Challenging myself in Germany

Acquiring experiences and skills a little further

Monthly Archives: March 2018

Long time no see

Today is the day when I have enough energy and motivation to update this blog. It has been almost five month since the last time I wrote here, so I’ll try to recall the time.

In a nutshell, winter semester is over and I got an internship from Fraunhofer IPA.

First things first, the period here has been really stressing because of  the search for an internship, different teaching manner in English and long school days. During the winter semester I sent approximately 30 job applications. Most of the Germany company websites and jobs adds is in German, so it took a lot of time just to find a suitable company and task for me. Only that part itself took days. I am a perfectionist so at first it took 3-4 days to send the applications, but it got easier all the time. The second wearing thing was to learn the subjects. Especially in some courses such as Control Engineering and Digital Control, I couldn’t assimilate subjects during the lecture nor at home because the provided material by our professor wasn’t match for my level of knowledge for independent studies. In the evenings I was just anxious and frustrated  after a couple of hours of studying without any meaningful progress. The third thing was the time, there were two days in the week when I had almost 14 hours school, from 7:30 am to 9 pm. Other days during the week I may had school from 7:30 am until 16:30 pm. Sometimes it was less if there wasn’t laboratory work.

Winter semester is over here now which ended in the last day of January. I enrolled and participated for all the exams I mentioned in the last post.  Preparing for the exams began too late if I would say and it was too lousy. The winter semester didn’t end up as I planned. In the begining my strategy was that I am allowed to fail one test, but instead I failed three of them, which are Control Engineering, Digital Control and Microprocessor Technology. The last one was a big surprise, because I spent most of my time for that course and in the laboratory works I managed most of the tasks and it wasn’t too hard. My opinion is that the exam didn’t measure my competence. In fact this examination system in Germany is way different than in Finland I’ve been used to. Exams here are very official, for example the seats are decided in advance, supervisor reads the legal terms and there is 90 minutes time to answer. The shortest exam I had was approx. 15 pages and the longest 30 pages,  you just had to answer as fast as you could. My manner in tests always has been thoughtful and careful so, I found the short time very crucial to me. Now I have to rearrange my schedule for new tests in summer semester.

I spent winter holidays and semester break in Finland. I came back at 27.2 to prepare for my internship. I started at Fraunhofer in the first of March. It takes approx. one and half hours per day to travel from Göppingen to Stuttgart, in Fraunhofer premises. Now I have been two days there and I really like to be there. It’s not certain yet in which projects i’m going to take part, but very likely I’m going to work with PLC, such as Beckhoff’s TwinCAT 3 or Siemens STEP 7.