Here you'll find testimonials from South Africans who have been granted an EU-SATURN scholarship and gotten the opportunity to study in Europe. Apply now and we could be reading your testimonial here soon!

Kate Rich about studying in Goettingen

I am currently completing my Masters in Development Economics at the Georg-August-University Göttingen in Germany on an EU-Saturn scholarship. I arrived in October 2013 and will be here for ten months.

So far it has been very interesting to be exposed to a different academic system. Obviously it would differ from programme to programme, but I have had a bit less coursework throughout the semester than I am used to in South Africa. On the one hand this is great because it gives one more time to digest what you are learning instead of rushing from one assignment to the next, but on the other hand there is more pressure in the exams. There are also many international students in my programme and the course is very internationally-focused, which has definitely helped me to gain a broader perspective in my studies.

Definitely the biggest challenge for me to adjust to has been the weather! It hasn’t actually been nearly as cold as I expected, and the central heating is great, but for a South African it is pretty hard to get used to going more than a week without seeing the sun! However, when it finally snowed it made up for the grey skies. Living in a country where I don’t speak the language very well has also been a bit of a challenge. It can make little things like trying to figure out exactly what I’m buying in the supermarket a bit more difficult. I have been trying to learn German even though my course is in English, but unfortunately my German still leaves much to be desired. However, it has actually been much easier than I expected to manage with my limited German, as within the university environment nearly everyone speaks English and it is the lingua franca among international students.

There are a large number of international students in Göttingen, and the International Office organises a number of trips and events for international students which makes it easy to meet people and make friends. Getting to know people from all over the world – both Germans and other international students – has been one of the best things about my experience so far. In the last few months I have done plenty of the things one would expect to do when going to Germany, like seeing Berlin and various other German cities, drinking mulled wine at the Christmas market and enjoyed a traditional Bavarian Weisswurstfrühstuck (white sausage breakfast), but I’ve also been to a Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration, been introduced to Indonesian food and celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time with Americans. One can’t have these kinds of experiences by simply sightseeing in a country for a few days, and for me it is these experiences and the chance to meet people from all over the world which is the most rewarding thing about living and studying overseas. I would encourage anyone thinking of applying to go for it – it is a unique and wonderful opportunity!



Poppie Ntaka about studying in Goettingen

I am currently pursuing a double-degree Masters in Development Economics offered jointly by the University of Stellenbosch and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.  My interests strongly lie in the field of economic development, especially in the economics of education. So this Master’s programme has proved to be particularly enriching, by giving me the possibility to integrate courses that look at the socio-economic issues specifically faced by South Africa with courses that focus on international development in a broader context.

My time in Germany as an Erasmus Mundus student has been a truly rewarding experience. Learning that “Germans value punctuality” is no myth and the exposure to diverse cultures together with the challenge and the fun that comes with learning a new language, and even the European winter (which I now “enthusiastically” embrace) has made this experience a particularly memorable one.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller