The experience is totally worth it

Moritz Koch with other students and professor Anders Braekken at ESCI-UPF / Photo: Moritz Koch

I am a German exchange student at ESCI-UPF in Barcelona. During a city trip in 2013 I fell in love with this lively and versatile city. When I was accepted for my two trimesters abroad at the young university ESCI-UPF, it was hard to believe.

Living in Barcelona as a student is a totally different experience than discovering the city as a tourist for a few days. In the past, I’ve travelled and I’ve done internships, therefore living in another city wasn’t something strange to me. However living abroad for 7 months made me feel nervous and with the need of prepare everything with anticipation. As we were recommended in the introductory classes at ESCI-UPF, it is very important to find a balance between the almost endless culture and leisure activities and university life. I admit it was difficult to find my rhythm at the beginning because of the events and networks. As a stranger in a new environment you try to make contacts as fast as possible. The ESN UPF helps us with a lot of activities and parties during two welcome weeks.

Since I come from a somehow small town in Germany, Barcelona can be a bit overwhelming. It’s a gathering place for people with diverse backgrounds and versatility is the order of the day. This is on the one hand incredibly enriching and exciting as it broadens my horizon and gives me literally the feeling of being a citizen of the world. On the other hand, the locals don’t bring the enthusiasm and surprise that I experienced in other Spanish provinces and the authenticity gets lost in some places due to the strong tourist influence.

University wise ESCI-UPF is a complete contrast to my theory-heavy university in Münster. I very much welcome the practical oriented approach with great licenses of different business school cases and online simulations. I like the mix of presentations, assignments and group work, what makes the lessons versatile and dynamic. The application and the creative thinking are promoted thereby well. Also, the continuous evaluation throughout the semester is a new teaching concept, which relieves the student a lot of work with regard to the Final, certainly also brings advantages to internalize contents more sustainably but also limits certain freedom and flexibility, which I enjoy at home. I liked that the most teachers have a practical background.

Overall the experience is totally worth it. Although the Erasmus experience is pretty fast moving and shaped by events and parties, the city offers you everything for a great quality of life in an international environment.

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