What makes your culture unique? Perspectives from ISM students
Your studies at ISM are international. And we are not only talking about your semester abroad and the lecturers from various countries: In your seminars, you can get to know other students from many different cultures. That’s a great preparation for the globalized working world of the future and opens up new insights and perspectives for you.
It makes us proud that so many international students have decided to study at ISM! We have asked some of them what has surprised them about German culture and what they appreciate about their own culture. Thanks to the participating students and alumni Matteo Bertani from Italy, Amulya Gonsalves from India, Prince Kamassah from Ghana, Ines Sellami from Tunisia, Elham Yadegari from Iran and Danyue Zhao from China!
What has most surprised you when coming to Germany?
Elham: I was surprised how many people are concerned about energy usage and waste separation. One of my favorite things about Germany is its recycling culture. I found Pfand one of the most interesting ideas for saving the environment.
Amulya: Well, the most surprising part of Germany was the weekend culture. The fact that most of the places are shut and people take a seat back to take a break and relax is very fascinating.
Prince: I was fascinated by how candid Germans are. Where I come from, people tend to be more considerate and often sugarcoat the truth.
Danyue: I was surprised that the grocery stores are closed on Sundays. There are even quiet hours on Sundays, which means I can’t do things with many noises. At first it seemed inconvenient because I was used to doing things like on other days. But after a while, I found that my Sundays became more relaxing with less distractions outside.
And what is surprising about your culture for people visiting your country?
Ines: I think some people usually think the Tunisian culture is very traditional and specific, while it is a mixture of several cultures, traditions and events that occurred throughout the country’s history. People usually enjoy the diversity in practices and in places, as each place or site can tell a different story and deliver a unique vibe. People are also surprised when they notice that the Tunisian dialect derives from a mixture of several languages.
Danyue: It is commonly believed in China that hot water is healthier for digestion than cold water. Therefore, any restaurant that provides water will serve it hot. And the language barrier can be huge in China since many people don’t understand English. Also, every subway station has a security check.
Matteo: People are surprised that we have long meals and short espresso breaks instead of short meals and longer coffee breaks.
Elham: Iranians’ hospitality and the peaceful country surprise people that visit my country. We say “A guest is a gift from God.” Iranians are among the most hospitable people in the world. They always offer their best for their guests to make them feel comfortable.
What do you appreciate about your culture?
Amulya: The most interesting aspect of my home culture is the peaceful celebration of different religious festivals and the respect we have for every other culture and ideas residing together.
Matteo: When Italians from different regions meet and try to speak with each other in their respective dialect, they hardly understand each other. And so they speak Italian with different accents due to their dialectal influences. That’s the beauty of the diversity of our language landscape: it makes us diverse and unique.
Prince: I appreciate our heightened sense of community in Ghana and our mouthwatering food.
Ines: I really love some of the Tunisian traditional celebrations, events and food. But I especially feel a certain harmony and shared humor between Tunisians, which is what I appreciate most.
Are you interested in studying at ISM? Our International Office supports you during your application as well as your studies and can give you helpful tips for living and working in Germany.
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