In the framework of the Academic mobility program, a group of bachelor students of MPEI completed their first internship at West Saxon University of Applied Sciences, Zwickau, Germany, in the autumn semester 2019/2020. They represented four MPEI Institutes: Institute of Information Technologies and Computer Science, Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics, Institute of Humanities and Applied Sciences, Engineering-Economic Institute. According to Erasmus+ policy, the tuition fee was covered by the receiving part and the other expenses – by the students themselves.
Rimma Ishberdina, MPEI Bachelor of IITCS, shares her impressions.
West Saxon University of Applied Sciences Zwickau or Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau (WHZ) was founded in 1987. It is a University specializing in technology, economics and life management. The University includes 8 faculties and has about 50 specialties, training about 3800 students from 50 countries. WHZ is one of the partner Universities of MPEI.
WHZ has two Campuses: Technology and Humanities. They are situated in a few tramway stops one from another, or in 20 minutes on foot. The students’ hostel is located in the centre, in 2 minutes from the Technology campus.
Choosing your curriculum at WHZ, you should make a decision about the disciplines you want to learn, so pay attention to the language of tuition. Generally it is German, mostly the courses are taught in it. So to fully dive in the training process you need to have at least B1 in German to communicate with the teachers and understand the terminology. However, it is not a big problem because you can take some subjects in English and mostly all the teachers speak English fluently.
You shouldn’t worry about the choice of subjects because it all can be rectified in the first two weeks if you need, just mind the time.
At the beginning of the semester, international curators conduct excursions around the university, so it is not difficult to get acquainted to the Campus. The curators also help students with routine questions, for example, how to get insurance, how to open a bank account, etc., and during the semester they answer all the questions that arise.
You can find accommodation in Germany on your own or apply for a place at the student residence WHZ by clicking on the link: www.swcz.de/wohnheimbewerbung
The cost of living in a student hostel depends on the number of people living in one block, an average of 200 Euro per month.
Insurance in Germany is compulsory, therefore local insurance is required ~ 110 € / month.
At WHZ, I have been studying at the Faculty of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering (Automobil- und Maschinenbau Fakultät). There I took several subjects: Advanced Technical English (Technical English), Deutsch als Fremdsprache: Technisches Deutsch (German as a foreign language: Technical German), Werkstoffprüfung und –charakterisierung (Non-destructive testing).
The subject of Werkstoffprüfung und –charakterisierung (Non-Destructive Testing) included both theoretical knowledge and its practical application, which allowed to understand the material better. The theoretical material was vast, the subject included several parts that I had already passed at MPEI in the 2nd and 3rd years. I liked the practical exercises at MPEI, since most of the laboratory work was carried out independently on the equipment without the help of teachers. On the contrary, in WHZ a certain laboratory assistant is responsible for the practice and takes all the measurements by himself, we were just watching, analyzing and making conclusions.
In WHZ, physical education is an optional subject, some do like it, some do not. You can find a multitude of sport courses: badminton, dancing, fitness, volleyball, football, basketball etc.
Students usually spend their free time doing sports. The courses are chosen by yourself, as well as the training days and level of difficulty. For both beginners and professionals it costs a nominal fee of 5-10 Euro per semester.
Not far from the campus there is a green park with a small pond where you can take a walk or exercise.
The international office organizes various interesting events for students from different countries. These are the “Welcome Party”, for example, or “Go EAST”, an information party where students from different countries present their Universities to local students. It’s hard to get bored at such events: there is an opportunity to meet new people from different countries, learn more about their culture and just have a great time.
"Welcome Party", "Go East"
You can spend your free time doing sports or studying in the library or voyaging and sightseeing through the suburbs of Zwickau, an opportunity that mostly all students take.
At the beginning of the semester, a student card, “Studentenausweis“, is issued for you, which allows to buy meals in the dining room of the University for only 1.5-3 Euros (it is a HUGE portion of food), and also allows to travel by train for free all over Saxony. The convenient location of the town of Zwickau contributes to travelling: it is located just a couple of hours away by comfortable train from Leipzig and Dresden.
It is also worth visiting the grand Saxon Switzerland National Park, which is located near Dresden. Most of this park belongs to Germany, and the name was given to it because of its fabulous landscape resembling the mountains of Switzerland.
The grand Saxon Switzerland National Park
Speaking about the question “to go or not to go”, there is no other way than “to go”!
On the preparatory stage of the program you seem to waste your time, nerves and resources, you need to visit all the MPEI buildings to get all the documents and signatures. Indeed, it is not so fearful because you can always ask for help at your departments and the Department of International Relations.
To sum up, on the trip you acquire knowledge, new friends, international experience, opportunity to study along with foreign people, to find out and discover, as well as the language training.
Wishing all the best in achieving your goals!