About Author: Uttam Mittal is a pre final year B.Tech student at IIT Delhi. He did his internship at Hochschule Niederrhein University, Germany in Textile Technology field.
Whenever I saw a plane passing over my head while walking in the beautiful campus of IIT Delhi where I’m doing my Bachelors, I always used to think when will I get to travel in one of those planes?? It was a dream for me. That is why I tried a lot to get a foreign internship (at the end of 2nd year). I got offers from USA, UK and even Australia but nobody was ready to give any stipend. So, I turned down their offer. Then I was lucky enough to get an invitation from Prof. Kyosev (Germany). I was happy that my dream is going to come true. I booked my flight (Turkish Airlines). But, then my VISA got rejected by the German Embassy. I felt like I might not be able to go to Germany as very little time was left. Then I again applied for the VISA and this time I got it. All the obstacles were out of my way. I did a lot of shopping and was ready to fly on the 25th May.
My entire family came to drop me at the airport and it was difficult to say goodbye to them. But the moment I got into the plane, everything seemed quite good. It was Airbus 330-200 with a capacity of 281 passengers and there were beautiful air hostesses which I had only seen in the movies. After some time, I got to see the real sea and real ships. Then I had a transfer flight in Istanbul. They were calling my name -“Last call for Mr. Uttam Kumar”:P. Then I got in the Boeing 737-800 with slightly less capacity of 180 passengers. As I entered Europe it was all green and filled with natural beauty. I reached Duesseldorf airport in the afternoon. And then I was in Germany :)))). My dream had come true. Then I got to travel in the sky train (which doesn’t run on the rails). I reached Hubertusstrasse 149 where I lived for 2 months. When I reached my room, I was surprised to see its dimensions and the facilities that were provided. There was even a separate refrigerator for me. Next day I got to meet some Bangladeshi and 1 Indian guy. We went to play cricket. There I met a lot of other guys from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and India. Gradually some of them became very good friends of mine. They treated me like their younger brother as all of them were doing masters there. They traveled with me, paid for my tickets, made lunch and dinner for me, took me to the parties, nightclubs, barbecues and all.
When I 1st met my German Professor, I was amazed to see how kind, helping and cool guy he was. Prof. Yordan is one of the most awesome people I have ever met. He was a very helping and caring person. He guided me in everything. He encouraged me to learn new things like programming and mathematical skills. He also said I can contact him anytime I needed his help; even in future. He always made sure that I didn’t face any problem. It was a very very awesome experience working with him. And I thank him for everything I got to learn from him. In the beginning he made me work with some very beautiful German girls. I was also working on my project that was on Technical Textiles; basically braiding of ropes and analyzing their properties for the higher end use. It was a quite nice experience as I got to operate all the machines required on my own (not the case at IIT Delhi). So, I got to learn a lot in this process like how to manage things on your own as I was alone working on my project.
Other than work I also traveled a lot in Europe. I got an Eurail pass for 5 countries in 250 Euros and I traveled to Switzerland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Belgium and of course my very own Germany. Cities I visited include Basel, Engelberg, Luzern, Interlaken, Thun, Bern, Neuchatel, Zurich, Rheinfalls, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Moenchengladbach, Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Stuttgart, Triberg, Black forest, Bruges, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Zandvoort, Prague, Mount Titlis and Wuppertal. All in all, it was a quite awesome sightseeing tour for me. Other than traveling I did everything else I thought I’ll do in Europe and I’m happy about that. I had always dreamt of such an incredible internship opportunity and God fulfilled my dream. I did a lot of shopping there and especially bought a lot of chocolates for my family. I am a vegetarian so I had to cook on my own. In this process I also learned cooking, now I’m a good cook :P.
My work is in the process of getting published as a research paper. If it gets published, it will be really great for my career. It was a very good learning experience for me. My German professor was very happy about my work and he said – “Thank you very much for coming here and you are welcome to come here in future also.” He also gave me 1600 Euro as stipend. Finally, I just want to say that it was the best thing I had ever experienced. Most likely after graduation, I’ll go back to Germany for my Masters. Thank you Germany and Hochschule Niederrhein for having me there.
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