Blog of Maria

Studying in Germany, Illustration and Travel

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Today I was at several places at once, but let’s start with the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.


To its side are the National Theater & Concert Hall, two looming figures on the massive square.


The level of details leaves you breathless!


Opposite the hall, a very impressive gate.





On TV in Taiwan

This is what happens when you and your exchange students group go to a local temple in Taipei, Taiwan – you might just get on Taiwanese TV!

In the article, they go on about the tourist numbers in Taiwan and how the local attractions serve as hot spots for tourists, our CoM NTU international students included.

I am in that video too, I wonder who’ll catch that.



Travelling to Taiwan Packing List

Exchange semester in Taiwan packing list

Packing up for a longer journey is different from getting ready for a short vacation somewhere abroad. I am taking an exchange semester in Taiwan and was stood before a decision on my packing list.

What to pack for Taiwan?

There’s a lot of things I considered:

  • Weather
  • Free time
  • Luggage weight restrictions
  • “Must haves” and “nice to haves”

I will be posting my Taiwan art on my Instagram, but photos and travel stories will go here (and maybe on a new Instagram account?)



C-Test Tips and Tricks

German C-Test, C-testEvery year, hundreds of international students attempt the German C-Test as part of their application into a Studienkolleg, or a preparatory college that would allow them further studies at a university in Germany.

The C-Test remains a challenging, but effective tool that tests your language level. It is a test you cannot learn by heart for; good preparation always involves reading German texts, getting over typical Grammar rules and learning a lot of vocabulary. In short, comprehension is a big part of studying.


A quick recap, the German C-test gives you a series of paragraphs on different topics, with words appearing incomplete. The second half of the word needs to be filled out to complete the word. Words with an uneven number of letters are halved and one letter is removed additionally.

So: Morgen becomes mor___ and Heute becomes he___ .

Example C-Tests

Many resources are available for students online. The Schiller Language School has a number of examples. However, making the most out of these tests would give you a greater learning effect than just answering them and looking at the answers.

Writing C-Tests

Before you attempt an example c-test, make sure the conditions you are in closely match the ones you will have during the actual exam.

  • Put away all electronic devices
  • Watch the time – give yourself the same amount you will be allowed
  • Use the same pen you plan on using during the real exam
  • Sit in a quiet room without additional distractions

Check Your Results

Once you’ve finished a c-test, check your work to see how well you did. Where you had trouble, try to see what the reason for it was.

Was the noun, verb or adjective new to you? Have you ever seen the grammar rule being used in a specific manner? Did you notice an exception to the rule?

Sorting your errors will help you freshen up your knowledge and train yourself in a more directed way.

Additional Reading on C-Tests

Digital Portraits

Commissioned Portrait for Valentine’s Day


Digital Portrait of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum


Digital Portrait of a Woman


Heritage Scarves


Picture is worth a thousand words: I’ll let my scarf designs speak for themselves.

Infused with traditional Middle Eastern (specifically Emirati) elements of beauty and daily life, these scarves capture the beauty of jewellery, sunrises in the desert and peaceful get-togethers with you girlfriends.

These scarves are a part of a limited edition release – the one above is yet to be released, while the bottom one is available in my store.


Made from microfiber polyester and having a delicate translucent finish, the scarf is an exclusive that will not be reprinted once the limited run is over!


Festive Lights


Who said you can only have lights on a special occasion?

Emirati Heritage Designs Collection

Creating a design set has been on my to-do list for a while now; I was fascinated with the idea that I could make a series of viable designs that could be connected by a single theme and be a strong collection. This is how the current set was born.

Those of you who check our my Instagram may have seen the following designs over the last couple of months:


“Habibi” started it all. The word itself means “darling” or “sweetheart” and is a term of endearment for male subjects in Arabic.


“Habibti” soon followed suit. It is the female version of the same term and has also been featured on my Intagram account several times.


Closing this set is “Hayati”, which is Arabic for “my life” and is another popular term of endearment.

Inside the letters is my now repeating pattern that has a working title “Objects of the Past” – a fusion of Emirati heritage and European visual style.


I am keen on keeping this design set going and already introduced additional elements to it, such as the “burga” or “burqa” traditional Emirati head covering for women.


I’m really excited for this project; is has been a brainchild that started from my Summer 2014 project on Emirati Heritage.

All of these are already available on my Redbubble account:


Dubai, Germany and bits of the rest of the world. Studying in Germany as an international student - just one of the topics you'll find here.