Costa Rica, Cologne, Christmas markets: A new experience

From Costa Rica to Cologne: Francis Coto Quintana has decided to exchange sunshine and high temperatures for the chance to pursue her master’s degree in Germany. At ISM Cologne she now studies the master program International Management and is even involved at the student’s council. Here she lives with her German boyfriend and grew especially fond of German Christmas markets

What made you decide to study in Germany?

Since a couple of years, I had been planning to pursue a master’s degree and I finally decided for Germany because of the quality of the education and the wide variety of programs available. In addition, a year ago I started studying German and doing my master’s degree here also enables me to practice the language.

How did you adapt to living in a different country?

The most important thing is to keep an open mind and to be interested in discovering the country you are living in, make new friends and take part in activities that allow you to integrate.

What do you enjoy most about your experience?

The part that I enjoy the most is getting to know people from different countries and with different backgrounds to mine.

Looking back: What was the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was getting all of my documents ready on time for the application process for the university and the visa, as normally their official validation and translation require a long time.

What is the biggest difference between Germany and your home country?

There are a lot of differences, however, one of the more noticeable ones is the weather, which obviously impacts every daily activity. Another difference is the public transportation, which in Germany is more organized and offers more options than in my home country.

What do you like most about Germany?

One of my favorite things about Germany are the Weihnachtsmärkte. It is a tradition that I really enjoy, because of all their Christmas lights and decoration, live music, Glühwein and nice food. Last year I visited as many as I could.

Francis Coto Quintana and her boyfried at the Christmas market next to the Cologne Cathedral.