Studying abroad helped Katja Krohn recognise that she was both European and German. During her exchange programme, so much was different – both in relation to academic study and outside the University. ‘I had been used to completing end of semester exams in Germany, but in Spain I was asked to write assignments every two weeks. There were many cultural differences including things like the time everyone had dinner. At first I found myself com-paring everything to Germany, but after some time I stopped.’
‘When I returned to my home university, I realised how much I had changed. The feeling of being in an international environment had gone and I suffered from a form of post-Erasmus depression, which only people who have been on an exchange could understand.’ She then joined her local branch of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) to keep in touch with international students, practice her language skills and develop her management skills. This led to her becoming the Vice President of ESN Germany for one year and then its national representative in international meetings.
She is now based in Brussels, having been elected to the position of Vice President of ESN International. Part of this role involves ‘enabling students to support other students so they can each find their way in new cultures and sit-uations.’ She now works with many national agencies and this year expects to visit most European countries before returning to her home university to com-plete her degree.
University of Greifswald, Germany (Universität Greifswald, Deutschland)
University of Oviedo, Spain (Universidad de Oviedo, España)
English and American literature
5 months (2007)