About Author: Anamika Patel is an Electrical Engineering student at IIT Indore. She interned at Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany. Read on to know why she calls her internship inspiring.
I took a flight from Delhi on 12th May, at 6 am to Nuremberg, Germany. It was a connecting flight going via Istanbul, so I had the opportunity to see Turkey also! At 5:30 pm German time, I reached Nuremberg airport. One Indian PhD student from FAU came to receive me. It was all dream come true experience; the surroundings full of greenery and so scenic, experiencing a temperature of 15 degrees when it was scorching summer in India, I loved every moment of it.
I finally reached my hostel in Erlangen, where I had to stay for the upcoming period. Along with me, there were two other guys from India who were doing DAAD funded internship in FAU under the same professor. The hostel I was staying in could be stated as a geographic-cultural cluster, where you could see at least one student from almost every country around the world, be it Brazil or Pakistan or Hungary , etc.
The next day was Sunday. Germany, as known to the world as producer of scientists, thinkers, etc., is also a country where people love to chill out in their own unique ways when they have free time. I came to know about a concert the next day in Palace Garden, Erlangen. I woke up early, the next Sunday morning in excitement to see more and more of this country. I attended the concert along with Indian PhDs and two girls from Ukraine from my hostel. It was really solacing to see everyone there chilling out in the sun and listening to the soft music. I got the opportunity to roam around Nuremberg city also, the same day after the concert along with Indian PhDs. I had had really a great day.
The next day I went to FAU. I had to do one project on “Automatic Speech Recognition System in presence of noise and reverberation” under the guidance of Prof. Walter Kellermann and the mentor for the project was also a German PhD Armin Sehr. He talked to me about the project and told me about how to proceed. I shouldn’t go into the details of the project here. The next thing he discussed was about the places like Bamberg, BMW factory and also near by beautiful, historic countries where I should definitely visit during weekends and asked me to taste Nurnberger, Lebbuchen. It tasted awesome. Germans are a bit cooler in this sense. They are straight forward and when they have to be formal, they don’t expect any other way round and during informal discussions they discuss many interesting things, without caring about who they are talking to.
After a working week, finally the next weekend had come. I along with other interns went to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in the same state, Bavaria. The scenes were breathtaking, had it been the castle or the near-by lake or the mountains of Austria visible from there. Wow! I used to go to university by bus during week days and yeah, during weekends, I along with other interns didn’t miss any, to go to many interesting places around. It pleases me to say that I had been to Paris, Switzerland, Belgium and BMW factory, Regensburg, Bamberg, Heidelberg, Halle and Berlin among German places. The most memorable and joyful among them was the time spent in Berlin.
There was DAAD-WISE-2012 meet of all 153 interns selected from all over India from 10th to 12th June, 2012. Seeing so many Indians at one place in a foreign country was itself a great pleasure. In the hotel “The Motel 1” (sounds weird :P) , we all experienced awesome accommodation and food. We were taken to an Indian restaurant there, after a seminar and GD in Freie University, Berlin. I still feel that awesome moment of having a full Indian meal after almost one month. The next day we were taken to a ferry ride in Havel river. There was one German guide on the ferry, speaking English thankfully! He told us many interesting facts about Berlin’s history, the Berlin Wall, and many more like the old buildings lie in east Germany and newer ones are in West. Most interesting among them was Berlin Bahnhoff (railway station). There was a long horizontal half cylindrical structure with length about size of one German train and the reason behind that was to protect trains from rainfall or snowfall when standing in the station.
We used to have one meeting with the professor, with all interns and other PhDs in FAU every Friday. All had to give details about their work and tell about their problems, etc. In that meeting it was decided that all three Indian interns will be giving presentations about their project in July end. I appreciated how strictly they used to follow time schedules, unlike in India where coming late is a notion of status.
We had one industry visit also to Alcatel Lucent, Nuremberg. It was really exciting to see so many advanced technologies in communication and electronics there. How can I forget to mention that I had been to Halle, Germany to see the final match of Gerry Weber Open between Roger Federer and Tommy Hass? Although Federer lost, but I didn’t lose the hope and in spite of the stirred crowd I managed to get Federer’s autograph. It was God’s blessing to me.
Everyone must be wondering that I haven’t mentioned about one personality who everyone remembers on hearing “Germany”. I had been to Dachau concentration camp (Hell as Prison in short) of Adolf Hitler which has been turned to a museum with all those structures, depicting the horror with which they were about 66 years ago. We in groups of three spent the whole day, walking around the whole camp and museum. Those gas chambers, ovens for burning bodies, dead room and many more inexpressible things, were able to stir our conscience deeply, to think about the drastic contrast between the present flourishing technological advancements and the catastrophe they experienced then. The sacrifices they made are unforgettable. I urge everyone to look into this deed of Germans, moving from dusk to dawn and never turning back, not only handling and overcoming a tragedy, but also excelling themselves in all fields of science and technologies, a wholesome example of inspiration to all!
If you too have had any interesting internship experiences (in India or abroad) and would like to share it with all of us, please submit your entries here.