In 2020, the ETIT faculty brought the first exchange student to Bochum to the RUB via the double degree - a double degree in cooperation with the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL) in Bogotá in Colombia. In September 2021, another seven students started their one-year exchange. We asked how they liked it here.
Julian, how was the first semester in Germany for you?
"The first semester was totally cool. I met so many new people."
Juanita, who has been in Bochum since 2020 because of her double degree and has already completed her bachelor's degree, remembers: "The first semester went by very quickly. I got to know many students from different nationalities and therefore learned a lot about the culture .German was a challenge, but I'm learning more every day. :)"
Alejandro feels the same way: "Since I've been in Germany for a year, the adjustment wasn't that high for me. Although the pandemic is making things more difficult, I have the chance to learn German here and get to know more of the culture."
Sebastian, who has only been completing the double degree program in Bochum at the RUB since September 2021, sums up his experiences like this: "It's a great adventure. I've met a lot of people."
Monica, what have you already got to know about Bochum and the surrounding area?
“I got to know a bit of culture and history. I have visited different places in the Bochum area, such as the Tippelsberg or the German Mining Museum. And in North Rhine-Westphalia I have already been to Düsseldorf, Wuppertal and Cologne ."
Sebastian also likes the Tippelsberg and the botanical garden in Bochum.
Alejandro sees the advantage of the NRW ticket for getting to know the area: "The Ruhr area, cities like Cologne in NRW can be easily reached by train thanks to the semester ticket," he says. "I love nature," says Maria, "everything is calm and safe here in Germany". Juanita also likes nature in the Ruhr area: "I went hiking in the Sauerland."
Aldo, where do you see the biggest differences to the university in Colombia?
"Of course there are differences, e.g. the equipment in the RUB is newer and the grades are calculated differently, but I find that university life is similar."
Maria says: "One difference is the freedoms. Here we have more technology and opportunities to study."
Bairon says: "The organization of the lessons is different. Here you learn more autonomously." Alejandro sees the biggest differences in the variety of chairs and the topics that can be researched. In his opinion, there is also a closer connection between industry and universities in Germany.
Alejandro, what have you liked so far about studying at the RUB?
"New topics related to electrical engineering that do not exist in Colombia (plasma technology, hardware safety, etc.) and the supervision of the professors by scientific employees during the internship and the bachelor's thesis."
Julian likes the faculty's equipment: "The devices are new and there are many tools that the students can use. The lecturers are also very nice."
Monica likes the different rooms in the RUB for learning. Like Aldo, she finds that people are all polite and friendly.
Maria, how did you find out about the double degree?
"My dream has always been to get to know the culture in Germany and the opportunity to work from here and learn the language. I can do that with this program."
While Julian became aware of the double degree via the UNAL mailing list, Juanita found out about the possibility of a double degree in Germany from double degree coordinator Christoph Baer. Alejandro heard about it from a professor in Colombia.
Bairon, would you recommend the program to friends who are also considering going abroad?
"Yes! You can gain new experiences, improve your language and meet new people. You also gain new knowledge." Aldo shares Bairon's opinion: "Of course! I think it's a great opportunity to grow. And to get to know something about myself and the world."
Juanita would also recommend the program: "It's a good opportunity to have your studies recognized in Europe." Monica is certain: "The program gives many different opportunities to learn new things." Alejandro would particularly recommend it to those "who want to get to know or deepen knowledge of other industries and research areas (plasma, high-frequency technology)." Julian has already passed on his positive impressions to his colleagues in Colombia.
Sebastian and Juanita, are you looking forward to spring/summer?
"Very!" says Juanita. "Spring and summer activities make me happy. :) I look forward to picnics and walks." Sebastian is also looking forward to the warmer days: "I'm looking forward to enjoying spring and summer."
While Monica looks forward to the summer semester, Bairon hopes to explore new places. Alejandro is particularly looking forward to the flowers of spring and the days of summer. "But I hope it won't get too warm," he adds. Aldo can't wait to not have to wear a big winter jacket anymore. Maria explains her anticipation of spring and summer like this: "I don't know any seasons from Colombia. So it's new for me and I'm happy to see these differences."
Coordinator Dr. Christoph Baer finally commented on the positive development of the double degree: "I have been cooperating with UNAL for a long time and have also held lectures and information events in Bogotá in the past. The ongoing pandemic is making work on the international degree program somewhat more difficult, but the fact "that we are here today with 8 students from Colombia shows that international exchange programs can work even in times of crisis. This and the great progress of our incoming students makes me very proud."
(Note from the editor: All participants who can be seen in the photos have been tested and sufficiently vaccinated.)
We wish our double degree students continued exciting and great times and are excited to see which path they will take after this unique experience abroad. We will continue to report on this.
Would you like to go to Colombia as an exchange student? You can find out more about the double degree program at https://etit.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/studium/auslandsaufenthalte/double-degree-kolumbien/.