The charm of the small

I feel as I if I try to look at something, which is incredibly far from me. I can’t focus completely. I just have a feeling that I could see something.

The moment I entered the seminar room one month ago seems just the same far. In this room I first met my fellow students of the degree programme of International Relations. I cannot remember the exact feeling I had to cope with, but I do remember it was a mixture of unknown expectations, nervousness and especially excitement about the start of something really new. With only 34 more people in this room, I first had the impression to be in a slightly larger and older school class.

After one month, I know that this group is rather to be described as a “big family” than as a school class. In order to familiarise ourselves with each other better, a meet-and-greet weekend was organized between the rocks of the Saxon Switzerland (Sächsische Schweiz), which was a fabulous experience for me. However, there was actually no need for familiarisation any more, as we had invited each other to dinners, theatre spectacles, concerts, cinema visits and birthday celebrations during the week before already. Now, because of all the articles and books we have to peruse, there is less time left for meeting. But still, we do gather at different occasions like coffee breaks or dinners in our homes, to which we invite each other regularly.

The meet-and-greet weekend - all first year students of the degree programme of International Relations at the Technical University of Dresden 2013

“The first semester is an introduction to our methodology”, declaimed one of our professors in the beginning of the opening lecture. Now, after one month, I have understood what exactly he meant. On the one hand, we have lectures and seminars in statistics and economics, but on the other hand, we also study the theory of empirical social research, the theory of political systems and main subjects like methodology and introduction to law. In each of these courses, we deal with similar problems from a different perspective. Gradually, all technical terms start to make sense and fit together.


The city of Dresden

Dresden has the typical charm of a small town with a beautiful historical centre. For most of the students, however, the city is just an axis between two places they spend most of their time at: the first is the university campus, which is located in the south of the city centre. The second place is “Neustadt” (eng.: Newtown), located in the north, on the other side of the river Elbe. Neustadt is a student district, in which most of student life is happening – there are a lot of small cafes and bars, and moreover, you can get the best kebab in the city. For the evening, there are copious alternative theatres and music clubs satisfying everybody’s taste. In a cultural named establishment “Scheune” (eng.: barn), for example, students meet on Sunday evenings and watch together the legendary German crime television series “Tatort” (eng.: site of crime).

When I walk down the “Prague Street” and hear every few meters somebody talking in Czech, I sometimes feel that I have not left my hometown Prague. But then, I remember that I am just on my way to a dinner with four fellow students coming from four different countries and speaking together at least five different languages. I can be sure that for example Peruvian, Egyptian or Kenyan specialities will be served during this dinner, as three of these students have spent a social gap year in a third-world country after finishing school. I almost forgot to mention that two of these four students are members of a political party. Overall, such an active interest for public and social affairs would hardly be found among twenty-year olds in the Czech Republic. Therefore, I do realise I am not in Prague any more in the end.

Many years at high school and the whole summer, I was looking forward to the beginning of my studies and the new life engendered by it. But only after having written this blog, I realised how fast everything happened. I slipped into the studies absolutely naturally, even without noticing that I’m in it up to my eye.

Kouzlo malého
Kouzlo malého
Kouzlo malého

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