My connections with Germany started 3 years ago, when I became a student of the joint master’s degree program “Public Administration” which is held at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in cooperation with the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer. The program is interdisciplinary, combining subjects from different fields, like law, economics, the European Union and its Public Administration, HR Management and so on. Studying is carried out in English and students are given lectures by leading Georgian and German professors. The program aims to prepare future civil servants who will make their own contributions to the Georgian public administration.
During our master’s studies, students faced some challenges. Though we were studying in our home country, we were taught by German professors, studying was held in English, and we had to learn a lot of different subjects in a very intensive regime. When you are a student of the joint program, you learn how to think in a broader sense and how to look at various issues in a very complex manner. As a bachelor student, I was committed to one main area – Law with the specialization of International Law- while as a student of the joint master’s program “Public Administration”, I learnt new things from different disciplines. As a result, I gained a general understanding of everything which happens in public administration on different levels in different countries. It is also noteworthy that, as a master’s student, I experienced a more collaborative approach between students and lecturers. There was less of a hierarchy between these two groups. We had a lot of presentations and papers but fewer exams which was quite good, as most of the students were also working in different ministries and public agencies and preparing for exams is quite stressful.
Apart from academic studies, as a student of the joint master’s program, I had to do an internship both in Georgia and abroad. In my country, it was not too difficult to get an internship but doing so in another country proved to be challenging, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, despite the adverse circumstances, I decided to do my internship in Germany. I liked this country, as I already had connections with it as well as some plans for the future. I was positive that Germany would not disappoint me and now I am happy that I made this decision. I started my internship in the international office at Speyer University on 15th of June 2021 and I worked there for 2 months.
My work in the international office included marketing related activities to enhance and promote international mobility, assisting in developing a language proficiency test for students, interviewing Simon Arnholdt, the “Frank Delmartino Thesis Prize” winner of 2020 and arranging a “Georgian Evening” for Speyer University students and its staff. Each task was different and quite interesting however, for me preparing for the presentation about Georgia was the most memorable. I think, it is always amazing, when you present your country on an international level; it is both an honorable and responsible task. The „Georgian Evening” was a complete success, as we even enjoyed some Georgian food and Georgian wine after the presentation!
Of course, living in a foreign country is always challenging as you do not know other countries’ rules, traditions, people and so on. However, after being introduced to different cultures you learn a lot of things and you become a better person. Living in a different country makes you more grown-up as you are living independently, and you have to solve all your problems on your own. Another advantage of living abroad is that you meet new people and gain new friends! Though, I worked at Speyer University during the online semester, I still met some students (one of them was even Georgian) and we had a great time together, we also visited Heidelberg and other sightseeing places.
In general, this internship was full of valuable experience and the best memories. The obstacles I overcame during my internship are 100 % outweighed by the positive outcomes. This internship was really a life-changing experience for me, and I feel like I fell in love with Germany all over again!
My name is Nino Khatiashvili. I am completing the joint master’s degree program “Public Administration” which is held at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in cooperation with the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer. I have completed the bachelor program of International Law and graduated from Tbilisi State University. I have accomplished several internships, the last one in Germany at the International Office at Speyer University.