This summer (2015), I had a great chance to embark on an 8 month long journey in Germany, where I did a three month long internship at a German multinational corporation and then a semester long exchange at a German university. From May to August, I worked at the headquarters of Bayer Technology Services, a subsidiary ﬁrm of Bayer AG, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Subsequently, I moved to Göttingen where I commenced my exchange program at the Georg-August University Göttingen.
The company was located at Leverkusen, a small city in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, the most populated state in Germany. However I lived in Cologne, a much larger city located only a short distance away from Leverkusen and I commuted everyday by train to Leverkusen where I interned. I was assigned a supervisor and I also assisted a manager in one of the sub-units of the Supply Chain/Operational Excellence department. Here I experienced ﬁrst-hand the work culture in Germany. I managed to learn many new skills and i must say, this three month internship experience was very valuable to me. Not only did I have the chance to practice my German, I also get to work in a truly international surrounding. As this is the headquarters of a large multinational corporation, the staff consisted of not only Germans but also colleagues from different parts of the world.
After my three month stint at Bayer had ended, I moved to Göttingen, a small university town in the state of Lower Saxony where I began my student exchange program. Göttingen is completely different from Cologne and Leverkusen, a large part of the population here consist of students and the city is dominated by the university, which is one of the most prestigious in Germany.
I ﬁrst took up a four weeks long intensive German course to improve my German further and then subsequently I enrolled in the university and took part some of the courses. This would prove to be a challenge for me as I took some courses in German, which would undoubtedly prove to be difﬁcult. This was a completely different learning experience as not only were the courses in a foreign language, the style in which the German university conduct their lessons were also markedly different from how my home university in Singapore do. So far I had been living in Göttingen for 3 months and my exchange program will end in January, upon which I will return home to Singapore.
So far, this has been a wonderful six months for me. I get to experience the German and European culture, made new friends and also learn how to be more independent in a foreign land. I hope that in the future I would be able to return to Germany, either for further studies or for work. Being abroad for such a period of time has opened my eyes to a whole new world and experience newer and greater things.
I am truly glad to be able to do my international internship and my student exchange program in Germany and I will not trade anything for this great experience.