Study exchange - Hochschule für Technik and Wirtschaft in Dresden, Germany.

2/12/2013
To study abroad is an interesting experience and a great change to everyday studies - Bc. Tereza Siebertová, Bc. Tomáš Holub and Bc. Petr Rolák. 
Bc. Tereza Siebertová
 
I would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone who wants to try something new, meet new people and gain new skills. Our university cooperates with many interesting foreign schools. However, as German is my main foreign language I was interested in being in a German-speaking country. The most interesting school for me was the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft in Dresden for the following reasons; firstly Dresden is a very beautiful and interesting city. Then there are many ways to spend your free time and to develop your language skills, and Dresden will enchant you with its grandeur, purity and orderliness. Another decisive factor was the location as Dresden is not so far from our university, only 2 hours by car or 4 hours by train, which means that I am able to study in Dresden and also in consultation form at our school.
 
In Dresden I visited many interesting places, such as Zwinger (a complex of beautiful baroque buildings), Semperoper and the Transport Museum. Of course, I also visited the capital city of Berlin and the nearby town of Leipzig.
 
The study programme in Germany is very similar to ours. I see differences in preparation during the semester, as for most subjects students have to prepare presentations and present them during the semester (same as on our school). But the written form of the semester project is much longer, usually 12-20 pages. Attendance is not necessary and exams are part of the exam period. During the semester, there are a lot of excursions which are connected with subjects and furthermore many visits by specialists. It can be said that the demands and the opportunity to study at both institutions are comparable. 
 
My experience with German teachers and classmates is very positive. Most of the time, they are very nice and helpful. A student’s life with international students is also very interesting and friendly. Because Dresden is a student city, there are many international meetings, where foreign students or foreign workers can come to converse with people of different nationalities and exchange their experiences. Time here passes very quickly, so if you want to study abroad I would recommend going for at least one year. 
 
What I will remember from my study in Dresden are memories of a beautiful city and new friends. I hope that I will keep in touch with them and someday, somewhere I will meet them again.
 
My advice for those who are unsure if they want to study abroad is to go; there is nothing to be afraid of.
 
 
Bc. Tomáš Holub
 
One of the main reasons why I decided to study abroad is that my foreign language skills are not so good and I really wanted to improve them. I took the opportunity of a placement in the the Erasmus Programme during my bachelor's degree so I decided to make the most of it in my Master’s degree.
 
I have been learning German for many years and this is the reason why I was looking for a partner university in Germany. Our university has 7 partner universities in this country and finally I chose HTW-Dresden because it is not so far and my two schoolmates were going there too. I spent the whole winter semester 2012/13 in Germany, from the beginning of October  till the end of February. I lived in the dormitory for students which meant I had my own room and I shared a kitchen and bathroom with 5 other students. Two of them were from Germany, two from Malaysia and the last was my schoolmate from the Czech Republic.
 
When I first came to Dresden I was a little confused as HTWD is quite big and there are
a lot of students. On the first day I had to arrange a lot of things. Fortunately there is the Faranto association at the university which helps students with everything, so everything was much easier with their help. 
 
HTWD has over 5000 students and 180 professors so it is quite difficult to get to know each other but on the other hand every week the university organises events, so there is a great opportunity to make new friends. With regards to the study programme – here students are happy that they can go to university, they devote a lot of time to study and are more than willing to work in teams.
 
I really enjoyed these five months, I met a lot of new people and I am still in contact with some of them. In my free time we visited a lot of places and clubs.   The cost of living in Germany is comparable to the Czech Republic. However beer is more expensive but nevertheless the grant covered approximately 98 % of my expenses. And in the future I would also like to have an internship abroad.​
 
 
Bc. Petr Rolák
 
During the academic year 2012/2013 as part of my master's degree programme I studied at the German Hochschule für Technik and Wirtschaft in Dresden (Germany). This was not my first placement abroad and I have to say that my previous positive foreign experiences helped me with my decision to go abroad again. Although I undertook my compulsory internship in Germany, because German is my main language, I improved my skills not only in German, but also in English and Slovak.  Now I can say the expression cheers in 9 languages thanks to meeting students from all over the world.  The reason why I mentioned the Slovak language is because I never expected how many difficulties Czech’s have with the Slovak language and vice versa.
 
A lot of students in the Czech Republic wish to spend part of their studies abroad, but not all succeed in getting a place at a foreign University. However, thanks to the great work of our school and the determination of the international office many students in our school have a great chance to do so. In my case I didn’t want to go abroad, but due to the recommendation of my professor I was persuaded to take advantage of this great opportunity as I may never get the same chance again.  With hindsight, I am extremely happy I followed this advice and am very grateful for the wonderful experience, so much so that I am currently on my third placement.
 
My first foreign experience wasn´t to study but to work. In 2010 I completed my obligatory internship in Skoda Auto Deutschland GmbH, which is a German importer of Škoda Auto.  The internship in this company was amazing, not only from a professional viewpoint but also from a personal point of view. During the placement I worked in three different departments and I had the opportunity to get to know how they work.  All my colleagues were very warm and friendly and immediately accepted me into the team.  In addition, whenever I had a problem or question they were more than willing to help me. Another advantage was a rent free business flat and an Octavia RS, which enabled my roommate and I to conveniently commute to work and travel throughout Germany.
 
The successful completion of the practical training gave me more confidence and I decided to study abroad. Therefore, when I got a last minute offer to study the winter semester 2011/2012 in Zwickau, and I didn´t hesitate and I spent my last semester of my bachelor's degree there. During my study in Zwickau, I met many new people from all over the world. I had a lot of fun with them, got to know their culture, know what it means to work in an international team and last but not least I became fluent in several foreign languages. Not only did that semester in Zwickau become one of the best during the course of my studies, but I managed to complete the bachelor's degree programme in seven semesters and I knew that for the master’s degree programme I wanted to study abroad in the next available placement.
 
This time I decided to study at HTW Dresden and I definitely don´t regret my choice. Dresden is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Germany and also has the clear advantage that it is close to the Czech Republic, so there is no problem to go home to visit my family and friends. After my previous experience abroad when I spent only one semester, I found that the time flew by so I intend to study in Dresden for two semesters, i.e. the academic year 2012/2013.
 
Both working or studying abroad have several advantages, and I look at them from two different perspectives, personal and professional. From a personal point of view it means for me new friends from around the world, becoming fluent in several foreign languages, the knowledge of other cultures, travel, the opportunity to experience living abroad and become independent. From the professional side it means better language skills, the experience of working in an international team, making new contacts, enhancing my CV and thus improves my future employability.
 
So my advice is to take a chance and go ABROAD.

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