Name: Norlis Simaa Mohd Ali
Course Studied: “Versorgungstechnik” (Building Services Engineering), 2005-2013
What made you decide to study in Germany?
German degrees enjoy high reputation all over the world. In Engineering especially, employers always look up to German graduates.
Why did you choose to study that course at that institution?
My course “Versorgungstechnik” is a mix of Energy Engineering, Process Engineering and Facility Management. Since my interest lies in sustaining our environment, therefore Germany is the perfect place to study the technology for green environment.
What did your family and friends think of your decision to study abroad?
I am happy and of course grateful that my family and friends support me endlessly prior and during my studies in Germany. Without their support it will be impossible to complete my degree.
What were the main differences you found between studying in your home country and studying in Germany?
I think the system in German universities, in my case the “Fachhochschulen” or Universities of Applied Sciences, is very good. Students are trained to be independent and to be able to think and apply what they have learned, not only memorizing everything without understanding it.
How did you adapt to living in a different country?
Of course it took me some time to get used to the weather in Germany, especially during winter, since in Malaysia it is sunny all year long. And I missed our Malaysian food. It is a good thing that there are Asian shops in the city. Intercultural classes before the semester started definitely helped me to understand German culture. The people there may seem at distant at first but once you get to know them they are friendly and helpful.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
Learning the German culture of course – the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market), the Oktoberfest, the chocolates, punctuality and particularity! While in Germany friends are like family. We always support each other. We had events e.g. barbecue, winter games and excursions. Of course not to mention the opportunity to travel around Germany and the neighbouring countries like Switzerland, Austria, France and Czech Rep. The experience with supportive friends makes the journey memorable and precious.
What advice would you give students thinking about studying in Europe?
The opportunity of going abroad is definitely well worth it. You get to meet people from multicultural background and of course it will open up new perspective. Don’t worry about the language and food difference. It is not a barrier!
How do you think your time abroad has helped your studies and/or your career?
One needs to have initiative and be independent while studying, which is exactly what is required for careers. After graduation, students who are earlier trained to be professionals, are ready for the challenging career world.