Humans of Jacobs: Emiliano Ramirez

Humans of Jacobs: Emiliano Ramirez

Emiliano comes from Guatemala and graduated from Jacobs University this June. Currently working part-time in Berlin, he’s soon to join a Masters program in Munich.

In conversation with Emiliano:

How would you separate Bremen from Guatemala City?

I come from Guatemala, and I live in a city called “Guatemala City”. The most obvious difference is the weather. Back home we are always usually between 15-25 degrees, and due to our latitude we only experience two seasons: warm spring and spring with rain. If you ask me, this is the perfect weather. Unlike Guatemala, Bremen has an amazing public transport system and infrastructure of the city. Particularly, I find the amount of bike roads and importance placed on biking as a method of transportation highly convenient.

How does life differ in Guatemala City?

You might have heard Latinos are very friendly, and I think that is true. For the better or for the worse, people back home care a lot about what is going on around and the people that surround them. This is particularly true within the neighborhoods. For instance, when I left for Germany, many neighbors I had not even talked to personally congratulated me and wished me a good trip. Germans, on the other hand, are rather private.

Why did you choose Jacobs University?

When I graduated from high-school, I knew studying abroad was the best option for my academic development, and my options were among the United States, Canada, and Germany. Of course, Jacobs, being an English-teaching university in Germany, was a particularly appealing option. When I came here I didn’t know whether to study Electrical Engineering or Physics, so I decided to take both courses and delayed my decision for the second year. After talking to other students and professors, and experiencing the courses from both majors, I decided to choose Physics as my major and do a minor in Electrical Engineering. After these three years, I can confidently say that I made the right decisions, both, in coming to Jacobs and in choosing to study Physics. I am really happy about the education I received, along with the friends I made, and the opportunities I have had, like being part of the football team or starting to do research since my fourth semester.

What are your future plans?

I do plan to stay in Germany, at least for a couple of years more. In fact, at the beginning of October I will start a masters degree in Quantum Science and Technology in Münich. Going back home is something that is always in the back of my head. From time to time I ponder the pros and cons of it and end always end up with the same conclusion: I love my country, and the people in it, but the life and development I would have in Germany are enough reasons for me to stay here. Maybe when I retire I will go back.

How would you describe your Jacobs Experience?

It was amazing. Being in such a diverse community, basically meeting new people every day, at least for the first semester, was just astonishing. There were some courses that I liked more than others, but in general I am really satisfied with my growth and opportunities I was given. With all the activities happening, before the coronavirus hit us, it actually felt like the campus was its own city. Everything went by so fast and the only thing I regret is not engaging in more activities and going to TOS more often. Additionally, even though I expected the academic and professional development, this exceeded my expectations. Especially after participating in extracurricular activities and projects, like international physics competitions or working with professors during the Summer breaks. However, I am really surprised, and glad about the personal development I had since my very first semester. After meeting so many different people, from different parts of the world, with different cultures, traditions and way of seeing the world, I think I have become a more complete human being. Particularly, through the friendships I made here, I learned so many things about the world, and even about myself that I never thought about before. The main difference between the friends back home and the ones I made here is that I got to meet the people from Jacobs in a deeper level. Inherent to eating every day with someone, going to classes and training together, and basically living with them, it comes a deeper bond. To be completely honest, when I came here, making friends was not one of my priorities. However, the people I met here, and the experiences we had together taught me how important it is to have people you can rely on, and with whom you can both, study and have fun. The friends I have made is definitely something I will always be grateful for. There can be hurdles, though, immediately I can say the language was the main obstacle (I still struggle with it). Also, the cultural shock was bigger than I expected. From having to get used to not walk on the bike road, to being more serious about following the laws when crossing the streets, and being punctual even when having parties. Getting used to the different cuisine was also hard in the beginning, but now I am grateful of how much my cooking options have expanded. What suggestions would you give - if any - to the upcoming class at Jacobs University I would say, try to find a balance. Do not fall under the misconception of “living in the moment”, but also do not spend all your time studying. University years are probably some of the best years, and you have the chance to meet so many amazing people that will probably be part of your life for a long time even after college. Reach out to professors to inquire about opportunities of research, you will be surprised with how many there are; engage in extracurricular activities, even if the club you like does not exist, just come up with it and I am sure there will be a lot of people interested; start looking early on what you want to do in the future and try to keep it always in mind while working. Finally, I would say just: enjoy. Enjoy your lectures, your meals with friends, your party nights, and everything you do.



Humans of Jacobs: Emiliano Ramirez