International Summer University 2023

Short-term program for exchange students at TU Darmstadt successfully completed

2023/07/20 by

The International Summer University – German Engineering and Language is a unique six-week programme designed to provide insights into cutting-edge German engineering technology, to improve international language skills as well as to discover and learn more about the German culture. It combines engineering courses, company visits, intensive German language courses, cross-cultural competencies training for engineers and social and cultural activities.

TU Darmstadt‘s International Summer University (ISU) – German Engineering and Language The ISU is a collaborative project between the International Affairs Department, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, the Language Resource Centre and the Centre for Intercultural Competence. The project is managed by the International Affairs Department. The short-term programme is primarily offered to students of partner universities of the TU Darmstadt and students of participating partner universities of the Hessian state programmes (Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Queensland). The ISU of TU Darmstadt is part of the Hessen:ISU network of the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts (HMWK).

On June 5, the kick-off happened with a virtual predeparture meeting for the students who successfully applied for the International Summer University (ISU) 2023. In a 90-minute session, the students got to know each other and were prepared for the upcoming six weeks. For two weeks, the participants took part in virtual live sessions and prepared themselves independently for the four weeks of on-site courses in Darmstadt with online learning materials.

Then, on June 18, the long-awaited arrival day. 32 students from 13 partner and non-partner universities of the TU Darmstadt arrived from eight countries (Australia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Sweden, Singapore, Turkey, USA) at Frankfurt Airport and were accompanied by the student assistants to their accommodation. June 19 was the official Welcome Day and the start of an exciting but also intensive time.

Together with 15 participants of the two summer programmemes International Research Experience Programmes (IREP) and Automotive Engineering Summer Germany (AESG)we went on a weekend excursion to Munich at the end of the first week. Among other things, we visited the Deutsches Museum ( Europe's largest technology museum in terms of floor space) which was very popular with the students, and the BMW Museum and BMW Welt. Students used free time slots to visit Nymphenburg Palace or the Dachau concentration camp memorial. The student groups continued to reminisce about their stay in Munich for a long time afterwards and made friends beyond their own programme group.

Back to the daily routine, the ISU programme was very intensive. Students chose from six technical tracks in departments 16 (Aeronautical, Automotive, Mechatronic or Production Engineering) and 18 (Electromagnetic Field Simulation and Microfluidics and bioMEMS). In addition to the engineering courses, participants were able to take German courses (at three levels) and an cross-cultural course. In total, students can achieve 12 ECTS with successful participation.

To provide some balance, several excursions were planned. For example, the students of the Aeronautical Track visited the European Transonic Wind Tunnel and the DLR near Cologne, the other part visited the Freudenberg Group in Weinheim. We were also able to visit companies in the science city of Darmstadt: tours were offered at the European Space Agency (ESA), the Merck Group and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. Of course, a visit to the Mercedes Benz and Porsche Museum in Stuttgart was not to be missed. In addition to engineering-related excursions, there were also non-academic programme options. On the first day we started with a joint dinner at the Braustübl, together with the ISU of the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences a Trivia Night was held in the Herrngarten, the many different rides at the Heinerfest were tested by the students, a city trip to Heidelberg with evening castle illuminations was part of the programme and also the students were able to attend a match of SV Darmstadt 98 against Norwich City.

This year's ISU, which was once again very successful, came to a great conclusion on July 13 with a visit to a beer garden together and the farewell event and awarding of certificates by the head of the unit, Dr. Cyntia Sandes Oliveira, International Relations Overseas, on July 14. The students then departed independently on July 15 and flew directly home for e.g. a follow-up internship or explored other European regions, including the Black Forest, the Baltic Sea, Cologne, Paris, London and Rome.

We are already looking forward to the next round in the upcoming year. There, the ISU will start virtually on June 03, 2024, and from June 16, we can welcome the students again for a four-week on-site programme at the TU Darmstadt.