Natassia Kudruatsava, Minsk, Belarus
Name: Natassia Kudruatsava
Lives in: Minsk, Belarus
Period in Germany: October 2009 to February 2010
Educational institution: Friedrich Schiller University Jena
During my time in Germany I studied German as a foreign language in the Faculty of Philosophy at the Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) in Jena. During this time I worked intensively on my diploma degree thesis in comparative linguistics.
‘My stay in Germany totally changed my life’
My stay in Germany had a huge influence on my life – most of all in relation to the German language. Although I was already able to make myself understood in German, in Jena I learned to speak German correctly and to understand it. After my semester abroad I wrote my diploma thesis in the FSU’s German language department, even though English was my main subject.
I especially liked the fact that at the university in Jena I could choose and combine my subjects of study myself. For example, I was able to select the subjects that particularly interested me and that I will need for my future work. At German universities you have to prepare and work on subjects a lot by yourself, so it was a great advantage that the libraries are very well equipped and a lot of material is available to the students. At home in Belarus, many books are unfortunately not accessible to the students.
‘Onion flan is one of the best things I have ever eaten’
There are huge differences between Belarusian culture and German culture, but there were some things I liked very much. I personally find it good that in Germany people tackle a lot of things themselves. I also like the way people in shops or at the university wish one another a nice weekend on Fridays.
I fell in love with Jena for ever. Sometimes I miss the city, and I hope I can visit again sometime. In winter it was nice going to the Christmas market, drinking mulled wine and going ice-skating with my friends. Thuringian sausage and onion flan tasted especially good there.
However, visiting the doctor in Germany was an unpleasant experience for me. It was only in the third hospital that I got the right treatment. Medical services are very complicated if you come from abroad. You can only get tablets and other medicines on prescription from a doctor.
‘It is still uncertain whether I will get the chance to write my master’s thesis in Germany’
At the moment I am working as a translator at a firm that markets spare parts for cars and trucks. I deal with 23 suppliers from Germany and Austria, and I translate invoices and bills of lading. I also help my colleagues in meetings with foreign customers and suppliers.
I am still in contact with a good friend from my time in Germany. Last summer we realised our dream and travelled to St. Petersburg together.
As to the future, it is still uncertain whether I will get the chance to write my master’s thesis in Germany. I am in contact with some lecturers in Jena who find the subject of my diploma thesis very interesting and innovative, and have offered me the possibility of writing my master’s thesis at the FSU in Jena. However, first I must find a way of financing a master’s degree course in Germany.
Natassia Kudruatsava on the Alumniportal Deutschland
In the Alumniportal I would like to make new contacts and find current information about options for studying in Germany. I would also like to practise and improve my German through the portal.