About faculty, Teachers, Colleagues and Schedule
The university has recently turned 30 years of activity so everything is quite new. The laboratories and the technical room (where the practice for technologies is done) have modern machines and equipment, which all students have the opportunity to work with, and each classroom has a smart blackboard. The schedule is different from week to week – for technologies, for example, the practice and the courses are not scheduled on the same day. I had weeks in which I had practice 2 days and 3 days courses, weeks in which I only had 2 days courses, or weeks in which I had practical activities every day. At practical activities there are usually no breaks (a day of practice lasts on average between 4 and 6 hours), and when we had to practice the whole day (a few times, and that was only because those products required more time, for example beer), we had lunch break at lunch half the group. The courses are an hour and a half and then 30 minutes break. At lunch, 45 minutes break. Nothing theoretical is done during the practical activities, students do not write anything, except for the student who draws up the protocol on that day.
Most of the foreign students in this university are from South or Central America, and from Europe only Ukraine and Spain. At Food Technology course, we were only 4 foreign students, but in general we were 2 or 3 foreign students in each subject, and together with the German students we formed groups of 12 and 16 students in a subject (all year round). There are no differences between foreign students and German students, they all attend the same courses, they do practice together, they all have protocols and presentations to do and the exams are the same for everyone.
I chose to study only technologies and to realize a practical project, all of them being here in the same year of study (because of the schedule it is quite difficult to choose subjects from several years). Here a subject is quite complex, so the exam is given only at the end – the subject is quite loaded and at a high level. At practice a food product is made by students from the raw material to the end, including various laboratory analyzes – the teacher only supervises. You need to know how to assemble different installations and components of machines, work on the control panel or on different computer programs, but if you don’t already know, you’ll learn along the way.
At the practical project, every student does a research study, for example optimizing a technological process for a product. For scientific documentation, with your student account you can access almost all scientific articles and specialized books on the Internet. After you have done a documentation and elaborated a research plan, you will do everything practically (the product
and various analyzes and laboratory measurements), and for this you have access to all the equipment and laboratories available to the faculty. No one supervises you while doing the practical part, but you have to let know when you come and when you leave because the labs only open with a card, and, of course, you can ask for help if you need it.
Accommodation and Other Facilities
I lived in one of the dormitories of the faculty – there are 4 dormitories in total, and they are all right next to the faculty. Each room is for one person, the bathroom is shared with one more person, and 9 people in a kitchen. In the kitchen, everyone has his closet and drawer, there are two refrigerators with freezer that we use, a stove and an electric oven, microwave, toaster, kettle and a large table with a corner, where we meet and tell stories.
The student card, which you receive, you charge with money and you can pay with it in the
university cafeteria or at the photocopy machine. At the library, you choose your own books from the shelves and, at a machine, you scan the card and the books and that’s it. Also, upon return, just place the books on a smart shelf. With the student card, you have discounts at the entrance to various museums and tourist attractions throughout the country.
At the university cafeteria, for students there are very low prices – with a maximum of 2 euro you can eat a dish, and with 4 euro you get some meat, garnish, salad, dessert and possibly also something to drink. The food is very tasty, the portions are quite large, advantageous in price, and the menu changes every day, it is very varied – there is every day something for vegan or vegetarian people and even international food.
The Human Experience
Foreign students are always friendly, instead German students are very cold at first. They greet you only if you greet them, but, slightly easy, they become friendly and, by the end, they are best friends.
Every semester there are organized trips to the factories in the area. I went to a sugar factory and a dairy.
About the City and Region
In the city, there are various grocery stores and shopping galleries. Right next to the faculty is a Kaufland and Norma, and 10 minutes away is the city center, where you can find Edeka and various clothing stores and shopping centers. Rewe, Lidl and Aldi are a little further away. Behind
the faculty, a 10-minute walk away, there is a gorgeous lake, you can swim in the lake as long as the weather allows.
An hour and a half drive by train is Berlin, and two hours away from the Baltic Sea. Also Rostock, Schwerin (the capital of the land, here is also a castle), Hamburg are close by. For trips within the land there is a one-day ticket at 25 euro with which you can travel on that day as much as you want with the regional trains, and for trips at a greater distance with the IIs (fast trains) there are discounts for people under 27 years of age if you buy your tickets through the DB Navigator app.
Erasmus Experience - Costs
I can say that the Erasmus grant covers the bare necessities quite well. My average expenses per month were approximately:
- 205 euro for accommodation
- 300 euro for shopping
- 60 euro for food from the cafeteria
- 50-100 euro for going out to a juice, to a café, etc.
- 100-200 euro for travel
- 50-100 euro – various expenses
As well – at first you have to pay a semester fee around 100 euro and around 400 euro guarantee on accommodation.