Right next to Stuttgart, the industrial heart of Germany, lies my hometown for the past 5 months called Esslingen am Neckar (Esslingen by river Neckar). My studies here have consisted of not too many classes, and a lot of self-studying. Courses that I am taking make up 35 ECT credits in total, and the topics are as follow:
-Sustainable, Efficient and Decentralized Energy Systems
-Laboratory Sustainable Energy Systems
-Renewable Energy Sources and Carriers
-Ecologic and Economic Design
-Design and Development Methodology
-Light Weight Design
-Advanced Finite Element Method
-German Language (at level 3 out from 4)
-German History and Culture
-Project work: Cooling concept for Batteries
Many of these courses are tied together as a module, which helps to study them both, since the teacher is the same, and topics are similar. Courses are a bit different than what I have done in TAMK, since there is nothing especially related to vehicles, exception being the project work. Categories are still interesting and also demanding. When I have to get to school, I usually cycle there with the bike that I rented from my school, only 10e for semester (+100 e deposit which you get back when returning the bike).
The building that I normally attend to classes is showed above, and it’s really old, big and nice. Because the building is a historical building, and building is regulated, the downside is that there is no AC-system, and Esslingen was really hot (for a Finn) in September when we got here.
During my spare-time I usually hang out with my newly found spanish girlfriend, or new international friends that I’ve made. We watch series and movies from Netflix, cook together and laugh a lot to silly youtube videos. I bought a semi-acoustic guitar from my neighbour, which I fiddle with every now and then. I also like to spend excessive amounts of time in Facebook, news sites and reading blogs, this way catching up with the news and happenings of my friends, family and Finland. I’m enjoying, though I feel also a little homesick.
Main difference in studies in TAMK and Hochschule Esslingen is that there is a lot less graded assignments to do. Usually in TAMK we have e.g. one assignment which covers up 50 % of your final grade, 50 % coming from the exam. In Esslingen, all the effort is put to the exam, which is a bit of a bummer to me. In classes, group sizes are similar to TAMK (=too big), so there isn’t sometimes too much room up front in the classes. Luckily teachers are mostly great. They have a style to keep a constant dialogue between students and they are usually constantly asking questions, assuming people to answer without raising of hand. Although this feels similar to our studies in TAMK, but maybe in general here they do that a bit more. All the professors are extremely competant, with crazy titles such as Prof. Dr. Dipl. Ing. before their name tag of their office. Germany uses more formal approach than in TAMK, since professors are not addressed with their first names as in Finland. This feels although natural, when using English language.
Soon back home!