First Movers in Innovative Entrepreneurship from TU Berlin

5 December 2017 International activities 101

Amelie Hahler and Sophie Reeck became the first students from Germany who came to SPbPU to study ‘Innovative entrepreneurship’ by double degree program. This program is implemented jointly by the Peter the Great Polytechnic University and the Technical University of Berlin.

Since the beginning of studies has passed three months. During this time, Amelie and Sophie were fully involved in the educational process and cultural life of St. Petersburg. Also Amelie and Sophie shared their experiences in an interview for the international office of SPbPU.

First Movers in Innovative Entrepreneurship from TU Berlin

- Amelie, Sophie, why did you want to study in Russia?

Amelie: In Germany we are studying the double degree program, which is implemented jointly with SPbPU. Before us, no one came to St. Petersburg, and we decided to be the first, who had such an experience.

Sophie: Russia is an interesting and unusual country. I had a choice between Moscow and St. Petersburg, but Petersburg was closer to me.

- What were your expectations before coming to Russia?

Amelie: My expectations were fully justified. St. Petersburg is a very beautiful city with open people. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants, bars on the streets, also active night life and good music. Russians know how to have fun!

Sophie: I thought that Russian culture and studying would be rather different from Germany. In fact, there were no big differences between them. Our classes in TU Berlin can be structured differently, but the classes we attend in SPbPU are similar to lectures in TU Berlin.

First Movers in Innovative Entrepreneurship from TU Berlin

- What about your life here, did you have to deal with any difficulties?

Amelie: When we arrived in Russia, we planned to live in a student dormitory. But neither I nor Sophie had such experience. We realized that working on a master’s thesis requires a lot of concentration and attention. Living in a dormitory you can forget about studying because of many temptations. So we decided to rent an apartment.

Sophie: There were no difficulties with finding an apartment, the program coordinators helped us. Many of our friends in Russia and Germany prefer to live in student dormitories, there is always fun and never boring. So this is a personal choice for everyone.

- Can you tell us more about the program, which you are studying.

Amelie: In TU Berlin it is called ‘Innovative Management and Entrepreneurship’, in SPbPU – ‘Innovative Entrepreneurship’. This is a very interesting direction that suggests new ways of development, new products and technologies.

Sophie: The learning process is full of group activities and discussions. Our program is really international, people from different countries of Europe and Asia study here. Because of cultural differences, it is sometimes difficult to organize the educational process. But it’s useful experience to better communicate with each other and learn new cultures.

- Share successful examples of innovative entrepreneurship.

Amelie: There are a lot of them! For example, well-known companies Google and Uber. They have used innovations since the beginning of their work.

First Movers in Innovative Entrepreneurship from TU Berlin

- Do you have any favorite places in St. Petersburg? Where do you recommend to go to foreign students?

Sophie: For people who come to St. Petersburg for the first time, I would recommend going to the Palace Square.

Amelie: I'll advise everyone who comes to St. Petersburg go for a walk. The most important thing is warm clothes; the weather here is very changeable.

- What will you advise students who come to study in another country?

Sophie: Many people have a fear of the unknown. However, you should be a positive, and expect a lot of unforgettable impressions.

Amelie: Do not be afraid, be open to everything new! Remember, this is a unique opportunity to learn more about another culture, broaden horizons and make new friends.

Amelie, Sophie, thank you for an interesting interview! We wish you success in your educational activities!

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