Thato Mashao comes from South Afrika

Thato Mashao comes from South Afrika and reports about his exchange semester on the studies Economics on campus Stendal.

I decided to study here at Magdeburg-Stendal University because studying at your University will widen my horizons in all respects. It had always been my wish to enroll at a German University at some stage in my life, and this has became a once-in-a-life time experience. Although it is a great challenge to associate with people from different cultures, this is my opportunity to learn in practical terms a language and the behaviour of a people who are different. Since we live in a global village and multicultural societies, this is opening a channel for me to connect with the norms and values espoused by your University and to return to South Africa and impart my knowledge to my fellow students. My presence on your campus has enabled some of your University community to learn something about South African languages, various cultures, norms and values. My studies at the Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal is enhancing my knowledge of Germany. My immersion in the German environment and my participation in the German classes for foreign students will increase my competence in the German language.

I really enjoy everyday life because I have acclamatised to the weather and the behaviour of the people and I feel very much excited because of the atmosphere I am consistantly experiencing. My positive attitudes towards this magnificent place makes me to partially fall in love with Magdeburg-Stendal University. I really like Stendal. First of all a friend is one of the best things you can be and the greatest things you can have. Some German students make me to enjoy this small town. I find it simple to socialise here in this area and it is very small to understand it, I like it when I am walking around the area and observing without getting lost. The shops here in Stendal are cheaper compared to south african ones. I also love the cafés in Stendal so much because I use them as relaxing places. Their products are affordable and I am glad to always receive a nice welcome by their stuff although I am different. I spend most of my free time at pc pool, or later at night I often meet most of my friends at a café and lucky enough I have also friends who are no students so we just socialise and exchange information. It is like I am somewhere in heaven where I do not get stress and my life is clean.

But I did have problems at the beginning. My problems were minor, for example to find a way to school on bearfoot, to ask a question when I am in a shop, to walk alone on the street then I had to use a map so that I understood the streets here at Stendal. I really try to speak slowly in German and English when I want enquire about something in a shop. I now just walk around here on Stendal streets alone without fear or intimidation.

Well I like so many things about this country. I like the economic stance of this country because generally Germany is one of the most developed countries around the world so this makes our life easier because where there is development, there is civilasation and goods. Products become less expensive and development is equivalent to low crime rate, robbery and violence. The racism of this country is sometimes not practised physically unlike in most african countries where there is high crime rate, robberry and xenophobic attack. Concerning Stendal, this place is too small and it is quite with less crime, I am able to walk around the city with my electronic equipments during midnight without being attacked or robbed. I feel more free when I am here.

My suggestion is a the matter of language, especially here at  Magdeburg-Stendal University, the signs and boards should also be written in English to accomodate students who cannot speak german very well. This also includes the computers, they should also reshuffle the system so that it can be used both in English and in German.

Anyway, I would like to acknowledge your student exchange programme: it is really opening future opportunities for people like me and it makes me to open a political sphere which will accomodate European Union countries when trading with my country. And thank you countless times. May God bless this University.




Julia Krumm

Tel.: +49 (0) 391 886 41 19

Visitors' address: Building 4, Room 1.02.2

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