Diana Jevdokimenko, a 21-year-old International Business student at HAMK, is having the best time during her Double Degree programme in Deggendorf Institute of Technology, Germany. She tells us about her experiences, challenges, and best moments of studying abroad.
Who are you – tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Diana Jevdokimenko, I’m 21 and I’m originally from Estonia. At HAMK I study International Business and currently it is my 3rd year. In my free time, I enjoy doing different sports like handball, beach volleyball during summer, or ice skating in winter. Also, I like playing the ukulele and reading books.
Why did you decide to participate in the double degree programme?
I like traveling and trying to live in different countries. So far, I’ve been living in Finland and England besides my home country. When I got to know that a double degree allows me to go somewhere for a year and add new experiences to my life, meet new people, travel, learn a new culture and study something different but related to my studies, it was definitely a must go. An important fact was that I received a grant that covers all necessary expenses.
What influenced your choice of this specific partner university for your double degree studies?
I’ve chosen Deggendorf mostly because none of my friends have visited Deggendorf Institute of Technology, so I decided to explore it. In addition, I like the location because it is in Bavaria, close to Munich and Nuremberg, and from Nuremberg you can find plenty of cheap tickets around Europe. Deggendorf is also close to the boarder with Czech and Austria. Train connections are good, so it easy to travel from or to Vienna airport.
The most fun part of studying as a double degree student are after-class activities!
How does a regular day of student life look like in your double degree destination?
At the beginning of my studies, we had an online intensive course in the German language for 2 weeks with 5 hours of class and exams after that period. After that, I began with my studies and until November most of my lessons were conducted face-to-face. Classes usually start at 8 am with a lunch break from 12 pm till 1 pm. After the break, we usually have classes until 3 pm or sometimes longer until 5 or 7 pm.
It was pretty warm outside until the beginning of November, so after classes we played volleyball outside, near Donau river. After it started getting colder, we changed our after-class activities to ice skating, as it is cheap there (only 1.50 euro) for 2 hours.
How is studying there different than what you experienced before?
Teaching methods don’t differ much from the ones in our university, but they offer different subjects that I liked and was interested in (investments, fintech, management and organization, economics, trade, coaching, and art of negotiation).
What was the biggest challenge you encountered?
The exam period is quite challenging. In Finland, it is quite relaxed and with not much pressure. There are different types of assignments to pass: group work presentations, essays, and exams. Some teachers divide exams into 2 parts: group work projects or essays and actual exams that open at a certain time and close after an hour or 1 hour 45 minutes.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far?
It is hard to highlight one thing because most of the things I studied are interesting. I enjoyed lessons about fintech startups because the teacher used popular companies like N26, Revolute, dog coin, Ethereum as examples. I also found interesting an investment banking class because I’m a fresh investor and I want to learn more about this field before using high amounts.
What is the most fun part of studying as double degree student?
After-class activities. All October and part of November after classes, we were played volleyball or ice skated. In the evenings we organized parties with friends until late hours. For Halloween, we had a pumpkin carving event and in September we travelled to nearby cities or went hiking.
How will this experience influence your future?
I would say it is a good experience that I already added to my CV. It helps me to better understand where I would like to live and work in the future and in what exact field. I also improved my knowledge in investing and now can make smarter decisions in this regard.
I wish I could do it one more time! Don’t miss out on such a miracle chance!
Say a few words to encourage students who are considering taking part in the double degree programme.
I wish I could do it one more time! Don’t miss out on such a miracle chance! Our university and Erasmus provide us with this opportunity and support us financially. With overall 3 – 4 years in university (depending on what you study) you can get 2 degrees in less time than it would have taken to earn them separately. Bill Gates once said, ”The secret to my success is that I don’t miss any opportunity”. So am I, I decided to take this opportunity and see where it takes me rather than to stay at the same point.