new languages and culture is more challenging. It’s possible that the costs (and sometimes sacrifice) must be higher, but also means the opportunity for greater change, possibilities and even sometimes reward. Now I am here in Germany, in Karlsruhe – another move of my life, which 10 years ago I didn’t think I would make it, that I would go this far.   

I do believe that our decisions to emigrate sometimes does not depend on economic capability. Regardless of our economic status, rich or poor, we can always and will find a way to move. Economic capability only affects and define where and how to go, under which type. We have all been and will be immigrants. We are all immigrants.

Many Vietnamese people long for “The American dream” or, a life in the UK or German living standards or elsewhere. But the American, the British or the German are also constantly moving around the globe. 

There is one saying from a Vietnamese Prof. that I really resonate with me: “Migration is a process, not a problem. We can't stop it, we could only make it more humane with mutual benefit”.

*This is the thought coming from a conversation with my friends these days after a tragedy with Vietnamese immigrants in the UK recently. I hope (and do believe) that this thought is the common one among the Vietnamese people/students who are currently living far from home, to better acknowledge that we are also migrants – by this way or another – and to have more empathy for who/what is labelled as an “immigrant” or the perspectives towards “immigration”.

ctrl-down
2019/10/28
Criticize the Criticism.

 (Sorry for another #throwback post)

One of the good things of being a student in Germany (and in Karlshochschule) is that, you have the chances to attend a lot of events/concert/conferences… easily (and sometimes free). Last month, I have the chance to participate IAA 2019.

To be honest, I am not into cars industry (Vietnam is a scooter-country, you know, even worse…). I only personally get attracted by Artificial Intelligence while doing a research for one of my Master modules, especially how AI could support in finding a better mobility solution for urban and cosmopolitan areas. Besides, coming from an extremely fast-growing sharing-economy mediated by a rapid advance of SaaS but also facing the problems of fast urbanization such as heavy traffic jam, I am curious about some of the discussion at IAA as well. Is MaaS is the new future? and how to know if a city is ready for that (and if not, what should do to make it ready)?

But that is not the thing I remember most with IAA. That is, when the Internatonal Office sent out the free-tickets email. Immediately, one student replied to that email to the whole university “as a direct response to the IAA, a broad alliance of civil society organizations hosts a variety of rallies, protests and forums for discussions…” (Just to let you know, cars industry is under huge criticism here in Germany)

So I know, at least at the Karls (I am not German, I live only here in Karlsruhe and learn only here in Karlshochschule), I feel safe and I know it is ok to criticize things. And even it is also ok to criticize the criticism.   

ctrl-down
2019/12/05
Weihnachtsmarkt!

Christmas is in the AIR! So this is my second Christmas in Germany. And someone said: “Nobody in Germany should come and leave Germany without a visit to one of the Christmas markets” – Yes. Christmas Market German-Style is a-thing you should not miss. 😉 What is waiting for you at a Christmas market? 

Food and drink take account of the fact that these markets, contrary to all logic, are held outdoors in the middle of winter. It leans to roasted chestnuts, hot sausages and hot spiced wine (Glühwein)

The stands, which also feature handcrafted items, ceramics, and wooden items, are where I think you could learn best about German culture.

Entertainment, this is I think usually around 5 p.m. and not every Christmas market has, can include choral serenades or trombone recitals from a balcony overlooking the scene.

A lot of children… (I meant a lot of stands specified for Children!) The eyes of excited, cherry-cheeked children, bundled in winter clothes, light up at the sight of the treasures they see. Toys, Christmas tree ornaments, and the candy are piled high in the rows of wooden stands hung with evergreen boughs and lights.

And more importantly, Christmas markets open also on Sunday, like, every Sunday in December! (Which is, trust me, really a big deal in Germany…)

 P.s: Here is Weihnachtsmarkt in Karlsruhe and I proudly introduce my “survival kit” in Germany – the two helping me to “survive” during this Wintertime.    

I am so sorry if this post is boring, because....I come from a country where there is not Christmas market at all. However, I can see a similar pattern of Christmas time and our Vietnamese “TET” (Lunar New Year) – which I will tell you in another post later. See you! 

ctrl-down
2019/09/18
A timetravel to Austro-Hungarian Empire_Part 2

After Vienna, I went to Budapest by a 3.5-hours bus. Been to Budapest is always one in my bucket list (any George Ezra fan here?) and it's truly not making me down - I left my heart in Budapest.
The city is divided into 2 parts by the Danube river and to be honest, just by reading information about the city before really coming, I got to know that the two parts used to name Buda and Pest separately, just later being combined since 1873. The whole city has architecturally noteworthy buildings in a wide range of styles and from distinct periods, from the ancient times as Roman City which dates to around 89 AD to the most modern Palace of Arts, the contemporary art museum and concert hall... You can find here a diversified buildings - Gothic and Neo-gothic Architecture, Romanesques architecture, Renaissance architecture, Ottoman architecture, Byzantine architecture...Especially in Budapest, wandering around the cities only is also more than enough for the trip. Some places you should see are The Hungarian Parliament Building (photo), The Chain Bridge, Danube Promenade, Buda Castle Hill Funicular along with the Fisherman’s Bastion...Budapest landscapes are even more breathtaking at night. It has the most lively and energetic (literally, also, with lots of lights) nightlife within cities in EU that's I have been to. This time I need to admit that I have planned it quite badly with just 2 days here. Maybe it's a fair reason to come back?

 

ctrl-down
2019/09/04
So now I am in Germany, now what?

The most frequently envy-saying that my friends always tell me is "Wow, you are in the heart of Europe, you must travel a lot then". It's understandable since there is a significantly huge amount of stories sharing about how Europe is a dreamland for international students who love traveling. "You just need to hop on a bus or train and the next hours you are in another country"- people said. 

Well... YES, but NOT REALLY.

YES - Germany, especially from Karlsruhe, you can easily reach to other beautiful cities of Germany in some hours: Heidelberg (30 minutes), Stuttgart (1 hour), Frankfurt Strasbourg (France, in 1.5 hours), Zurich (Switzerland, in 1 hour), Paris (in 3 hours) or even a little further to Praha (Czechia, in 10 hours). The Aufenthaltstitel card (or residence permit card) allow you to travel to countries within the EU. 

But NOT REALLY - It's true that you can travel, but not anytime and not all the time. Not to mention those short trips to nearby cities, travel to other cities/countries require time management and...budget management as well. You do need to balance the time for studying such as university class hours, group-working meeting time, self-study time, the due day of the papers, essays...and working time - as an international student, you are allowed to work maximum 20hours per week. Most of the university students have at least a mini-job to cover a part of the living cost (but if you are not studying and living in Germany on a certain budget each month and don't need to work even a mini-job, this is not the problem then). Even within the EU with a really good interconnected network for moving, transportation and accommodation do cost a certain amount. Semester breaks are the best time to travel but that's also the high-peak of seasonal tourism and the costs would increase too... 

Soooo, To travel (a lot) or not to travel (a lot) ;), the answer still really depends on how you manage the time and budget effectively. In the end, just keep in mind, why you are in Germany at first?

ctrl-down
2019/09/11
A timetravel to Austro-Hungarian Empire_Part 1

Soooo, following the Travel thread from the last post, the next 2 posts of my blogs would be about my last trip of summer before the new semester starts - A time-travel to Austro-Hungarian Empire (what a fancy name, but yea, it is a trip to Vienna and Budapest).

Let's talk about Vienna - the beautiful capital of Austria. From Karlsruhe, it's from 8 to 12 hours of transportation (depends on which way you choose to travel). The historic center of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, and the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings, monuments, and parks. There are many should-see places in Vienna such as Schönbrunn Palace (main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, Rococo palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country), The Hofburg, Karlskirche (photo), MuseumsQuartier (Baroque district containing museums)... Most of those historic places need entrance tickets but walking around the cities with the picturesque surrounding would also be ok!

But Vienna is fascinating me not only by its sightseeings but also by its public-transportation. It's a super-friendly network. It has a well-developedcomprehensive and unified public transport network and proud to be one of the most efficient networks in Europe. Buses, trains, trams, and underground lines will take you almost anywhere in the city with a fairly cheap day-ticket. And since Vienna is the second largest German-speaking city after Berlin and just before Hamburg, sp, to be honest, I just feel like I was not leaving elsewhere, but just be in the version of tourism-and-easy-easy-Germany. ;)  

ctrl-down
2019/11/18
Pan-Asian Identity?

"Global citizen" is a strongly increasing concept in recent years in Vietnam. However, the more I live here in Germany, get to know more people in Karlshochschule (which is nearly 50% are international), and some friends of my friends from other cities and regions around Germany, I realize that "global citizen" is a concept that me - a Vietnamese student who learns 100% in English in Germany - cannot really relate. 

I was confused all the time if something happens and I took any action - whether that action (or decision or even thinking behind it) comes from me - as a Vietnamese who carries all of Vietnamese background and culture with me? or as an Asian in general because we did share some common patterns? or it not really from both of it - it is just my personality? People talk a lot about Asian stereotypes - good at maths, shy, don't like to talk, traditional, skinny, look like 12 years old... - and others talk about "No, we are not your Asian stereotypes!". That is where I feel confused because I am exactly that stereotypes - I am good at Maths (because my major in high school is Maths...), I really don't like to speak (and don't talk about presentation, I hate it too), I am traditional and conservative, skinny...

And then people also talk about Westcentricism then Eurocentric or Eurocentrism, then the Raise of East Asian and ASEAN way... Well, not to mention my two best friends here at the Uni are Indian and Turkish, I also met a Korean whom I can share things and we are good friends since we found a lot of things in common - not only the habits but also the thinking toward things. And I and two other Taiwanese friends also called it a date as we celebrate this Lunar new year together this year. So maybe Pan-Asian is a thing? Is it also considered as an Identity?

I used to be afraid of confusion. Being confused is not good. Being confused means you are losing yourself. But I don't know how it is with the others, a big thing I learned here at the Karls is: it is OK to be confused. Being confused means you care and you didn't take things as simple as how it looks like. Being confused encourages me to read and explore more about it - (this is when I found Pan-Asia articles, surprised ;) ).

Nationality may indicate the home-country or state of one, but it is an essentialist or static representation of one’s background and does not take into account the changing nature of identity shaped by the experiences and world-views of one. And I believe generally just by traveling the world for a while, you cannot really have a real sense about "identity". I believe if you feel it enough, at the end of the day, you will define somewhere you belong proudly - even it is somewhere "in-between" or "hybrid-space" whatever it's called, but it would not be "global". 

ctrl-down
2019/11/06
Just a thought about “immigration”.

The desire of changing your life (or just changing the way you live) can be considered one of our main characteristics that makes us human – and moving is indeed a human instinct. From a historical standpoint, if there was not immigration, the global population might not be as scattered and globalized throughout the world as it is today.

When people talk about immigration these days, normally at their first thoughts, would be someone crossing the national border. But I do believe it is not as simple or narrow as that. Internal immigration is also another type of it immigration people don’t often consider. I was born and raised in a poor fishery village in Central Vietnam. Since the age of 18, going from the countryside to the city and staying there for the following 10 years for my bachelor degree and for my working experiences that followed, to me, was also migration in itself. Some people (and many do) might do this the other way around - leaving the city to go to the countryside to live with a garden to start a family is also a way of migration. Internal migration is not necessarily less “dangerous” than external migration. The process of migration, crossing a border to completely new world, with new languages and culture is more challenging. It’s possible that the costs (and sometimes sacrifice) must be higher, but also means the opportunity for greater change, possibilities and even sometimes reward. Now I am here in Germany, in Karlsruhe – another move of my life, which 10 years ago I didn’t think I would make it, that I would go this far.   

I do believe that our decisions to emigrate sometimes does not depend on economic capability. Regardless of our economic status, rich or poor, we can always and will find a way to move. Economic capability only affects and define where and how to go, under which type. We have all been and will be immigrants. We are all immigrants.

Many Vietnamese people long for “The American dream” or, a life in the UK or German living standards or elsewhere. But the American, the British or the German are also constantly moving around the globe. 

There is one saying from a Vietnamese Prof. that I really resonate with me: “Migration is a process, not a problem. We can't stop it, we could only make it more humane with mutual benefit”.

*This is the thought coming from a conversation with my friends these days after a tragedy with Vietnamese immigrants in the UK recently. I hope (and do believe) that this thought is the common one among the Vietnamese people/students who are currently living far from home, to better acknowledge that we are also migrants – by this way or another – and to have more empathy for who/what is labelled as an “immigrant” or the perspectives towards “immigration”.

ctrl-down
2019/09/18
A timetravel to Austro-Hungarian Empire_Part 2

After Vienna, I went to Budapest by a 3.5-hours bus. Been to Budapest is always one in my bucket list (any George Ezra fan here?) and it's truly not making me down - I left my heart in Budapest.
The city is divided into 2 parts by the Danube river and to be honest, just by reading information about the city before really coming, I got to know that the two parts used to name Buda and Pest separately, just later being combined since 1873. The whole city has architecturally noteworthy buildings in a wide range of styles and from distinct periods, from the ancient times as Roman City which dates to around 89 AD to the most modern Palace of Arts, the contemporary art museum and concert hall... You can find here a diversified buildings - Gothic and Neo-gothic Architecture, Romanesques architecture, Renaissance architecture, Ottoman architecture, Byzantine architecture...Especially in Budapest, wandering around the cities only is also more than enough for the trip. Some places you should see are The Hungarian Parliament Building (photo), The Chain Bridge, Danube Promenade, Buda Castle Hill Funicular along with the Fisherman’s Bastion...Budapest landscapes are even more breathtaking at night. It has the most lively and energetic (literally, also, with lots of lights) nightlife within cities in EU that's I have been to. This time I need to admit that I have planned it quite badly with just 2 days here. Maybe it's a fair reason to come back?

 

ctrl-down
2019/09/04
So now I am in Germany, now what?

The most frequently envy-saying that my friends always tell me is "Wow, you are in the heart of Europe, you must travel a lot then". It's understandable since there is a significantly huge amount of stories sharing about how Europe is a dreamland for international students who love traveling. "You just need to hop on a bus or train and the next hours you are in another country"- people said. 

Well... YES, but NOT REALLY.

YES - Germany, especially from Karlsruhe, you can easily reach to other beautiful cities of Germany in some hours: Heidelberg (30 minutes), Stuttgart (1 hour), Frankfurt Strasbourg (France, in 1.5 hours), Zurich (Switzerland, in 1 hour), Paris (in 3 hours) or even a little further to Praha (Czechia, in 10 hours). The Aufenthaltstitel card (or residence permit card) allow you to travel to countries within the EU. 

But NOT REALLY - It's true that you can travel, but not anytime and not all the time. Not to mention those short trips to nearby cities, travel to other cities/countries require time management and...budget management as well. You do need to balance the time for studying such as university class hours, group-working meeting time, self-study time, the due day of the papers, essays...and working time - as an international student, you are allowed to work maximum 20hours per week. Most of the university students have at least a mini-job to cover a part of the living cost (but if you are not studying and living in Germany on a certain budget each month and don't need to work even a mini-job, this is not the problem then). Even within the EU with a really good interconnected network for moving, transportation and accommodation do cost a certain amount. Semester breaks are the best time to travel but that's also the high-peak of seasonal tourism and the costs would increase too... 

Soooo, To travel (a lot) or not to travel (a lot) ;), the answer still really depends on how you manage the time and budget effectively. In the end, just keep in mind, why you are in Germany at first?

ctrl-down
2019/11/18
Pan-Asian Identity?

"Global citizen" is a strongly increasing concept in recent years in Vietnam. However, the more I live here in Germany, get to know more people in Karlshochschule (which is nearly 50% are international), and some friends of my friends from other cities and regions around Germany, I realize that "global citizen" is a concept that me - a Vietnamese student who learns 100% in English in Germany - cannot really relate. 

I was confused all the time if something happens and I took any action - whether that action (or decision or even thinking behind it) comes from me - as a Vietnamese who carries all of Vietnamese background and culture with me? or as an Asian in general because we did share some common patterns? or it not really from both of it - it is just my personality? People talk a lot about Asian stereotypes - good at maths, shy, don't like to talk, traditional, skinny, look like 12 years old... - and others talk about "No, we are not your Asian stereotypes!". That is where I feel confused because I am exactly that stereotypes - I am good at Maths (because my major in high school is Maths...), I really don't like to speak (and don't talk about presentation, I hate it too), I am traditional and conservative, skinny...

And then people also talk about Westcentricism then Eurocentric or Eurocentrism, then the Raise of East Asian and ASEAN way... Well, not to mention my two best friends here at the Uni are Indian and Turkish, I also met a Korean whom I can share things and we are good friends since we found a lot of things in common - not only the habits but also the thinking toward things. And I and two other Taiwanese friends also called it a date as we celebrate this Lunar new year together this year. So maybe Pan-Asian is a thing? Is it also considered as an Identity?

I used to be afraid of confusion. Being confused is not good. Being confused means you are losing yourself. But I don't know how it is with the others, a big thing I learned here at the Karls is: it is OK to be confused. Being confused means you care and you didn't take things as simple as how it looks like. Being confused encourages me to read and explore more about it - (this is when I found Pan-Asia articles, surprised ;) ).

Nationality may indicate the home-country or state of one, but it is an essentialist or static representation of one’s background and does not take into account the changing nature of identity shaped by the experiences and world-views of one. And I believe generally just by traveling the world for a while, you cannot really have a real sense about "identity". I believe if you feel it enough, at the end of the day, you will define somewhere you belong proudly - even it is somewhere "in-between" or "hybrid-space" whatever it's called, but it would not be "global". 

ctrl-down
2019/10/28
Criticize the Criticism.

 (Sorry for another #throwback post)

One of the good things of being a student in Germany (and in Karlshochschule) is that, you have the chances to attend a lot of events/concert/conferences… easily (and sometimes free). Last month, I have the chance to participate IAA 2019.

To be honest, I am not into cars industry (Vietnam is a scooter-country, you know, even worse…). I only personally get attracted by Artificial Intelligence while doing a research for one of my Master modules, especially how AI could support in finding a better mobility solution for urban and cosmopolitan areas. Besides, coming from an extremely fast-growing sharing-economy mediated by a rapid advance of SaaS but also facing the problems of fast urbanization such as heavy traffic jam, I am curious about some of the discussion at IAA as well. Is MaaS is the new future? and how to know if a city is ready for that (and if not, what should do to make it ready)?

But that is not the thing I remember most with IAA. That is, when the Internatonal Office sent out the free-tickets email. Immediately, one student replied to that email to the whole university “as a direct response to the IAA, a broad alliance of civil society organizations hosts a variety of rallies, protests and forums for discussions…” (Just to let you know, cars industry is under huge criticism here in Germany)

So I know, at least at the Karls (I am not German, I live only here in Karlsruhe and learn only here in Karlshochschule), I feel safe and I know it is ok to criticize things. And even it is also ok to criticize the criticism.   

ctrl-down
2019/10/22
Be a Tutor!

#Throwback

Wow so I have been at Karlshochschule for a year! A Y-E-A-R!

Recall back the first week here in Karlshochschule – the Orientation week! Everything is new, everyone is stranger. At that time, we joined the orientation week as Pre-Master students – just the 3 of us. Our tutors back then have helped us a lot through the days even patiently answer our “newbie dummy dummy questions”. (And coincidently, I am so the Nachmieterin of one of my tutor, we even talked before I actually came to Karlsruhe without knowing it!). That’s why, though I am not really an out-going person, I still register to be a Tutor this new semester anyway. And I think I made the right decision to pay it forward.

Being a tutor for the new Pre-Master joining this year, seeing them coming from different countries and backgrounds (Law, Political Sciences…) working together under “required marketing and management” projects, assisting them somehow with any questions…make me feel excited somehow. Since I knew how it would be, what they need to overcome with such diverse group works, I also knew how thankful afterward - that we did “fight” and understand more ourselves and our differences. Don’t you believe? Be a tutor next year 😉 

ctrl-down
2019/10/14
The Learning Experience.

So sorry that I haven't updated anything in the last weeks since the new semester has finally STARTED! (can you hear my *excited* voice!)

This is my 3rd Semester here in Karlschochschule (2n in Master plus 1 Pre-Master) AND just by now, I realize what "The Learning Experience" is. Recall back in Pre-Master semester, when apart of one of my final essays was about Higher Education and Customers Satisfaction (through a service logic and under consideration of Total Quality Management (TQM), to be precise). 

So if the "knowledge" and/or "learning" are the core services of a Higher Education Institution provide, then the learning experience (or "university experience") should be placed as the central focus. However, Higher Education is a special service. For me, (metaphorically) I understand it like if I come to a restaurant, the things to determine my pleasant about that place are basically the interaction between me and the waiter/waitress and the food. I will be less judging the whole restaurant services because of their other guesses, who were there at the same time with me (in a normal situation, of course, their presence is not affecting me). That makes education is different from all other services. Because the learning experience is co-createdemergentunstructuredinteractiveuncertain but hedonic ( ;) ). A Univeristy will indeed attempt to provide the best core services with materials, classes, professors, the knowledge you gained coming along with encouraging students to work in groups, to interact (like, put you into one group for the final examination ;) ), to develop a learning sphere together. But that's where the University role is limited. It is also you, as a student - the self-provider.  

It is also you, "to answer the call", to change what is needed, to contribute to your learning group, to step out and work with other people who are "different" from you.

That is reall a-thing that I cannot really explain with people from other university. Since the Karls is having nearly 50% international students in its pot, all what I need is to ask myself: when will be the next time in life that I will have the chance to work in a group with a German, an Indan or a Chinese together?

ctrl-down
2019/10/28
Criticize the Criticism.

 (Sorry for another #throwback post)

One of the good things of being a student in Germany (and in Karlshochschule) is that, you have the chances to attend a lot of events/concert/conferences… easily (and sometimes free). Last month, I have the chance to participate IAA 2019.

To be honest, I am not into cars industry (Vietnam is a scooter-country, you know, even worse…). I only personally get attracted by Artificial Intelligence while doing a research for one of my Master modules, especially how AI could support in finding a better mobility solution for urban and cosmopolitan areas. Besides, coming from an extremely fast-growing sharing-economy mediated by a rapid advance of SaaS but also facing the problems of fast urbanization such as heavy traffic jam, I am curious about some of the discussion at IAA as well. Is MaaS is the new future? and how to know if a city is ready for that (and if not, what should do to make it ready)?

But that is not the thing I remember most with IAA. That is, when the Internatonal Office sent out the free-tickets email. Immediately, one student replied to that email to the whole university “as a direct response to the IAA, a broad alliance of civil society organizations hosts a variety of rallies, protests and forums for discussions…” (Just to let you know, cars industry is under huge criticism here in Germany)

So I know, at least at the Karls (I am not German, I live only here in Karlsruhe and learn only here in Karlshochschule), I feel safe and I know it is ok to criticize things. And even it is also ok to criticize the criticism.   

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2019/10/22
Be a Tutor!

#Throwback

Wow so I have been at Karlshochschule for a year! A Y-E-A-R!

Recall back the first week here in Karlshochschule – the Orientation week! Everything is new, everyone is stranger. At that time, we joined the orientation week as Pre-Master students – just the 3 of us. Our tutors back then have helped us a lot through the days even patiently answer our “newbie dummy dummy questions”. (And coincidently, I am so the Nachmieterin of one of my tutor, we even talked before I actually came to Karlsruhe without knowing it!). That’s why, though I am not really an out-going person, I still register to be a Tutor this new semester anyway. And I think I made the right decision to pay it forward.

Being a tutor for the new Pre-Master joining this year, seeing them coming from different countries and backgrounds (Law, Political Sciences…) working together under “required marketing and management” projects, assisting them somehow with any questions…make me feel excited somehow. Since I knew how it would be, what they need to overcome with such diverse group works, I also knew how thankful afterward - that we did “fight” and understand more ourselves and our differences. Don’t you believe? Be a tutor next year 😉 

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2019/08/01
TEDxHeidelberg - "Who cares?"

So this week I attended the 4th TEDxHeidelberg (this small but beautiful city Heidelberg will be in another post ;) ). The main theme of this time is "Who cares" - its actually meaning is "Do you care, about what?" The world is changing faster than ever before and companies, society and politics alike are confronted with a continuously increasing complex world - from Environmental issue, global heath warning (Ebola, as an example) or diseases treatments efficiency (Is it?), cultural diversity and conflicts coming along with the stronger and stronger immigration waves...One hype chases the other, buzzwords are floating around in today’s meeting culture and it seems nearly impossible to distinguish between a trend actually having an impact on society and one, which is entirely being built on hot air. Which problems to tackle first? Which opportunities should be prioritised? It should be awared that people - due to the differences in background, culture, countries, gender... - would care about different problems. And even, many already struggle to identify the most important problems of their own lives - It is not only asking "what do you care about?" but also resspecting "what other people cares about?". 

P:S: By the time you are here in the heart of Europe, try not only to gain knowledge from the University and richful experiences living in a different society but also attend and surround yourself with those fruitful events (with significant discount for students ;) 

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2019/06/11
KarlsPride - You don't need to be Gay to Be A Supporter!

Last Wednesday, 5th Jun, Karlshochschule had its first ever KarlsPride. Coming from Vietnam, an Asian country where LGBT+, even though already received more opened-mind support from community, is controversal. This KarlsPride has widen my eyes. It is not like other usual event showing emotional support to LGBT+ but also taking it to another level - as it was hosted by our Professor Ella Roininen - Professor of International Management module as well as Representative of Equal Opportunities and Diversity. We got together to share share touching stories and have serious panel discussion about the real rights that LGBT+ people deserve. At the end of the day, you don’t need to be gay to be a LGBT+ supporter. Do it for your friends, your friends of friends, your relatives, your anyone around. KarlsPride, based on the support from the University, will be developed into a serie of events aiming to further spread this support and knowledge. To me, this is one of the small-but-not-small change makes it so...Karls :). 

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#Instagram

#KarlsambassadorUSA
KarlsAmbassadorVietnam
#KarlsAmbassadorUK
#KarlsAmbassadorUSA
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)

The Answer is... NO but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

At Karlshochschule, both Master and Bachelor programs don't require any level of German before you attend. In Karlsruhe, an (quite) international students friendly city, you can still survice without any German. However, it's still highly recommended that you know at least basic (or even intermediate and advanced) German. This would really really helpful for your first time being here from finding the room, city registration and any other things. 

And to be honest, I had only A1 German level with me when I were here 1 year ago, well, It's not something big but it really helped in term of...not fearing all the super long Name of streets and Documents here. 

In the long run, to live and to experience Germany at the fullest (and I think it's the same with any cities or countries), it is a must to improve your German to make your life here easier, to find job, to communicate with anyone you met.

In Karlsruhe specifically, there is a large English-speaking expat community, not just from the U.K. but also Ireland, South Africa, Australia, U.S, Canada and New Zealand. There is a total of 5 Irish Pubs in Karlsruhe which all have a variety of events such as: Pub Quizzes’, Live music, speaking tandem tables (Stammtisch), Sprach Café, several Facebook groups and forums for British ex-pats in Germany. Working in an Irish Bar whilst studying at the Karls gave me the opportunities to meet like-minded people in the same situation as me. This the nice aspect about moving away and can really help when being away from home. 

Specifically, there is also a quite huge Vietnamese student community in Karlsruhe - from KIT University.

While studying, a lot of our students also work part-time, whether it be as a student assistant at Karlshochschule, in the KarlsCafé or in one of the local shops, bars and cafés in the city center. International students may hold a part-time job to support their financial means but can only work a maximum of 20 hours per week as a working student “Werkstudenten”. 

During the semester break you may work for more than 20 hours per week, if the job is scheduled for a short period of time (two months / 50 work days).

Luckily, I worked in Vietnam project and also coordinate in International marketing at the University (since I have worked in similar jobs before coming here) so I can cover 100% my living cost here. 

Make use of the opportunities you have in Karlsruhe – sometimes this can be a great way to meet new people outside of the university, it can also help you meet German people and integrate into the city / culture.

Always check to see if there are jobs going at the Karls – it can be a really effective way of funding your lifestyle when studying full-time.

You can try to find a mini job at the University, there are quite some options as librarian, marketing support / content producer or being a barista at the Karlscafé – An Initiative – A small and cozy roof-top campus cafe right at the Karls, ran fully by Students. 

Trying to look for work in a pub or bar is definitely something to recommend too.

Buy a Bike! Karlsruhe is the bike-friendliest city in Germany as voted by cyclists, you can get around easily to the whole city via bike as you will see when you arrive here. You definitely won’t need a car here, if you do there are several car-sharing apps and services available. A bike is cheaper than a tram ticket, it is healthier and with the hottest climate in Germany, it’s definitely more satisfying.

Embrace every opportunity that comes to you! 

Germany in general and Karlsruhe specifically, is conveniently located in the heart of Europe. As an EU citizen or with an EU Schengen visa, you have the liberty of travelling throughout Europe freely. There are always special offers with Deutsche Bahn (DB) to certain cities, giving you the chance to enjoy a city break on a student budget (without jumping on a plane). This is a liberty we don't really have in the U.K. Where previously I would go down to London or up to Manchester for the weekend, now I could go to Munich, Paris, Prague, Zurich, Berlin and many more, all within 5-6 hours on the train or bus. 

Alongside this, there are numerous swimming lakes around the city which are great in summer time and Karlsruhe is only 45 minutes away from the Black Forest.