My parents and I moved to Germany shortly after I was born. I lived here until I was four, and went to Kindergarten here. German was the first language that I learned. Unfortunately, then my parents separated and I returned to Slovakia with my mom. I was very sad and found it difficult to settle into life there at first. Since then, I always dreamed of returning to Germany and I kept telling my mom and my grandparents that I would go back one day. For me, Germany feels like home. Slovakia is also my home, but I’ve always longed to return to Germany. Once I finished high school, I decided to go for broke and applied for degree programs at German universities.
After elementary school, I started to watch TV programs and films in German, and read German magazines and books to make sure I didn’t forget the language. My dad always said that I would need a good grades to study in Germany. So in my final year at school, I spent most of my time learning – I rarely went out. But it was all worth it, and my grades meant that I was able to apply to universities in Germany. I also got a German language certificate.
My offer to study Business Law in Mannheim meant that everything was perfect. In Slovakia, the University of Mannheim is considered one of the best higher education institutions. So, I couldn’t believe it when I received my official letter of admission. My parents and my German teacher were also really pleased for me. Everyone was very proud.
Yes, I like my life here. It’s what I always wanted. I really enjoy my program of study even though it is very challenging. I had difficulties with the language during the first semester. I used to have to go home and sleep after my lectures because I had such a headache. I really had to concentrate to understand the material. During this time, I doubted if I could cope with everything. But now, things are going well. I really like the combination of business and law.
Of course, I miss my family and friends. But I also really miss the Danube. I come from a small Slovakian village which lies directly on the river. It’s very peaceful there, whereas both my life here in the city and my program of study are hectic. So sometimes I miss the peace and quiet of home.
I really want to finish my studies. Then, I’d like to get into international law or European law. I speak four languages – Hungarian, Slovakian, German and English – so I’d like to use them.
Text: Sina Buschhold / April 2017