Fernando is a British-Brazilian expatriate living in Berlin, Germany and working for iversity, whose work we’ve featured on Young Germany here. In today’s guest post he’s here to tell us a little about his experiences in Germany and working for iversity. Welcome Fernando!
When I first heard about iversity, I had been in Berlin for only over a month and had just been awarded a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics from the University of Sheffield in the UK. Having been born and brought up in Brazil, I spent the last five years in England, where my family and I now call home. However, some people say home is where your heart is. At this very moment, my heart is all over Berlin. I’ve had the chance to experience so much that this exciting city has to offer. Not only an amazing nightlife, with dozens of great bars and clubs, but also plenty of interesting people from all over the world to meet―including a few Germans. And, let’s not forget Club Mate, which all my friends know, I’ve grown pretty fond of in the past months.
Of course, there have been challenges too. The multiple attempts to register at the Bürgeramt (citizen center), having to wake up at very ungodly hours, as well as my disjointed conversation with the Steuernummer (tax number) lady, are just a couple of examples. But for these evils there is always a friendly and polite English-speaking Herr Roy to help you open a bank account. Berlin has exposed me to a lot of challenges―that of finding a place to live, for example―however, this experience has been rewarding in all aspects. The excitement of living in such a great city, and working for such a cool start-up, has so far overweighed any difficulties that I’ve come across.
For me, however, working at iversity is showing me the truly endless possibilities of using the web to enhance and transform academic research and teaching. Working at iversity exposed me to the fast changing realities of higher education around the world. Those skeptical about the vital role of technology in making higher education not only better, but also more accessible to all, are having to rethink their positions. And I must say I’m very excited to be part of it!
Unfortunately, Jonas and Hannes started iversity three years too late! At university, I still had to use what we like to call pdf-cemeteries. This pre-historical platform offered the least useful and most user-unfriendly online tools one could think of; it often became an obstacle rather than a help. And how ugly it looked! Gladly, this will soon be part of the past, where dinosaurs belong.
Since we launched the new website a few weeks ago the excitement―and the workload―has continuously increased. During team meetings we are shown the progress of the developers in polishing up the platform, and we discuss how we can make our service even more dynamic and user-friendly. With every new mention of iversity in the press a not-so-discrete buzz follows in the office. If we go on this way, the office will be getting a lot louder―to the dismay of our quiet neighbours at Hoppegarten.
We have already received some great feedback from our users and from the press all over the world. But of course, iversity has just started! So don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and facebook! Bis Bald!