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"I enjoy the Swabian lifestyle"

Juliette Wangalachi originally hails from Kenya, and she is presently a secondsemester student in Ravensburg studying business administration with her major in expo, congress, and event management. In the series "40 Jahre DHBW Ravensburg: 40 Jahre // 40 Gesichter", 21-year-old Wangalachi narrated that she occasionally misses the easygoing African attitude, but the local Swabian mentality matches up pretty well.

 was born and raised in Kenya. Because I was kind of underchallenged in Kenyan primary school and was up to all kinds of nonsense, my mom suggested I should apply for a scholarship at the German school in Nairobi – even if I wasn't and am not a grade-A pupil or student. I was eleven at the time and there wasn't any option to disagree, so I took the entry exam and passed. It certainly wasn't all that easy, because there were very strict house rules and school headmaster ran a tight ship. Only five of a hundred applicants managed to graduate; I was the only Kenyan in my class. That's how I learned German, and I finally graduated with the Internationales Deutsches Abitur. I originally had not intended to study at a university, but instead wanted to learn a trade or vocation. Of course, I wanted to do that in Germany, or else all my effort would have been in vain. I found an opening in Stuttgart, but owing to misunderstandings with the municipal foreigners' registration office, I was unable to take up that post. I then returned to Kenya, to reorient myself from there.

I had always wanted to live in Baden- Württemberg, because I'm fond of the local Swabian lifestyle and above all Swabian cooking, which I had become acquainted with on a study trip while in school. On top of that, many of my former classmates from my old school also settled in Stuttgart. I then enrolled at the University of Hohenheim, but their academic program was much too theoretic for my taste; I was looking for something more interactive. So I had a second thought on what to do and I came upon the DHBW Ravensburg. I like to organize things, that's something I was good at in school, when I set up events. So my present study course in expo, congress and event management fits perfectly. I'm employed with RAM Regio Ausstellungs GmbH. They are in fact based in Erfurt and not in Baden-Württemberg, but when I had a close look, it all looked very well, and when I learned that my senior manager is from around these parts, I knew it was a match. What I really like most is that I immediately felt at home there and I had always wanted to work for a smaller company where everybody knows everybody – and with a headcount of eleven, this is just perfect.

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Juliette Wangalachi (21) is a second-semester student in Ravensburg.

Kenya has English and Kiswahili as official languages, but my family and I didn't really speak Kiswahili a whole lot at home. We spoke English most of the time. Speaking German is really kind of difficult, even if you can't hear it. I have to think a lot if I know the right verb and if I'm using the proper form. I very much enjoy speaking English now and then, because I don't have to correct myself all the time. And my dad always tells me that the longer I'm away, the better my Kiswahili gets – maybe it's because I put in more effort to keep me from forgetting it. I've been home to visit my family in Kenya only twice since I moved here, and I do miss them a lot. People here have a different mentality, but whenever I need a dose of Kenyan serenity, I simply meet up with the people who attended the German school with me back home and who are now also here in Baden-Württemberg. But if you asked me about where my "home" is; I could not give you a definite answer. I could very well imagine staying in Germany after I graduate."  JULIETTE WANGALACHI

„Ich organisiere gerne, das habe ich schon in der Schule gemacht.“
Juliette Wangalachi