My name is Varvara Korolenkova, I am a postgraduate student of the 2nd year of the Department of Control and Informatics of MPEI. I won the grant of DAAD "Mikhail Lomonosov" for scientific studies in Germany and chose TU Ilmenau for my internship, because, firstly, MPEI and TU Ilmenau have been in close relationship for many years, secondly, at this University I found the field of study that is the closest one to my department’.
This is my first long journey abroad. Ilmenau is a small town, almost a village in the central federal land of Thuringia. Its capital is Erfurt, a large and beautiful town. You can get from Ilmenau to Erfurt by the regional train in an hour. Ilmenau is well-known as the town of Goethe and University town. It is located in the center of Thuringian forest, so-called "green heart of Germany".
To take part in the DAAD scholarship contest I had to get the invitation of a German professor who would agree to control my project. For most students, as well as for me, this was the hardest part. I had no ties, so I just started to send the letters to different professors describing my work and asking to invite me to their universities. I sent only a few letters, 5 or so, to Ilmenau and one to another University. Some professors responded that they were overloaded with work and couldn’t invite me. But professor Youri Schardt from the Department of Automation Engineering agreed and sent me the invitation. It was right on time, so I made it to the deadline of application.
For me that was a really inspiring event, because a person from far away who didn’t know me, believed in my work and decided to help me, so I am very grateful to him. Another lucky point was that he is a Canadian, not a German, so all the conversation was in English.
This is my room at the Department. All the conditions that they have offered me were perfect.
Germans have a special infrastructure. I was amazed by the automatic doors everywhere that have no need to be touched, lampposts with the movement sensors outdoors, useful applications for transport that show the delays of trains etc.
Another uncommon thing was the litter separation. The disadvantage was that in Germany there is a very high cost for the Internet access, unlike Russia.
I also keep in mind the trip to Bonn to the conference that was organized by DAAD for all the students on internship. We visited the Russian Embassy and the National Museum of Germany, and took part in the meeting.
After the conference we had a few days for an opportunity to go to regions. Together with fellow students we visited Cologne, Dusseldorf and Amsterdam.
My scientific field is tied with the research of characteristics of patients with different eye sicknesses. At Ilmenau I contacted the faculty of Biomedicine and they gave me a tour and told about their work that was extremely useful for me.
I caught the time of Christmas Fairs in Germany. The ambience is incredible, very colorful, with special goods on sale and happy people around. I have never been to Europe during Christmas and enjoyed the traditions, such as advents, for example, four Sundays before Christmas when you have to carry out special rituals.
I made many friends from different parts of the world. We reunited all together once a month and carried out international dinners, every guest prepared the national food, from Russia, Brazil, Peru, China, India.
I have many thrilling memories of this internship, my English and German levels have risen, and the knowledge that I acquired, I would implement it in my future science work.
I wish to thank MPEI and the Department of International Relations for their help in paperwork, good will and kind response.