Summer Internship at TU Berlin – Ravi Shankar Mishra from IIT Kanpur

Ravi Shankar Mishra interned at Technical University (TU) Berlin, and shares how he has learnt and enjoyed in his international internship. Ravi is a student at IIT Kanpur. Read on to explore his experience of interning abroad.

It all started on 29th October 2012, when after 10 days of restless mailing to professors of Germany for summer internship, I finally got a positive reply from my mentor, Vishal Aditya, who is currently pursuing a PhD at TU Berlin. He had arranged a project named “Image Processing Based Flame Edge Detection Algorithms” under Professor Dr Christian Oliver Paschereit, who is head of Fluid Dynamics and Technical Acoustics Department at TUB, for me. I barely managed to complete all the formalities of DAAD WISE application in time, but I knew my efforts were worth it.

25th January 2013 was that happy day when I was confirmed about my selection in DAAD WISE and my journey for Deutschland begun. I was very excited itself as this was going to be my first flight experience and seriously, it was superb.

I landed in Berlin Schönefeld Airport. The weather was beautiful. My first impression about Berlin was a Utopian City that we hear in fairy tales; a city that had a right mix of cultural heritage and technological advancement.

I was lucky, as my office was at a walkable distance from my hostel. So I didn’t require any transportation facility. The environment in my office, which was basically a student room, was very friendly. Everyone used to greet everyone else when they met. This really surprised me for first few days as it’s not very common in India. Student room had interns from all parts of the globe, namely, Germany, USA, Iran, Pakistan, Australia, UK and many more places. Everyone was very serious about their work. During office time, they did nothing but worked. But during the evening they did all sorts of crazy stuffs and partied hard. Their motto was – “Work hard, Party harder”.

I was assigned a piece of work on image processing, to detect flame edges. I really cherished to work on MATLAB and devise new codes and algorithms. I had done some coding on MATLAB in 2012 summers, so I was very much comfortable with my project. My mentor was very helpful, he introduced me to all the members and staffs in the department .He helped me to get monthly train pass and Mensa Card. My professor was a very busy person but I never realized so. He invariably took out some time of his busy schedule to ask me what my work progress was.

Those 75 days of my stay in TU Berlin are something that I will never forget. As far as research is concerned, Germany offers a large variety of research fields and is a paradise for a Mechanical Engineer like me. I wish I could go there again in future and LIVE MY LIFE again. I made a lot of friends there, with very different cultural backgrounds, some were hesitant, some were open and some, neutral. Cooking dinner with them in a common kitchen meant ‘its party time’ every night. I generally ate pizza or boiled potatoes in Mensa during afternoons as I am very choosy in terms of food. The dinner generally ended with rice, daal and vegetables.

Berlin is a beautiful city for tourism. I made several trips to Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Alexanderplatz, Potsdamer Platz and many exciting places. I also got acquainted with the night life at Berlin, I joined many night parties and discos. I also visited nearby cities of Germany during weekends like Dresden, Amsterdam and Cologne, all by myself. This boosted my self-confidence and faith on me that I can survive all by myself. I enjoyed the independence in its purest form.

My project was something I really enjoyed. I completed it 10 days before my internship duration so that I have enough time to live my last few days at the fullest.

All good things come to an end. Alas! 22 July 2013 was my last day in dreamland, I said goodbye to my Professor, mentor and friends. Gave them chocolates as a token of our friendship. There were tears in my eyes when I boarded S-Bahn for the last time as my friends said goodbye to me from the station.

Sitting in the flight, I had memories of my stay, research work, friends, places I visited and many more. I will never forget the quality time I spent in Berlin.

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