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Carolina Hantke

Carolina wanted to finish her bachelor’s in Journalism at Universidad de Desarrollo in Chile abroad and she decided to come to Hochschule der Medien both for her final semester and her internship. She took the Minor Program “Journalism & Communication Management” and then went on to work at our International Office. Throughout her time here, she fell in love with Stuttgart and you can find out why through our interview.



Why did you choose Hochschule der Medien for your semester abroad?


I chose Hochschule der Medien because I wanted to do an exchange program in a country that didn’t speak English, so I could learn a third language. I had the choice between Finland and Germany, and I chose Germany because German is more widely spoken and German culture seemed very interesting. Hochschule der Medien has a great program in Journalism and the Minors they offer here were also very interesting to me. And I’m glad I made this choice, because it didn’t take me long to realize it was the right one!


Which study program did you choose and what did you like about it the most?


Back home, I had studied Journalism for five years, so this was my last year, already. I chose to go abroad during that time because I wanted to experience journalism in a different country. At Hochschule der Medien, I chose the Minor “Journalism & Communication Management” and I also decided do my internship abroad, so  I could  complete my studies in an international way. I think my program was great, even though it was all online. Of course I would have liked to have the full experience, but even so, it was a great experience and very fulfilling. The professors are really nice, they are willing to help you all the time. I learned a lot about both traditional journalism and using social media and other online tools, about corporate communications and about working in teams.


Tell us about the projects that you did.


We had a big group project that involved an investigation. We chose to compare the education between Germany and Chile, because there are big differences, of course. I had German team members and it was really interesting to combine our perspectives and work on this together. We tried to find ideas for projects that help improve the education system in Chile. I think we did really good and I learned a lot form my team members, too.



How did you like Hochschule der Medien over all?


I really like Hochschule der Medien! I’ve already been here for three semesters, where usually students come for one or maybe two semesters. It has been a very fulfilling experience. I really like Germany and I really like this university, because I feel like there’s a community spirit everywhere you go. I made friends from all over the world and now I’m even doing my internship at the same university – I found a new family here! I came here not knowing anyone and feeling really lonely in the beginning, because everything I knew was in Chile. But now I don’t even want to leave anymore, because I like it here so much. I like the people, I like the community, I like the work, I like the studies – so, yeah, I really recommend Hochschule der Medien to everyone who is studying in the communication sector; I really enjoy it here.


What’s the biggest difference between your university and Hochschule der Medien?


First, we all live in a student residence here, so there are many ways to meet new people from all over the world. In Chile, that’s not really common, you usually live alone or with your parents, but not with other students. Another thing is that at my home university, I would just go there for the day, study, and go home. It was like a routine. But here, I feel like it’s a whole experience and every day is a memory. I don’t know if it’s because of the people, because of the facilities or just because I’m an exchange student and everything feel special to me, but waking up every day and coming to HdM is like an adventure to me. In Chile, I had a more monotonous routine and every day was the same, here it’s totally different.



What was your most unforgettable experience during your time in Stuttgart?


Most of my plans were completely changed by the pandemic. I had many travel plans, but I couldn’t travel in the end. However, I still met people from all over the world and I made amazing memories with them. We were cooking typical dishes from different cultures together, talked about life in our home countries and about our plans for the future. It was great to see how different and similar at the same time we all were: we all decided the same thing and came to the same university here in Germany, after all.


What did you think about Stuttgart? What is your favorite spot in town? How did you spend your free time here?


I really like Stuttgart. To me, every city in Germany is very different. So when you go to Berlin, Frankfurt, or Munich, it’s always a different experience. It’s the same with Stuttgart. You can do a lot of things here, there are lots of different sightseeing opportunities. My favorite part of Stuttgart is Schlossplatz, even though that might sound a little cliché. You can just sit there with your friends, have a picnic or a nice conversation and have a great time. I really don’t need anything more extravagant for that!



Why did you decide to stay in Stuttgart for three semesters?


I feel in love with this city and this country. When my first semester at Hochschule der Medien came to an end, I had this voice in my head that told me I had to stay longer. So I looked for ways to extend my stay, and I felt really happy when I found out I was going to be able to stay longer. I know that when I go back to Chile, I will fall back into my old routine, and I still wanted to stay on my adventure at Hochschule der Medien for some more time before that happens.