Internship at Leibniz Universität Hannover: SPbPU Student about Participation at Erasmus+ Program
Under the program Erasmus+ fourth year student of Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE of SPbPU) Rania BAEVA had a five-month internship at Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH), and on arrival shared her impressions. Today in our interview: how to take part in Erasmus+ programs, what documents are necessary, what educational process there is at Leibniz Universität Hannover and lots of other interesting facts.
– Rania, why did you decide to take part in Erasmus+ program?
– I have always dreamt of internship in a foreign country, and without any hesitation agreed to take part in Erasmus+ program. But you should be ready to competitive admissions: at first you should submit documents about your academic progress and a reference letter from your institute, and then you will have an interview in English. I successfully completed the whole tasks, and started preparing all the necessary documents. It is very important to note that your documents should be translated into English or German.
– What documents do you need to study abroad? Are there any difficulties with them?
– To take part in Erasmus+ program you should have a copy of your report card, testimonial letter from your institute, and also an approximate list of the subjects you would like to study at a foreign university.
There are no any problems with documents preparation: international offices of both of the universities do a good work, and are ready to answer any question. Most of all I was worried about my visa, but it is found out that if you are Erasmus+ student, visa is got ready in a short period of time, and, what is more, you do not need to pay a fee. In SPbPU site you can learn all the necessary information - for example, to read a list of Partner Universities.
– Is health insurance compulsory for students?
– Yes, it is compulsory for all the students. You can make it in Germany; it costs about EUR90 per month.
– And what is about cost of living in Germany? Was your scholarship enough for all the expenses?
– Yes, absolutely! My scholarship was about EUR800 per month, and it covered all my expenses. But you should take into account the fact that you will get your scholarship only in two or three weeks after arrival, so you have to have your own money for this time.
– What about your impressions after your internship? Did you like it?
– I went to study abroad at such times when I really needed it. This internship was very useful for me. I could essentially improve my English and speak much more fluently than earlier. It was very interesting to deep into multicultural atmosphere, and now I have new ideas, new goals.
– Tell us about educational process at LUH.
– At Leibniz Universität Hannover I studied some disciplines which were similar with those I studied at ICE. For example, I really liked a subject 'Sanitary Engineering'. Also we had a very interesting discipline called 'Image analysis'. The professors taught us how to make maps from ordinary photos. The classes were interactive and intensive. Teachers used presentations for every lesson. Also there were very good libraries with computers and Wi-Fi.
– What also stood out in your memory?
– The university works nonstop. On the first floor there are tables with wall sockets, and it is always difficult to find a free seat. The library is also always crowded, especially when students pass their exams. It opens at 8:00 a.m., and at 9:00 a.m. you will hardly find a spare place. I really loved to study in a library at LUH, and came there in spite of the fact that I lived alone in my dormitory room.
– And what is about dormitories, canteen?
– The canteen was very good. The food there was tasty and not expensive. The dormitories at LUH have blocked structure: in every block usually live about 10 people. Every person has his or her own room. The cost is not very high: I paid EUR210 per month, but there also were more expensive variants.
– Now about the scariest thing: exams!
– A compulsory condition of participation in Erasmus+ program is that at the end of your studying you should get at least 15 credits after passing your exams. If you do not do that, you will have to return back all your scholarship. Every exam brings you about 5 credits. Except credits, you will also have mark: it should be at least middle-level. In this case you will have your credits. There are two types of exams in Germany: in written and oral forms.
– How did you pass your exams?
– Once I had to pass a writing exam. I had 36 sheets of paper, where tasks were printed on a one side. I had to write short or full answers, draw schemes, continue a thought, etc. When you pass such an exam, you don't have time to think: you read a question, and should write an answer immediately. Near every task there is a number of points you can get if you solve it. These points also mean an amount of time which is recommended to spend on the task.
When you pass an oral examination, an examiner cannot administer it alone: there are at least two professors in a classroom. You also have time limits: for example, some answers should be no longer than 7 minutes and 30 seconds. And not a second more!
– Were there any problems with communication?
– I did not have any problems: all the people were friendly and nice. Also when I just came to Germany I had a funny incident: in the beginning of my education I lost the way to my dormitory, and couldn't find it. I saw some hospital, came there and said to security guard that I got lost, and I didn't have a map or Internet. So he found in his computer my dormitory, draw me a map, and I happily returned back home.
– Did you have time to travel? What impressed you?
– While studying in Germany I visited Berlin, Munich, Celle, Hamburg. I really loved Munich: I think it is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Also I was very impressed with Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria. I also travelled abroad and visited Paris, Amsterdam and Prague. I went there by bus, and stayed in hostel, so my scholarship was enough.
– And our traditional question: what would you advise to the students who would like to study abroad?
– Get out of your comfort zone! Never give up and believe in yourself. It was not my first try to study abroad, but I didn't lose hope, and finally could go to Germany. Do not forget: you hold the keys to the kingdom!
– Rania, thank you very much for the interesting interview! Wish you good luck and new achievements!