I was always fascinated of the big cultural and colorful country named India and it was always my plan to go there once. To combine the fulfilment of this dream with a meaningful use is even better!
So my journey began on the 5th November 2015 when I took my flight for the first time to India. At the beginning, everything is well organized from the Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology (IWF) Braunschweig and BITS Pilani so you can arrive safe and fast to Pilani. There is a pickup from the airport, where probably most Germans will arrive; Delhi Airport to BITS Pilani. The trip takes approximately five and a half hours, “can be more, can be less, it depends on your luck and the traffic” and gives a first impression of the area in which you will live in the next months……
The DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service) published a comprehensive reader about „The Adventure of Research“ for young Indian scientists in Germany. 28 stories from students all over India who participated in the exchange programme and studied at a German university. They tell how their studies abroad have been „A Boost to Capacity and Personality Building“ (Ritwick Ghosh), „Why German Trains are Always on Time“ (Mahesh Lokesh), describe „The Tuesday Coffee Room Talks“ (Harikesh Arunachalam) or their „5,000 Panorama Pictures of Europe“ (Krishna Kanth Kilambi) and much more.
„I wanted to experience research at an international level, and DAAD made it possible. This experience has been very memorable and enjoyable and I am sure it will be one of the important milestones in my career.“
—Alok Deshpande (The Adventure of Research, page 8)
As a BITS student you may be wondering what life in Germany will actually look life. Adam Fletcher, an Englishman living in Berlin and „honorary German“, wrote a fun introduction to typical German experiences. As German researchers we can confirm that he really covers all the important things, like apfelsaftschorle, insurances or „how to open a beer bottle with anything but a bottle opener“.* Read more about this on his blog. There is also an extended version available as ebook, and once you are familiar with all the German quirks take the online questionnaire and find out how German you are.
*In his blog Adam Fletcher also writes about German food and mentions the difficult situation for vegetarians, saying „Being a vegetarian here is probably about as much fun as being blind at the zoo.“ We think this has much improved in the last few years. Getting vegetarian food is not an issue, neither at the student cafeteria nor in the city.
We have compiled a comprehensive „Leitfaden“ for all the German students planning to go to BITS Pilani. You can download the PDF (in German) here. Please let us know, if you would suggest any additional information or if something has become outdated.
Start preparing early! Travelling to India is slightly more complicated compared than a trip to Sweden or France. Perhaps you will need some vaccinations, you definitely will need a visa and there are various other things you might need to consider (from the local climate to security issues or special equipment). We recommend to start at least somewhere between six to eight weeks prior to your planned arrival at BITS.
Get in contact! In general, the people on campus are very friendly and very helpful to the German visitors to an extent which is not known to us from Germany. So if you need any help, do not hesitate to ask one of the locals. We also recommend getting in touch with some exchange students from TU Braunschweig in advance, especially the ones currently at BITS campus. They can provide you with detailed information and will help you planning your trip.
Have fun! Living at BITS Pilani campus and travelling in India will be a most rewarding experience. Preparing everything may seem complicated and exhaustive from time to time, so do net get overwhelmed by all the details and enjoy the idea of your future adventure. 😉
Further reading (both books are available at „Stadtbibliothek Braunschweig“):
We would like to say our special thanks to the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst/German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for funding our partnership for more than 5 years now!
It all started in 2009 with the „Lean and Green“ project that was continued until the end of 2011. This project was funded by DAAD in the „A New Passage to India“ programme. In the years 2013 and 2014 the „Indo-German Automotive Life Cycle Engineering“ project followed in the same funding scheme. This was succeeded by the the project „Indo-German Automotive Life Cycle Engineering 2“ in 2015. And we have just applied for „Indo-German Automotive Life Cycle Engineering 3“ for the first half of 2016.
We hope that the DAAD will keep on funding exchange programmes like this in the future as well to enable students and researchers to easily travel to India/Germany to get to know the specifics of the other country.
The „A New Passage to India“ programme website of the DAAD can be found here.
We have compiled some nice videos showing the manifold student activities at BITS Pilani. Two special highlights are the annual student festival Oasis and the sports competition BOSM. See for yourselves:
Studying abroad is always a challenging experience and one that will benefit you throughout your life, whatever career path you choose. You will become acquainted with a different academic tradition, you will meet students from all over the world and you will encounter a variety of new ideas and perspectives!
Braunschweig dates back to the 11th century. When Henry the lion chose to make it his residence in the early Middle Ages. Today, the city became a lively, modern town and the second largest city in Niedersachsen, with a population of 250,000 but still being considered as a „Green City“ with a lot of parks and open spaces.
Founded in 1745 the TU Braunschweig (TU BS) is one of Germany`s oldest Institutes of Technology and a member of TU9 (http://www.tu9.de/tu-bs/). The University has about six departments, over 120 institutes and offers 65 degree programmes. Furthermore, you will find PhD programmes in English, excellent facilities for interdisciplinary study and research work within the fields of engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities sciences.
The university offers students possibilities for housing, like the student hostels „An der Schunter“, „APM“, „Weststadt“ or „Langer Kamp“. The rent is usually cheaper than in a shared housing (Wohngemeinschaften). Prices are between 240 and 300 Euro and include warm water, heating and a shared kitchen and bath.
A second group travelled to Pilani from the 29th of September until the 14th
of October 2015. The team consist of the students Lina Kindermann, Nora
Jaeschke and Roman Stieben and the research assistant Benjamin Neef from the
Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology. Our work was focussed on
the setup and commissioning of an extruder to produce pet filament for 3d
printing purposes. The extruder is charged with recycled pet bottles from the
BITS campus area. The process works well according to the process manual.
Extruded PET filament with a thickness of 1,75 mm
Whole project group with India Partners and the PET extruder in the front
BITS Pilani, the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, was established back in 1964 and is located in Rajasthan, India. With 15 academic departments the university is known as the best private engineering institute of India. The university is also popular for providing quality education to its students. Apart from that, the college is known for its exciting campus life – be it inter-college competitions, sports activities or annual tech festivals.
The university has strong linkages with industry as can be seen by its off-campus Work Integrated Learning Program (WILP) which enrolled 19,000 students from corporate enterprises in 2009. Practical experience in the industry is in the curriculum as a „Practice School“ program, where students work with companies throughout India.
BITS Pilani is a key partner in international initiatives like the development of journal server open-access digital library and MIT iCampus initiative. In 2008 the institute also became a partner of German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademische Austauschdienst – DAAD) to start the Indo-German project “Lean & Green – Efficiency and Effectiveness in Production”
About Sustainable Engineering Excellence Network (SEEN)
A global challenge needs a global community. Together BITS Pilani and TU Braunschweig enable their students to advance the methods and tools which are needed to foster a sustainable development.
Through the joint work on student projects in India and Germany technical as well as intercultural skills are promoted.