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Yadira Rodríguez Fernández

Yadira is a PhD student from Cuba. She is doing her research in packaging design with a supervisor at Hochschule der Medien and has already done an exchange semester here, as well. Thus, she has a lot of stories to tell, as you can watch & read below.



Please tell us a bit about yourself first.

Hi, my name is Yadira Rodríguez Fernandez. I’m from Cuba, a small island in the Caribbean, really hot. Nothing like the weather here in Germany, but I’m happy about that, actually – yeah, it’s pretty hot back home!



How did you choose HdM and what do you study here?

I was in my master’s program and then the opportunity for participating in a program here in Germany for a semester showed up. We were part of the “Packaging Development” program, so we took some classes about designing packaging for food. That is basically what we were doing back home, but this here was a little more specific. Back home, the courses are more general. Here they are really focused on the specifics of different processes or systems, like food processing, for example. I was interested in researching more about that and I applied for a PhD. And I came back here, to work with my supervisor at HdM, and we have been developing some packaging for fruits and vegetables.


How do you feel about studying & living in Germany?

I was actually really happy when I first came here, because the ambience is so nice and friendly. It was not what I had been told Germans were like. There is of course stereotypes about everyone – I know there are stereotypes about Cubans, for example. We are supposed to know how to dance, and I can’t dance, so I don’t follow the rules. And for people here, of course, it’s the same. I was told they were really formal people, and they are not that formal. People are very friendly here in general, and when you make a friend, you make a friend for life!



What do you think about Stuttgart?

Stuttgart is amazing for me, because it’s so big and it has so many international people and really a lot of things to offer. There are so many parks and green spaces. I was actually surprised, because I didn’t expect big cities to have an area where you can just sit and relax and have a picnic.


What’s your favorite spot in Stuttgart?

Probably Schlossplatz. It’s so beautiful, you know? It has the fountains and all the gardens, and the background of the palace, of course. It’s really nice, and I guess that’s everyone’s favorite place.


What has the time abroad taught you?

Since I was a child, I had never left home for another country. So when I was given the opportunity to come here to study, it was really interesting to go to another country, where you don’t speak the language. And it really makes you grow a lot. When you’re back home, you have family, you have friends, and you are always waiting for someone to do something. So you will have company to do stuff. But here, you are on your own, and then you start to grow up all over again.