Summer internship at the University of Duisburg-Essen

I was on cloud nine when I was selected for the DAAD WISE scholarship. This meant that I got the opportunity to travel to Germany, to the University of Duisburg-Essen, for a three-month summer internship at an institute of higher learning. This Working Internships in Science and Engineering (WISE) scholarship is for Indian students pursuing undergraduate programmes in engineering, mathematics and natural sciences from select universities.

A two-campus university, the University of Duisburg-Essen has a plethora of academic programmes. The amount of research that is going on and the number of research papers they have published at this university has left me amazed. The interdisciplinary research system that is followed here provides individuals the opportunity to expand their knowledge and also to venture into new avenues. One will also be overwhelmed by the number of laboratories in each department. Labs are well-equipped and are constantly upgraded.

The best part of doing an internship at a foreign university is that one gains not just international exposure but also the much-needed intercultural experience. Internship at a research lab in Germany, where people work on innovations, is a completely different experience.

Of all the qualities I came across, what impressed me most was the punctuality of Germans. Right from public transportation to work culture everything here runs like clockwork. This is further complemented by the commitment they show. Where work is fun, every student or lab associate shows supreme dedication to the research activity one is involved with and not a day passes by where one does not end up arriving with some improved results.

Travel

Living in Germany, located at the heart of Europe, one gets the opportunity to travel to nearby regions during the weekends. I was enchanted by the picturesque countryside and the vibrant city life.

With the Schengen visa for the European Union I could cover almost the entire region. With an efficient train network system in place, I got to travel to many places. Though I was not fluent in any of the European languages, it did not deter me from travelling.

The writer is pursuing his final year B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering at NIT-Tiruchi