Gauss-Telegraph: 17 international people in Braunschweig – Samar Ouadhani
by Lena Heinecke
- First of all, Samar, introduce yourself: Where are you from and how old are you? What are you studying? What are your hobbies?
My name is Samar, I’m from Tunisia. I am 27 years old and study industrial engineering / electrical engineering with the goal of a master’s degree at the TU Braunschweig. My hobbies change from time to time, because I like to try different things, but I especially like music, traveling, photography and cooking.
- Why did you choose Braunschweig as the place for your stay abroad? When did you come to Germany and how long have you lived in Braunschweig?
I started my Bachelor studies in Braunschweig in spring 2014. Before that I had completed a German language course in Bremen. Among other things, I decided to go to the TU Braunschweig because it was possible to start studying there in the summer semester, which is not possible at many other universities. Furthermore, there was the possibility to hand in the necessary language certificates some time after the start of my studies.
- What was difficult for you when you were new in Braunschweig and what was easier than expected?
When I was completely new, I posted in a Facebook group that I was an international student and was looking for a room in Braunschweig. Then Younouss (the founder of the Gauss Friends) contacted me and helped me all day long to find an apartment, so that I found one at the same day. Therefore, the apartment search was much easier than expected and through him I got to know the Gauss Friends right at the beginning of my studies. However, I could not imagine that it would be so complicated to follow the lectures in German. The language course before the start of my studies is not enough. Actually I spent the whole first semester in the library, because I had to translate all the materials and scripts until I understood them. But with time it got better, because I learned more and more basic terms. But in principle I didn´t find it too difficult to live in another country with a different language. I got used to that surprisingly fast.
- Do you have a favourite place in Braunschweig?
When I want to enjoy nature, I often go to Riddagshausen. Within the city I especially like the Handelsweg and in the evening I like to go up to the top deck of the Karstadt car park from where you have a great view of the city.
- How would you describe the Gauss Friends and the Gauss-Haus to someone who has never heard of it before?
I think I would tell him or her my story about how Younouss helped me finding an apartment, because that is a good example of the helpfulness of the Gauss Friends. I would also describe how you can experience many cultures there and that the Gauss-Haus is a place of encounter. The Tuesday evenings are very informative, there is delicious food and something different happens every week.
- What do you wish for the Gauss Friends in the future of the association / project?
I would like to see more concerts at Gauss-Haus, i.e. smaller, international bands could be invited and then combined with a cultural evening. I also think that the extensive contacts of the Gauss Friends could be used to offer excursions outside Lower Saxony or even Germany. For example, I have completed an internship in the Netherlands and could show the Gauss Friends a lot of things there. I think that many of the Gauss Friends have a lot of great ideas which could be realized with enough motivated people.
- What are your personal Gauss highlights? What is your favorite event or activity in the Gauss-House?
In March 2020 there was a theme night about Morocco, where a band played traditional Gnawa music. This was an unforgettable event. In general I like the Tuesday evenings in the Gauss-Haus and also the excursions, especially the Harz hike and the Berlin excursion.
- What makes the Gauss-Haus special?
The atmosphere of the Gauss-Haus is very familiar and unbureaucratic. You can make many new friends there and get to know many cultures in a direct exchange with people from other countries.
- Which culture did you learn most about during your time at the Gauss-Haus?
I think Asia and especially India fascinated me the most. I already knew some Indian food, but I learned a lot about many aspects of this culture through Indian friends like Rohit and through events of the Gauss Friends, for example the celebration of Diwali (the Indian Festival of Lights). I would love to travel to India one day.