Schlagwort-Archive: Study Program

Across the Atlantic and back – with UAS7

Profile

Name: Charlotte Boye

Major: Physics

Home University: Bremen UAS

Host University: Pittsburgh University

Charlotte is a student at Bremen City University of Applied Sciences, which is a member of the UAS7 alliance. She went abroad to the University of Pittsburgh as part of the UAS7 Study Program, because she had heard a lot of good things about the University and the city before – and she was not disappointed! We interviewed her shortly after her return to Germany.

Why did you decide to spend your exchange term in Pittsburgh with UAS7?

I had already been to the U.S. a few times before. During these visits, I liked the country a lot and I became curious about its people and culture. I was really fascinated by the U.S., so I started dreaming of studying there as an exchange student to get to know another study system and also to learn more about the country and the people.  Thanks to UAS7, I had the great opportunity to fulfill one of my dreams.

How did you hear about UAS7?

To learn more about my possibilities to spend a semester abroad in the U.S. and to get an idea of what to expect, I read through the testimonies of former exchange students. All those who had been to the USA mentioned UAS7 again and again.

I asked the International Office of my university and they explained to me that my university is part of the UAS7 alliance and that I can spend my semester abroad at the University of Pittsburgh with the help of the Study Program.

Tell us about your experience at Pittsburgh University – what was special about studying there?

The University is great! Especially when you are an international exchange student. There are a lot of events and programs for international students. The University really wants you to get in touch with Americans and other internationals.

I was able to choose from many different classes in my own major but also in other majors. I chose five physics classes and I liked all of them a lot. What’s important to know is that the U.S. study system is different from the German system. In the U.S., they expect students to do much more for their classes and their grades. Students have to submit homework weekly or every other week. In addition, there are at least two exams for each class during the term. So, it’s hard work, but everything is possible! The professors really want their students to succeed. Moreover, the university offers many clubs, sports and events to help students escape from everyday university life, which can sometimes be stressful.

Charlotte and fellow UAS7 exchange students in Pittsburgh

What have you enjoyed most about your stay?

I really liked the people. Americans are generally very friendly and more open-minded than many other people. But I also really liked the city. You can do a lot of different things in Pittsburgh. You can go shopping at the Shadyside. You can see a lot of different sports teams and also go hiking in the parks. And not to forget the traveling. There are so many different opportunities to travel across the U.S. You can easily live like a native there.

Would you recommend Pittsburgh as a destination to international students?

Absolutely! Pittsburgh has a lot to offer. There are so many possibilities to visit museums, galleries, sports events or to do some shopping. You never get bored in the city. And the best part is that you can visit most of the galleries and museums for free with your student ID.

I really loved my time in Pittsburgh, and I can only recommend studying at the University of Pittsburgh.

Are you still in touch with the USA?

Yes, I am still in touch with some of the friends I made in the U.S. We already plan to meet again this summer. Hopefully, I can see all of them again.

Last question: What are your future plans?

I will finish my undergraduate studies in Germany next year. I am already thinking about doing my graduate studies in the U.S. because I really liked the university system there. The time in the U.S really got me into traveling so I also want to see more of the world. But it also inspires me to learn as much as possible different cultures and topics other than my major study topic.

[Questions: Inga Schulze-Velmede, UAS7 New York Intern]

Info

Students enrolled at UAS7 universities are eligible to study at one of the UAS7 partner universities in the U.S. for one term each year. Further information is available on our website or at the International Offices of our seven universities.

Exploring Bavarian culture and European landscapes

Liz Haeckler

Name: Elizabeth Haeckler
Major: Chemical Engineering
From: Pittsburgh University
To: MUAS
Program: Study Program, Spring 2019

Elizabeth Haeckler, a Chemical Engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh, participated in the UAS7 Study Program in spring 2019. For one term, Liz was enrolled in the Engineering and Management program at Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS). In this interview, she talks about her experience.

Liz, why did you decide to apply for the Study Program?

I wanted to study abroad because I learn by doing. What you read in a textbook takes on a new meaning when you are standing by the Berlin Wall or on Hitler’s Rally Grounds. The events become real and you begin to understand the impact they had on the local citizens. Germans specifically embrace their history, teaching future generations, so it is not repeated. 

Being immersed in a new country also allowed me to learn the language more easily and experience the Bavarian culture through locals. 

What did you enjoy most about your stay?

Making friends from around the world and getting to see their perspectives on travel, culture, and engineering!

To whom would you recommend applying to the Study Program? 

Anyone who has a thirst for knowledge about European culture or language, but especially engineering majors. My study abroad gave me a global perspective on human-centered design, allowing me to understand what different nationalities value and apply German solutions to American problems.

Any tips for future SIP students?

Practical tip: Use an online bank! They are backed the same way as normal branches, but are easier accounts to manage.  

Travel tip: Explore the region you are in. While each major European city has its charm, eventually they begin to look the same. Opt to explore the nature and secrets of the area you are in. My favorite travels were where the tourists were not. If you enjoy nature, take a trip to Slovenia. Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge are some of the most beautiful places I visited while abroad.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Liz!

Info UAS7 provides study and internship opportunities for students enrolled at accredited colleges and universities in Canada and the United States as well as students enrolled at one of our partner institutions in Brazil.

Want to learn more? Go to http://uas7.org/scholarships.html or email info@uas7.org!

„Germany has always been the plan“ – UAS7 Study Program at HAW Hamburg

Danielle Kline, 20-year old mechanical engineering exchange student from the University of Pittsburgh, wanted to be in Germany. That was the plan from the time she was on school exchange. »At middle school only five people took German in my year. I don’t know why but something drew me to it«, she remembers. »When I was fourteen I went to Ulm on exchange and it was life-changing. I wanted to travel; I wanted to be in Germany.« From day one of her freshman year at Pittsburgh she regularly visited the Education Abroad Office and asked “Is it too early to apply?” only to be told, “yes”. At the beginning of her Junior Year it was finally time. She applied through the University of Pittsburgh collaboration with UAS7* for a study abroad semester in Munich. »A few weeks later I opened my eMail and read ‘Congratulations! We would like to offer you a place at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences’. I thought, OK, at least I’m going to Germany«, she remembers, laughing.

Developing an idea for Airbus

In Hamburg Danielle signed up for four engineering classes; three in English and one in German. Her favorite class is the “Industry Team Design Project”, for which she had to make a difficult choice. »This class is on a Friday afternoon and signing up for it meant not having Fridays free for long weekends for travel«, she explains. Not an easy decision, we know, because study abroad is also about experiencing Germany and the surrounding European countries. But this class is special and when she talked to the professor about it, she was sold. Professor Jutta Abulawi worked for Airbus before she joined the HAW Hamburg and she brought her contacts with her. In her class students are put into teams and are asked to develop ideas for different aircraft issues. The projects come from Airbus and at the end of the semester the students present their ideas to Airbus experts on site at the Hamburg plant. After four months Danielle can say: »I really, really love it. It was one hundred percent worth it.«

Danielle is part of a team of international and German students, working on one of six projects for Airbus. Her team is developing an idea for an integrated trash compactor in the galley to utilise currently unused space. They have to develop a design concept and CAD models, look at stress and cost analysis as well as prepare the project documentation. Each team member has a specific role and they learn to work together as they would in industry. »It is the coolest thing!« Danielle beams. »At Pitt we focus more on theory. And even in internships the projects are more ‘intro tasks’. This project allows you to work as an engineer and be part of the process of designing something. It has been invaluable, really invaluable!«

Danielle with her fellow classmates and Prof. Dr. Jutta Abulawi at Airbus

Getting to know Germany and the Germans

When we meet up to take photos of Danielle the room is buzzing with students in the final stages of their project work. The presentations at Airbus are in two weeks and there is still a lot to do. But Danielle’s group is confident that they will be ready and it is lovely to see the easy-going way they work together. Team meetings aren’t always on campus. Often the students meet at one of their apartments, order in pizza and it becomes a social event. »The cliché of Germans being cold and hard to get to know isn’t true. We laugh a lot together. They are fun to be around.« Danielle says of her team colleagues. »And working with German students is great. I feel much more connected to Germany. They know how things work and it helps you get to know the place better. The other international students are great, but they are as clueless as I am in many things«, she adds, laughing.

Getting to know more of Germany was definitely one of her study abroad goals. Before coming to Hamburg she volunteered for a few weeks on a farm in Southern Germany. During her semester at the HAW Hamburg she has visited cities and towns from the Northern coastal beaches to the mountains of Bavaria. »it often takes a moment to sink in that I am seeing all the places that I read about in my school text books«, she says, smiling. Her knowledge of Germany has grown as has her ability to speak German. After nine years at school she modestly considered her language skills “half-decent” when she came to Hamburg. Over the past months she has become much more confident speaking to people and understanding the different dialects. »I never could have imagined that that was possible. The growth is just ‘whoosh’!«, she says, drawing a curve with her finger from the table to the ceiling.

Danielle also took one engineering class in German. »Schwingungslehre (the theory of oscillations), has been an uphill challenge. It is a subject I have struggled with, so I put more effort into it than into any other class I have ever taken«, she reflects of her experience. »It is very, very difficult, but I am doing everything by myself and in German! At home I was, how should I say, more relaxed about studying, so I will be taking those studying skills back with me to Pitt. And I kept telling myself, I will never have to do Schwingungslehre again!«, she says, laughing.

Enjoying the World Cup with international friends

Next steps outside the comfort zone

All these experiences combined have put a new idea into Danielle’s head. She is thinking about doing a Master’s degree in Germany after she graduates from Pittsburgh (sorry, Mom!). »The German system fits my goals better than the U.S. I am not sure yet if I want to work in industry or in research and in Germany graduate programmes are not so mutually exclusive.« She has done some research and talked to students and professors to find out more about the options within her chosen field of renewable energies. »I think it would be great to get the skills in a country where there is a thriving industry and great career opportunities. I have the option to study in German or in English. And the financial factor also plays a role. In Hamburg I wouldn’t have to pay tuition for my Master’s«, she adds.

Listening to Danielle chatting away it is hard to imagine that there have been times where the whole “studying abroad experience” was a challenge. »I was so passionate about going to Germany and yet the night before I was due to leave for Hamburg I was freaking out, thinking ‘Can I do this?’«, she remembers. »And that feeling comes back every time I start something new or go outside my comfort zone. But you do it and you love it and at the end you think, how come I was so afraid?« So going abroad is scary? »Absolutely, but it is totally worth it!«

(Text and Images: Ingrid Weatherall, HAW Hamburg)