German Exchange Student, Jannicke Martin, reflects on her time at Sancta
Degree: Bachelor of Social Sciences, Leiden University, Netherlands
Arrived in Australia: July 2019
Departed Australia: December 2019
Road to Sancta
Coming from Europe, I was tired of only learning about trans-Atlantic relations rather than having a more holistic education about global politics. Sydney offered me a wider spectrum of courses and a less Eurocentric perspective. Plus, Sydney itself is also pretty nice. Right off the bat, Sancta seemed like the place to be when it came to combining a great study abroad experience with an even greater diverse social environment.
Differences between life in Germany and Australia
The three main differences were: the weather, the attitude towards life, and the spiders. The first two are definitely an upgrade, but the latter… not so much.
Favourite things about Sydney
There is not one single thing or place that stood out to me (they were all special). What was most memorable is that Sydney represents a feeling of life that is filled with happiness and positivity. It’s hard to put into words but the people that truly connected with the city will know what I talk about.
Favourite things about Sancta
The people. Before coming to Sancta, I watched a promotional video in which one of the girls said that she had found a family away from home. In my head, I didn’t really believe that it would be possible to form such deep and meaningful connections in just one semester. But it was and I am so grateful for that.
Standout memories of Sancta
Literally anything from Egg Run, to long formal dinners, to ice-skating at Formal, to the Vale dinner, to sitting in the Quad, to simply being able to walk down a hallway and see my best friend. Because with the right people, the actual activity doesn’t matter.
How did you get involved in the community?
Together with other international students, especially the American students, we planned the very first Sancta Halloween!
What was the hardest adjustment you had to make?
I think the hardest adjustment was getting used to the breakfast and dinner times. Everyone, especially my buddy and the RAs, was very helpful in helping me get settled and finding my way.
Advice for future international students
Just to enjoy themselves and try to go to every Sancta event to really feel the Sancta spirit.
If a tourist had 24 hours in your home city, what tips and advice would you give them?
To take a stroll along the harbor and take pictures from the platform on the Elbphilharmonie. Find the Poggenmühlenbrücke and explore the old Speicherstadt. Afterwards, have a coffee by one of the many canals in the city centre and finish the day with a nice dinner at the Alster. For evening activities, go to the Reeperbahn. Not only did the Beatles become famous here but the street is also known as the world’s most sinful mile.
Moving forward from Sancta
I was able to graduate with honours from my home university and I am currently working at Germany’s Permanent Representation to the EU. I hope to do a master degree and return to Australia very soon (once the pandemic has loosened its grip).
Homesickness, culture shock and anxiety are common experiences for many international students. How did you manage this aspect of your experience?
Just be vocal about it because chances are the person you are talking to experiences the same and can share their remedies with you.
If you could sum up Sancta in a few words, what would you say?
A multicultural family with the deepest sense of community.
Do you have a message for the Sancta community?
Thank you for letting me be part of something fantastic which I will carry with me for a very long time.