New Home in Germany

283 DAAD scholarship holders in the Development-Related Postgraduate Courses begin their studies in Winter Semester. Among them are Daniel Ortiz from Venezuela, Saba Al-Sader from the Palestinian Territories, Sharad Mainali from Nepal and Shraddha Kulhari from India. In the interview, they report on their goals and their initial impressions of Germany.


Daniel Ortiz from Venezuela © private

Daniel Ortiz from Venezuela © private

“I had goose bumps and was close to tears”
Daniel Ortiz studies Marine Biology. In Germany, the Venezuelan is  advancing his knowledge in the master’s course “International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology (ISATEC)” at the University of Bremen.

Why did you choose Germany?
In Germany, I can work with internationally renowned scientists in tropical marine ecology and gain practical research experience – the ISATEC programme is ideal for this. Moreover, my master’s programme is international, and I’m looking forward to making friends with students from different cultures.

Did you feel welcome?
I arrived in Germany in the summer when the weather was nice – so the transition from Venezuela was not difficult for me. I met a lot of kind people the first few days who helped me become accustomed to life in Germany. But I was also stressed because my German language skills were not very good. I’m currently learning German in a class with other international students, and I already understand much more than I did at the beginning.

How was the first day at the university?
Even though I’d already known for six months that I would come to Germany, it didn’t really hit me until I was at the university for the first time. At that moment, I had goose bumps – and I have to admit – also a few tears in my eyes. Suddenly it was clear to me: “I had done it. I had really done it.” I’m happy that hard work always pays off.


Saba Al-Sader from the Palestinian Territories © private

Saba Al-Sader from the Palestinian Territories © private

“Researching Green Energy”
Saba Al-Sader comes from the Palestinian Territories. An electrical engineer with three-year experience, she specialises in renewable energies. A along with a four-day, continued training at a German solar company impressed her so much that she applied for a DAAD scholarship for the master’s programme in Renewable Energies at the University of Oldenburg – successfully!

Why are you studying “Renewable Energies” in Germany?
Germany is one of the leading countries in this area, and the programme in Oldenburg fully met my expectations. With the new knowledge I gain, I want to improve the energy sector in Palestine and advance research in green energies. This is important not only for my home but for the entire world.

Is it necessary to learn German?
In Germany people from many different cultures with many different languages come together – that really impressed me in the beginning. But the German language is still important. Since I’ve been learning German, my daily life has become easier.

What do you especially like?
I meet students from all over the world. This international network opens up many opportunities for communication and the exchange of knowledge and experience.


Sharad Mainali from Nepal © private

Sharad Mainali from Nepal © private

“The cities impress me”
Geomatician Sharad Mainali works for the government of his home country Nepal. He was responsible for cadastral surveys there. He wants to continue his training in the master’s course “Land Management and Land Tenure” at the TU Munich (TUM).

What goals are you pursuing with your studies at the TUM?
Germany has an outstanding educational system, and the TU Munich is very renowned. The degree programme will advance my professional career.

How was your start?
Germany is the land of my dreams, and I’m really lucky to be able to study here. Most of all, the good infrastructure of the cities impresses me. I’m sure that I will enjoy my time here and take many memories and lifelong friendships back with me. Especially at the weekends I do a lot with other international students – I’ve never felt alone yet.

Have you already formed an impression of the teaching?
The semester doesn’t start until October, but I attend a German class regularly. The classes are much more interactive than in Nepal, and the teacher emphasises contact with the students.


Shraddha Kulhari from India © private

Shraddha Kulhari from India © private

“Munich is capital of intellectual property”
Shraddha Kulhari completed her law studies in India with a bachelor’s degree and in Winter Semester 2016 starts studying in the programme “Master of Laws in Intellectual Property and Competition Law” at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center.

Why did you decide on Munich?
I want to understand how intellectual property law works outside my own country and how it can be reconciled with competition law. Due to numerous institutions like the European Patent Office and the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Munich is considered “Europe’s capital of intellectual property”. The Munich Intellectual Property Law Center is the right address for my interests. In addition to the Munich Max Planck Institute, the TU Munich, the University of Augsburg and George Washington University of Law participate in the international cooperation. After completing my degree, my goal is to represent the interests of developing countries in this area.

How were the first few days?
Thanks to detailed information from the DAAD, I was able to organise my arrival well. It wasn’t easy to find an affordable flat in Munich, but I met nice people who helped me look.

How was your welcome?
All the people that I’ve met in Munich thus far are very friendly and helpful. They’re always ready to listen and patiently help me with all my problems – I didn’t expect that, and it was a very pleasant surprise.