As the headline says, our autumn season as double degree students has passed. That is why I thought that it might be a good opportunity to make a small summary of our journey to this date and give some tips for other students who are planning to wear double degree lederhosens!
At first I would like to start about the last week of our school before Christmas holidays. We had an exam on Monday 16.12 about German history and culture and thankfully I was well prepared because the exam was a bit hard in general. I think the hard part in history course was the language. Many English words and explanations about history are very difficult to understand for a engineer who has focused mostly to the mechanical English! So get this point; make notes and explanations to yourself during classes if you can’t understand fully what the teacher means! It is worth it.
The German history and culture exam was not the last task for us. We still had one laboratory task about digital control engineering on Tuesday 17.12. The task was to control a DC-motor by using Matlab and Simulink. It sounds pretty easy for JAMK student but it is not when you go to the controlling subject as deep as a German mechatronic engineer. I have thought many times why those digital control laboratories are so difficult compared to the other laboratories which we have had in control engineering and power electronics. The answer to this issue is that our other courses are for students who are on fourth semester but digital control is meant for students who are on sixth semester! When I noticed this I found out really quickly that the knowledge which is critical for the digital control course comes from the control engineering course.. As you can understand, it is a bit difficult to study these two courses in parallel when they are meant to be on different semesters. The lesson is; look carefully beforehand which courses you select and make sure that they are on the same “difficulty level”!
After raising some stress levels about the hard courses is good to mention that the studying methods in Hochschule Esslingen (maybe in whole Germany also?) are in a pretty good shape. In autumn we had a feeling that we rush through the topics very fast, but there is a good reason for that. We had all the new topics about the courses in autumn so we can revise all the topics once again in January! The exams take place between January and February, so we have much time for preparing at home and also in the lectures. For the preparing is really important to do good notes during the classes; this helps you when the topics are revised before the exam.
Spare time for studying and the Christmas holidays are definitely essential because the autumn was quite demanding for us. It takes pretty much time and effort to adapt to the new studying program and to the whole atmosphere here in Germany, not to mention the time for seeking for the internship company! But hard work pays off and now me and Simo have a really good situation because we already found a company and signed our contracts for the internship before Christmas holidays. The company is close to Stuttgart, so we also rented furnished flat apartments from Bad-Canstatt which is a district of Stuttgart. Juhana is still seeking for an internship, but luckily there is still time for over a month before the winter semester ends. However, the best scenario is that you have the internship company before Christmas so you can relax during the holidays and have spare time for seeking for your new apartment (if necessary). This means that it is really important to start seeking for the internship as soon as possible!
All in all, our journey to this date has been very successful. I have enjoyed Germany’s culture and the opportunities which you can have there! Lets see what the next year will bring. I know that it will be very different because your internships start and the “world” of school is away for a short period.
Here is one photo of my holidays in Finland, yet the best winter scenery is found from home!
Happy new year for everybody! ~Janne