Living abroad for a time. New city, new people, new culture, just a different life … That always sounded incredibly tempting to me, so on a rainy November Saturday in 2014, I spontaneously decided “I’ll do it!”. I did not want the relaxed, adventurous life of a world traveler, but the ‘normal’ life of the locals. Therefore, it was clear, I will make an academic year abroad! The question that remained was where? ‘ My idea was that when I speak the language, I can integrate faster and better and thus more easily participate in everyday life. Therefore, the choice fell on the beautiful city of Bristol in the west of England.
After all bureaucratic hurdles were taken, it finally started in September 2015. Before I could tackle the study and the academic challenges, it was time to overcome the culture shock. A shared flat with five Englishmen celebrating Freshers Week to the last (nonstop party) was not exactly the gentle acclamation that I had thought of … but I was definitely instantly integrated. Of course, there were also many events for international students, so I soon had friends from all over the world.
As in Germany, the course was divided into two semesters and I chose my courses according to my specializations at the University of Stuttgart. In the first semester, I studied Advanced Aerodynamic Measurement and Analysis, Computational Aerodynamics, Engineering Design for Wind and Marine Power, and Finite Element Analysis. The courses are much more practical, which means that there are some fees to be done during the semester. From the design of an offshore wind farm, through the stability calculation of a helicopter floor to the programming of an automatic image analysis, the tasks were sufficient. Personally, I felt I had learned more than the final exam. The second half of the year saw ‘aeroelasticity’ , Applied Numerical Methods for Aerodynamics, Advanced Composites Analysis, Advanced Dynamics and Generic Propulsion. So I was able to expand my knowledge in many exciting areas.
In addition to the academic work, I also used the, in England very important, sports offer of the university by joining the rowing team. As the English sport went bad, rowing seemed perfect to round off my experience as an English student. The training was very hard and time consuming, but I found a lot of friends and was allowed to represent the University of Bristol at the British University Championships in Novice Eights. My year abroad was an all-round successful experience, during which I learned a lot both personally and professionally. I would like to once again thank you in all due form for the support of the Reissner Foundation, which has made this experience possible for me.