A WEEK OF JAPANESE AT HEINRICH HEINE UNIVERSITY – PART I

A former fellow student of mine told me it would be interesting to read about my daily life in university. Especially what I learn thorough the week. That is why I decided to tell you a bit about my schedule, so you can see what my week looks like. I also think that this topic might be interesting for those who consider to pursue something like Japanese studies. However, I am going to tell you about how I got into this university in the first place.

This post might get a little bit longer. That is why I will divide this post into two parts.

Currently, I am enrolled in the Heinrich Heine University, in Düsseldorf, Germany. My course of studies is a little bit different compared to the Japanese studies other universities offer. The course at the Heinrich Heine University is called ‚Modernes Japan‘ which basically is Modern Japanese Studies. I also applied for two other universities which offer the classic Japanese studies, in Tübingen and in Trier. The difference is, that these two universities concentrate on the old Japan and the old language. Later you are more likely to do researches on old Japanese documents. I got accepted into every university actually.

Unfortunately, I was on vacation in Spain during that time. The first one I knew about was the university in Trier because the whole application process took place online, which was quite convenient. When they uploaded something new concerning your application, you get informed via mail immediately. So that was a nice experience. I think every university should manage their applications like that. However my first choice was Heinrich Heine University and that’s why I was a little bit worried while being in Spain. So the first thing I did when we returned from Spain was running straight to the mailbox and to my relief there were two letters inside. One from the university in Tübingen and one from Düsseldorf. That’s when I was completely at ease, knowing that I got accepted into every university.

However, I couldn’t have gone to Tübingen even if I had wanted to. The date to register at university, especially for Japanese studies, was the day right before we returned from Spain. So that was kind of unlucky. Nevertheless it made my choice easier. Since I was studying in Schwenningen before, a very small city in the middle of the Black Forest, I have something like a trauma when it comes to smaller cities and since Trier is also a rather small city, I didn’t have to think much about it anymore. Düsseldorf was my first choice anyways and so my academic future was settled for the time being.

I forgot to mention that in order to study this subject, you need a second subject to go with it. There is also a story I want to tell you about. In Germany you don’t really find Japanology/Japanese studies as a stand-alone. You will always have to study another subject, which you usually also have to apply for. Since many universities offer online applications now, you can usually apply for both subjects at the same time. As I mentioned already, the application for Trier was the most convenient.

Nevertheless, I messed up the application for my second subject in Düsseldorf, because I misunderstood a few things. I thought that I don’t have to apply for my second subject until I got accepted into the university. When I received my letter with the acceptance for my main subject, I realized my mistake.

The university offers several different subjects you can choose as your second subject, such as English studies, German studies, philosophy, history and more. There are some subjects with a Numerus Clausus which you have to apply for, but there are also subjects you can register for immediately. I wanted to apply for Communication studies which had a Numerus Clausus. Due to my misunderstanding, I waited until it was too late.

In the end, I was left with the few subjects without the Numerus Clausus. To be honest, I wasn’t really thrilled with the choices. Eventually, I went for Information Science. I thought about changing the subjects, once I was enrolled in university. Yet, after a few months of studying Information Science and hearing about the things my fellow students had to do for Communication studies, I was rather glad about missing my chance to apply for Communication studies.

We have come to an end of the first part now. in the second part I will talk about my Japanese studies in more detail. I will show you my schedule and explain a few things.

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