Schlagwort-Archive: USA

Across the Atlantic and back – with UAS7


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]


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
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 or email!

Employability (made) in Germany – Last stop: Pittsburgh!

Our last stop of Employability (made) in Germany brought us to to our partner university the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 18, 2019, for a networking event focusing on Germany-oriented careers. Jessica Sun, University of Pittsburgh, led through the program. Carsten Schröder, Vice President for Knowledge Transfer, Cooperation and Innovation at FH Münster University of Applied Sciences, and Dietmar Rieg and Rachel Mauer, Presidents of the German American Chamber of Commerce in New York and in Pittsburgh delivered the remarks. They each highlighted the transatlantic connections and academic exchange between Germany and the United States.

Five German companies of the Pittsburgh area –Aldi, Covestro, Foerster, Lanxess and Leybold – joined us. They provided all students in the audience with the opportunity to learn about their companies in an intimate setting, talk about internships and career paths. The event included three sessions of rotating roundtable discussions followed by a networking hour. Traditional German snacks from Hofbräuhaus and Penn Brewery were provided to the participants during the event.

With the event at the University of Pittsburgh we concluded our event series “Employability (made) in Germany”, supported by Wunderbar Together, by the German Center for Research and Innovation, by the German American Chambers of Commerce in different areas across the United States and by countless German-rooted companies along the way. We can look back to a successful year of German-American friendship, thanks to the help and support we received from the respective participating institutions.

Please stay tuned for our upcoming key take-aways from the “Employability (made) in Germany” tour 2019!

From left to right: Arielle Schweber, University of Pittsburgh, Patrizia Nobbe, UAS7 New York and Carsten Schröder, FH Muenster University of Applied Sciences in front of the Pittsburgh Panther. Thank you to the University of Pittsburgh!
Photo on Top of the Post: From left to right: Dietmar Rieg, President of the German American Chamber of Commerce New York, Carsten Schröder, Vice President for Knowledge Transfer, Cooperation and Innovation at FH Muenster University of Applied Sciences, Jessica Sun, Exchange Program Manager at Study Abroad Office at the University of Pittsburgh, Patrizia Nobbe, Executive Director of the UAS7 New York Liaison Office, Rachel Mauer, President of the German American Chamber of Commerce Pittsburgh and Lisa Conturo, former UAS7 SIP exchange student and now at the German American Chamber in Pittsburgh also, Oksana Stalczynski, Program Manager at Study Abroad Office, and Arielle Schweber, International Programs Manager at Pittsburgh University of Applied Sciences.

“Employability (made) in Germany” at Clemson University: German Professional Conference

We recently went to South Carolina! At Clemson University we held our fourth event of the Employability (made) in Germany series on October 9, 2019, joined by TH Köln University of Applied Sciences and Munich University of Applied Sciences. Prof. Dr. Stefan Herzig, president of TH Köln, Prof. Dr. Klaus Kreulich, Vice-President of Munich UAS delivered the keynote address at Clemson University’s annual German Professional Conference, this year on the subject of “German Language Study and Your Career: Internships and Study Abroad.” Therefore the keynote addressed opportunities of transatlantic academic exchange and careers at German companies in the States and abroad.

From left to right: Prof. Dr. Klaus Kreulich, Vice-President of Munich University of Applied Sciences, Dr. Patrizia Nobbe, Executive Director of the UAS7 New York Liaison Office and Prof. Dr. Stefan Herzig, president of TH Köln University of Applied Sciences.

Additionally, a wide range of German companies informed about career opportunities. During the Round Table Discussions and Job Fair, attending students had the opportunity to learn about jobs and internships with attending companies as well as study abroad opportunities with UAS7.

I.K. Hofmann USA, Inc. stand in the Hendrix Center Ballrooms at Clemson University

The event was part of the Year of German-American Friendship or DeutschlandjahrWunderbar Together – a collaborative initiative funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut, and with support from the Federation of German Industries (BDI). Additional support is granted by a variety of sponsors and co-sponsors such as the German Center for Research and Innovation, the NY German American Chamber of Commerce, and of course by regional supporters wherever we go.

Other events took us to Huntsville, Alabama, Evansville, Indiana, Wichita, Kansas and the University of Pittsburgh, where our member universities as well as business & industry partners highlighted internship and study abroad opportunities for U.S. students in Germany.

Round Table Discussions with students and the representing industries Adidas, BMW Manufacturing Group, Bosch Rexroth, Context Design Group, Draexlmaier Automotive, Hofmann Services, Human Solutions, IFA Rotorion, Ivannovation Language Management, Robert Bosch, and ZF Transmissions, which joined the event.

Employability (made) In Germany – Next Stop: Evansville, Indiana

Our next event on Employability (made) in Germany is coming up at the University of Southern Indiana on April 17 from 2pm to 5pm. The event is part of the Year of German-American Friendship or Deutschlandjahr Wunderbar Together – a collaborative initiative funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut, and with support from the Federation of German Industries (BDI).  Additional support is granted by a variety of sponsors and supporters, such as the German Center for Research and Innovation, and of course by regional supporters wherever we go, such as the Industrie- und Handelskammer in Osnabrück, the Economic Development Corporation Southwest Indiana, the city of Evansville, and the German American Chamber of Commerce.

Our first event (of five) took place at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama on January 30. Despite the uncharacteristically freezing temperatures, a total of about 60 students and administrators from the University of Alabama in Huntsville as well as business representatives attended. On the panel both speakers from Germany businesses in the U.S. and from both universities introduced and highlighted study exchange, internship and employment options in their respective organizations – career steps “made” in Germany.

Now at our second stop, the University of Southern Indiana will host us. Planning is well underway and we invited regional business leaders and international academics to discuss university-industry collaboration, higher education models, and job market needs in an era of globalization and  academic internationalization.

Confirmed panelists include Greg Wathen, President and CEO of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, who will discuss business opportunities for German companies in the region. Marco Graf, CEO of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Osnabrück, will discuss the larger regional landscape of German-American industry, businesses and partnerships in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and will also talk about the skills that companies expect from university graduates to foster employability.

Prof. Dr. Kay-Hendrik Hofmann, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, will outline practice-oriented teaching and research and how German Universities of Applied Sciences prepare their graduates for the job market. He will also highlight how international student exchange can benefit from industry – university collaboration. Dr. Daria Sevastianova, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education at the University of Southern Indiana will present the exchange opportunities for USI students interested in going abroad to Germany and the impact that such a study abroad experience has on the students. We also invited an alumnus of the existing student exchange program between the University of Southern Indiana and Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, to talk about their experiences with international exposure and exchange, and how they shape careers. A network reception and light refreshments will follow.

If you are interested in event, please email Patrizia Nobbe at nobbe -@-

Successful kick-off event: Employability (Made) in Germany

On January 30, 2019, UAS7 and Bremen City University of Applied Sciences launched a series of five events within Wunderbar Together, the Year of German-American Friendship 2019, at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Nine speakers from business and academia informed interested participants about study, research and work opportunities in Germany and at U.S.-based German companies.

The “Employability (Made) in Germany” project aims to showcase Germany as one of the world’s leading countries in the fields of university-industry collaborations, dual-study programs, apprenticeships, and educational concepts of applied teaching and research. Throughout 2019, UAS7 will take its unique expertise in applied science education to universities across the American heartland.

The first stop on the itinerary was the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). UAS7 presented at UAH’s Spring Career Fair, and met with old and new business partners. At the heart of the visit was the panel on Employability (made) in Germany, co-hosted with UAH and Bremen City University of Applied Sciences, to which we invited students, alumni, U.S-based German businesses and other partners to learn about career options with a German component.

Expert pitches and networking

Michael Johnson, Honorary German Consul in Alabama

David Berkowitz, Dean of the UAH Graduate School, opened the event with warm words of welcome. Michael Johnson, Honorary Consul of Germany in Alabama (pictured), delivered introductory remarks, followed by Patrizia Nobbe, Director of the UAS7 Liaison Office in New York, who welcomed the audience on behalf of all co-hosts. We were fortunate to have Nicole Heimann, Director of the Skills Initiative at the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States, deliver notes on German industry and business landscape in Alabama, and the partnerships in existence. She also served as our moderator and presented a surprise guest: UAH alumnus Nathanial Long -and also an alumn of the UAS7 exchange programs in Germany- joined in via Skype. He talked about his exceedingly positive experiences with the exchange and what he got out of it, both professionally and personally.

Nathanial was followed by UAH Professor Brian Landrum (Associate Chair and Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) and Nicole Hughes (Director of Study abroad), who introduced some of the existing programs students may apply for to gain international experience and exposure.

The Business Side

Mark Becnel, President of RadioBro Corporation

The moderator then turned to our panelists, who were sitting among the audience, and asked each of them, why they made it a point to dedicate some of their time to come speak at this event. This gave them opportunity to present and describe their companies. They are all interested in working with the universities and with students, and since all invited companies have German roots or German connections, they emphasized the importance of internationalization or language skills. The latter point was actually up for debate, with some of the speakers emphasizing that one may also have a successful career in a German company in the US or even in Germany, if German language skills are not your best asset.

In a second round of questions, the speakers discussed career steps and options at their companies, offered advise, contacts and an open door – always. Since the format encouraged networking, the reception was opened right after, to give the students as well as the audiences time to follow-up with those speakers who offered the most interesting opportunities to them.

Successful kick-off

About 50 students, alumni and business representatives followed the invitation and showed great interest in exchange and career opportunities in Germany and at German companies based in the U.S. The format proved very successful. It allowed for active exchange of information in a setting that encouraged conversation between panelists and the audience.

Thank you to all our speakers, project partners and sponsors for making this event a huge success: Alabama Germany Partnership, Bocar US, abat AG, RadioBro Corporation, REHAU, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., German Centre for Research and Innovation New York, Goethe Institut, Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie, Federal Foreign Office.

UAS7 is looking forward to the upcoming Employability (made) in Germany events in Evansville, Indiana, Wichita, Kansas, Clemson, South Carolina and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. All upcoming Events.

Vorweihnachtliches Treffen der UAS7-International Offices an der HS München


Mitte Dezember trafen sich die Vertreterinnen und Vertreter der International Offices der UAS7-Hochschulen in München, um sich über aktuelle Projekte und Entwicklungen auszutauschen. Die Treffen der AG Internationales finden in regelmäßigen Abständen statt. Zum ersten Mal war auch die neue Leiterin des New Yorker Verbindungsbüros, Dr. Patrizia Nobbe, mit dabei.

Frau Nobbe hat im November 2018 die Nachfolge von Dr. Britta Schumacher angetreten, die seitdem in der Geschäftsstelle Berlin beschäftigt ist. Beim Treffen in München hatte Frau Nobbe die Gelegenheit, alle Kolleginnen und Kollegen der International Offices kennenzulernen und die zukünftige Zusammenarbeit zu planen.

Im Laufe des Treffens wurde über die vergangenen und zukünftigen Aktivitäten des New York Büros sowie über die Entwicklungen des Study and Internship Programmes (SIP) berichtet.

Mit Freude konnte berichtet werden, dass im Oktober 2018 ein International Memorandum of Understanding zwischen UAS7 und der Clemson University unterschrieben wurde. Die Clemson University ist eine staatliche Universität im U.S.-Bundesstaat South Carolina und nun der vierte institutionelle Partner der UAS7 in den Vereinigten Staaten. Das Memorandum of Understanding soll den Austausch von Studierenden und Lehrenden und die Organisation gemeinsamer Projekte ermöglichen.

Das wohl wichtigste Thema auf der Tagesordnung war aber natürlich das anstehende Deutschlandjahr, das von Oktober 2018 bis Ende 2019 in den USA stattfindet. Unter dem Motto “Wunderbar Together. Germany and the U.S.”  führt die vom Auswärtigen Amt, dem Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie und dem Goethe-Institut gesteuerte Projektreihe quer durch die Vereinigten Staaten. UAS7 beteiligt sich mit den Initiativen “Skills and Employability Made in Germany” und „Deutschland Ambassadors Initiative“. Die Organisation der ersten Veranstaltungen, die bereits Ende Januar und Anfang Februar stattfinden, läuft derzeit auf Hochtouren und wurde von allen Beteiligten beim IO-Treffen im Detail besprochen.

Die UAS7 International Offices, die Geschäftsstelle und das New Yorker Verbindungsbüro freuen sich also auf ein spannendes Jahr 2019 im Zeichen der transatlantischen Beziehungen.




UAS7 stark vertreten auf der GAIN-Jahrestagung in Boston

Bereits zum achten Mal war UAS7 auf der jährlichen Tagung des „German Academic International Network“ (GAIN) vertreten, die in diesem Jahr vom 7. bis 9. September in Boston stattfand. Die Konferenz hat zum Ziel, deutsche Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler, die in Nordamerika leben und arbeiten, auf eine langfristige Rückkehr nach Deutschland vorzubereiten. Sie bietet dieser Zielgruppe eine ideale Netzwerkgelegenheit mit potentiellen deutschen Arbeitgebern wie z.B. Universitäten, Fachhochschulen, Forschungseinrichtungen, Industriebetrieben, Ministerien und Verbänden.

Das UAS7-Team auf der GAIN 2018: v.l.n.r.: Prof. Dr. Micha Teuscher (Präsident der HAW Hamburg), Dr. Britta Schumacher (UAS7 New York), Prof. Dr. Sonja Munz (Vizepräsidentin der Hochschule München), Prof. Dr. Andreas Zaby (UAS7 Chairman/Präsident der HWR Berlin), Prof. Dr. Jan-Henning Dirks (Bionik, Hochschule Bremen City), Prof. Dr. Ing. Thomas Netzel (Vizepräsident der HAW Hamburg) Foto: @Netzel

Ein Ziel der Hochschulallianz UAS7 war es, den Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern auf der GAIN-Konferenz bewusst zu machen, dass die Professur an einer Fachhochschule nicht nur ein interessantes und inspirierendes Berufsfeld darstellt, sondern dass Nachwuchskräfte aus allen Fachgebieten dort auch händeringend gesucht werden.

Am gut besuchten UAS7-Infostand während der GAIN Talent Fair, wo auch konkrete Stellenausschreibungen präsentiert wurden, zeigte sich das große Interesse von Seiten der Nachwuchstalente. Aber erst in den Einzelgesprächen wurde deutlich, dass die jungen Leute hier tatsächlich auch etwas Neues lernten, denn die meisten waren sich vorher gar nicht darüber im klaren, dass die Fachhochschule eine interessante Alternative zur Unikarriere sein kann.

UAS7 richtete außerdem gemeinsam mit der „Hochschulallianz für den Mittelstand“ zwei Veranstaltungen zum Thema Fachhochschulprofessur aus: „Karrierewege an einer Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften“ und „Auslands- und Industrieerfahrung, Max-Planck und Cambridge – verschiedene Karrierewege zur Fachhochschulprofessur“. Beide Informationsveranstaltungen stießen auf großes Interesse von Seiten der Teilnehmer. Prof. Dr. Sonja Munz (Vizepräsidentin für Forschung der Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften München), Prof. Dr. Micha Teuscher (Präsident der Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg), Prof. Dr. Jan-Henning Dirks (Fakultät Natur und Technik – Biomimetics Innovation Centre, Hochschule Bremen City) und Prof. Dr. Andreas Zaby (Vorsitzender von UAS7 und Präsident der Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin) vertraten die UAS7-Allianz auf dem Podium und beantworteten gemeinsam mit Vertreterinnen und Vertretern anderer Fachhochschulen Fragen zum Berufungsverfahren. Die Workshopteilnehmer interessierten sich aber auch dafür, wieviel und welche Art von Industrieerfahrung man für eine Fachhochschulprofessur mitbringen sollte und welche Rolle der Forschung im Verhältnis zur Lehre zugesprochen wird.

Coaching-Gespräch zum Thema “Entrepreneurship”

Auch an einem Coaching-Gespräch zum Thema “Entrepreneurship praktisch – Spin-in oder Spin-off” war UAS7 aktiv beteiligt. Präsident Andreas Zaby beleuchtete gemeinsam mit Kolleginnen und Kollegen anderer Hochschulen und Forschungseinrichtungen die Chancen und Herausforderungen einer Start-Up Gründung. Auch die Unterstützung für wissenschaftliche Start-Ups in Deutschland wurde diskutiert.

Neben vielen interessanten Begegnungen und Gesprächen mit Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen und Nachwuchswissenschaftlern auf der GAIN-Tagung, besuchten Prof. Andreas Zaby und die New Yorker Büroleitung Dr. Britta Schumacher am Rande der GAIN auch noch den Northeastern University Innovation Campus in Burlington, MA (ICBM). Dort trafen sie sich mit David Luzzi (Senior Vice Provost for Research and Vice President of the Innovation Campus at Burlington) sowie mit Craig Gruber (Associate Vice President of the Innovation Campus at Burlington). Neben einer spannenden Tour der Labore und Facilities, wurden mögliche Kooperationsmodelle und Austauschmöglichkeiten in den Bereichen Forschung, Studium und Lehre sowie Unternehmens- und Laborpraktika besprochen. Die Northeastern University ist eine der ältesten und renommiertesten Coop-Universitäten (Cooperative Education) in den USA und wäre aufgrund der starken Fokussierung auf die angewandte Forschung und Lehre ein ideale Passung für die UAS7-Allianz. Das Treffen wurde gemeinsam mit Helmut Landes (Deputy Consul General at the German Consulate General Boston) und Lucius Lichte (Science Liaison Officer) vom Deutschen Konsulat in Boston arrangiert.

UAS7 sieht die GAIN-Jahrestagung 2018 als vollen Erfolg und freut sich schon jetzt auf die nächste Veranstaltung Ende August 2019 in San Francisco.

Weitere Informationen

German Academic International Network (GAIN)

“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)

Video: Highlights vom “Career Booster Germany” am Goethe-Institut New York


Am 21. Oktober 2016 fand eine deutsche Karriermesse für nordamerikanische Schüler und Studierende im Goethe-Institut New York statt. Zusammen mit UAS7 nahmen zahlreiche deutsche Universitäten, Firmen und Organisationen an dieser Veranstaltung teil. Ca. 50 Workshops und 20 Infostände deckten Themen wie „Careers in Germany“, „Studying in Germany“ und „Scholarships in Germany“ ab. Insgesamt kamen an dem Tag rund 400 Gäste ins Goethe-Institut. Viele Schüler und Studierende zeigten großes Interesse an dem Workshop zum Thema “Universities of Applied Sciences”. Das “UAS7 Study and Internship Program” sowie englischsprachige Bachelor- und Masterstudiengänge der UAS7-Mitgliedshochschulen waren ebenfalls stark nachgefragt. Aufgrund der Popularität dieser Veranstaltung hat das New Yorker Goethe-Institut gemeinsam mit UAS7 und anderen Ausstellern ein Video von der Messe produziert, welches u.a. für zukünftige Events dieser Art werben soll:

Die nächste Karrieremessen finden am 12. Mai 2017  (Goethe-Institut Washington DC) und am 13. Oktober 2017 (Goethe-Institut New York) statt. UAS7 ist an beiden Standorten wieder mit einem Workshop u. Infostand dabei.