Dual students at NürnbergMesse have the opportunity to study abroad and work at the international subsidiaries. In the interview, Vincent Czichon tells us about his exciting semester abroad in London and reveals what makes the capital so different from the rest of the UK.
Vincent, looking back, how do you remember your time in London?
It was a great time and I was very happy when I got the acceptance letter for London. I met a lot of nice people and had the opportunity to get to know a different study system.
I would do it again and I would recommend it to everyone: If you have the opportunities, definitely do it! It is always an experience for life. London is very international and you get to know many people from very different cultures. And of course you improve your English in the process.
How does studying in Germany differ from studying in London?
In Germany, I'm studying trade fair, congress and event management at the DHBW in Ravensburg. It's hard to say exactly what I studied in London because you choose different modules there. In the end, it was event-related management.
In general, it's more about acquiring the knowledge yourself. I didn't write exams, but scientific essays. It's also quite different that all the lecturers are on first-name terms and that the students call in during lectures. In our school it is common to raise your hand and then ask the question. It would be disrespectful and unthinkable to simply interrupt the lecturers. The British do things differently. There, it is not an issue to ask the lecturer a question in the middle of a sentence. They either answer it or the next student does. Then the two of them just talk and the lecturer moderates.
What is special about British culture? How can you describe the British?
Great Britain is a very friendly country with very nice people. You are spoken to everywhere. Especially if you're from Germany, because it feels like everyone has relatives in Germany. I think that's cool! In Germany, it would just be accepted when you hear a British person speak.
But you also have to mention that I was often told that London is not Great Britain. When you're in the city, you hear so many different languages. So many cultures mix there and then a new culture results from that.
Why did you decide to spend a semester abroad in London?
I had already heard about the possibility of studying abroad at the assessment center. I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. Then there was an information event where the different universities presented themselves. Unfortunately, my French is no longer at the level that would allow me to study in France, so I wanted to go to an English-speaking country. London was my first choice because I liked the university super much and I love the big city.
Did you also have support from NürnbergMesse for the semester abroad?
The semester in London started two weeks before the one in Ravensburg, so still in my practical phase. NürnbergMesse made it possible for me to go there without taking vacation.
What did you take away from this time, both personally and professionally?
My English has definitely improved, because you become more relaxed, because you can't get anywhere without it. You also become more open when you're thrown into such a completely new environment. And in terms of studying: It's a completely different system there than I'm used to. That's why it was exciting to see how other countries do it, which are not so far away.
What were your favorite places in London or in Great Britain in general?
One highlight was the Soho district. It's a trendy neighborhood where you can do a lot during the day and also in the evening. There are many food stalls, you can store and there is also Chinatown. I can only recommend that. But I advise everyone to always have cash with you! In London you pay almost everything with a card. But in Chinatown you can only pay with WeChat - which hardly any European has - or with cash.
It's really hard to make a ranking, because you can do just everything in this great city. But I also noticed that at some point you miss nature a bit. The problem is that it takes two hours to really get out of London, and then there's really nothing there at all.
Are you glad that you can now continue working at NürnbergMesse or would you have preferred to stay in London a little longer to study?
If it had been possible, I would definitely have stayed in London for another semester! But I'm also happy to be back in Nuremberg now. I'm now in the event planning department. That's something completely different from what I've been doing in the event teams so far. Above all, I deal with the occupancy calendar. This gives me a good overview of the site and of which events are taking place and planned at NürnbergMesse in the future.