From Sydney to Dortmund – a semester abroad at ISM

Lauren Dwyer travelled over 16,000 kilometres to spend a semester at ISM Dortmund. But the long journey was well worth it.

What made you decide to study in Germany?

I wanted to study in Germany because I had an interest in the culture and language, as well as meeting so many nice and friendly Germans during my travels and even in Australia.

What do you like the best about ISM?

What I like the best about ISM, and although I have enjoyed and learnt so much in my classes, I would definitely have to say the exchange or ‘Erasmus’ support ISM offers. From the start, when I first was accepted, my supervisor has been emailing me and providing me with details, accommodation options, airport pick-ups, sim cards and helping with opening up a German bank account. The time and effort she spent to make us all feel welcome and settled in as quickly as possible has made a huge positive impact on my stay here in Germany. 

What do you enjoy most about your experience?

My favourite part is being able to fully emerge myself in a new culture and language. To learn new ways of thinking and to challenge myself in what I believe. However, this doesn’t only apply to the German culture, but so many different cultures because of all my new international friends I have made whilst being here.

What kind of images did you have of Germany before you arrived?

The biggest assumption I had, which is the general stereotype of Germans, is that they sound really harsh and angry when they speak. Coming to Dortmund I don’t feel that it is true. One other image I had was that the language was really hard, as you seem to have some of the longest words, but from studying German I don’t find the words as frightening.

How do you think your time abroad helps your career?

Studying abroad will definitely help me in my career. I am currently studying Event Management at the International College of Management in Sydney and flexibility, quick thinking, organising and new ideas are all skills that I have learned from living in a different country and that I will definitely need in this profession. Even learning to speak and communicate to others form different cultures is a skill that is hugely important.

Why would you recommend ISM to other exchange students, who want to study here?

I felt at home and always got help when it was needed. It is also clear that the lectures have a deep understanding of the subjects they teach, usually from a personal experience. Lastly the friends you make while at ISM are from all around the world and you become really good friends with them!

Lauren makes the most of her free time by travelling around Germany and Europe.