I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.
I had gone to Stuttgart, Germany in 2003 for my M.Sc. Studies in Software Technology. Later in 2007, I had flown to Dallas and was guided to Arlington, USA for Ph.D. studies in Computer Science and Engineering.
Memories of staying in both cities come to me still now. I cannot help comparing the experiences I had in both cities. Staying in both cities was a challenge with both ups and downs. Below I cite the exclusiveness of the two cities that come to my mind at the moment.
In Stuttgart, the weather remained cold for a good many months while summer lasted for only a month or so. On the other hand, the weather was hot in Arlington with summer prevailing over a few months. Americans simply love and enjoy summertime. But for me, too much cold or heat wears me out. I prefer Spring and Autumn seasons more when the weather is mild, and you get to enjoy your surroundings.
Travel communication was grand in Stuttgart with underground trains traveling from the early morning until midnight. These were more popularly known as U-Bahn and S-Bahn. The former traveled within the city while the latter traveled from Stuttgart to the outskirts or nearby cities.
Communication was possible from Arlington to Dallas or nearby cities only by private car rides.
In Germany, if you don’t learn German you are kind of lost although a great many people will speak English to help you out. Getting internships or jobs was difficult even if you had the right skills because you had to know German fluently. I was lucky enough to be recruited by an international company in Stuttgart as a trainee and worked there for my thesis in affiliation with my university. It was a splendid experience.
English is the mother tongue of Arlington or any other city in the US. So communication with people everywhere there was easy. If you have the right skill set and are strong in speaking and writing English, there are lots of job opportunities available according to your taste.
You could go shopping in Stuttgart by walking from your dorm or by U-Bahn. On the other hand, to get to the nearest shopping store in Arlington, you would need a private car ride or take the campus bus at the allotted times.
Making friends in Stuttgart was easy because you would find classmates living in the same dorm as you or even on the same floor. That’s how I earned my best friend, Helen – a dorm mate cum classmate.
Making friends in Arlington was difficult. You got different classmates every semester. It became challenging for me to get by because although there were Ph.D. students under the care of different supervisors, we didn’t meet often and we were all busy with our worlds. So unless you have a loyal boyfriend or husband to show you around and help, the life setbacks are too much.
I got emotional support from Helen in Stuttgart. She was a great friend in times of need and stress.
In Arlington, my sisters were living near about me. So they were the symbols of hope for me.
Fast Food Shops
There wasn’t any fast food shop close to home or the campus in Stuttgart unless you took the train to the central point of the city, Hauptbahnhof. There was, however, a food restaurant next to my workplace where I worked on my thesis, and occasionally, my colleagues and I would gather in the restaurant to have a good treat.
In Arlington, McDonald’s restaurant was within walking distance from the campus.
You have to be regular with studies and put continuous efforts in them in the US. Only then you can earn good grades.
It is easy to pass in a German University program but ranking to the top is quite tough.
Staying in Arlington and Stuttgart for higher studies were two awesome experiences for me. I had learned a lot about both the cultures, the education systems and communication strategies with people. I had gone for sightseeing near about both the places, and it is all these memories that keep recurring within me until now.
© 2019 Rosina S Khan
Rosina S Khan (author) on June 29, 2020:
Thank you, Liza, for sharing your experiences as a student between Italy and Malaysia. Gratitude for reading and enjoying my experiences.
Liza from USA on June 29, 2020:
I remember when I used to be a student in Italy. I was doing a short course between Italy and Malaysia. My life as a student in Malaysia was pretty basic as I got up, took a bus to university, I have a lot of friends in the class. When I was in Italy, everything was changed. The weather, the food, and of course the language. The good thing I can speak Italian. It was a very enjoyable experience, and I love Italy. Thanks for sharing yours, Rosina. I enjoyed reading the article.
Rosina S Khan (author) on November 18, 2019:
Scull, thank you so much for your compliment and the visit.
JC Scull from Gainesville, Florida on November 18, 2019:
I liked the way you compared two very different cities from two very different countries and cultures. Thank you for sharing.
Rosina S Khan (author) on September 29, 2019:
Thank you, Lorna for your kind comments. I do hope, as you say, others will also find this article interesting as well as helpful.
Lorna Lamon on September 29, 2019:
Such an interesting article Rosina highlighting two very different experiences which I am sure many people will find helpful. Thank you for sharing.