Was Ist Hier Überhaupt Los? A Study Abroad Survival Guide University of Rhode Island German International Engineering Program - PDF

Was Ist Hier Überhaupt Los? A Study Abroad Survival Guide University of Rhode Island German International Engineering Program 2 Table of Contents Junior Year and Departure Preparation... 4 Feeling Nervous

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Was Ist Hier Überhaupt Los? A Study Abroad Survival Guide University of Rhode Island German International Engineering Program 2 Table of Contents Junior Year and Departure Preparation... 4 Feeling Nervous About Your German?... 4 Apply For Some Scholarships... 5 Let s Talk About Paperwork... 6 Setting Up A Research Project... 8 TU Braunschweig Application... 9 Housing Application How To Register For The International Summer Course at TU Braunschweig What To Bring Learn To Cook The Group Flight Upon Arrival & Sommerschule Things To Do Soon After Arriving Getting To The University IO Orientation/TUBS Enrollment Research Opportunities/Process Sommerschule Classes Basic Tips University Semester Costs To Expect Locations In Braunschweig Shopping Transportation In Braunschweig Getting Sick Sports ISN Group/Gauss Freunde General Germany/Cultural Notes Postage Classes (Registration, What To Take, Etc.) Visa Process Travel Leaving Braunschweig Internship Semester Finding A Place To Live In Your Internship City How To Move To Your New City Registering In New City - Communicate With IO... 33 3 German Workplace Culture GER 497/498 & Registering for Fall Classes Preparing To Leave Germany What Papers To Keep Super- Senior Year Reverse Culture Shock Getting Your Classes Transferred & Intent to Graduate Forms Sharing Your Experiences Appendix A: Sample Budgets Appendix B: Common Abbreviations In This Handbook Appendix C: Transportation Glossary Appendix D: Info For DAAD Scholarship Holders... 43 4 Junior Year and Departure Preparation Hello and welcome to the URI German IEP Study Abroad Survival Guide! Congrats for making it this far and take a deep breath - it will all make more sense soon (hopefully). The purpose of this guide is to answer as many questions as possible about Germany, Germans, the IEP, Braunschweig, and lots of other things you might be wondering about. It was made by students who studied abroad and want to help you avoid any big issues with your year abroad. This doesn t mean everything will always go perfectly, but what s a year abroad without some stories to tell? So without further ado, lass uns doch mal anfangen! Feeling Nervous About Your German? Mach keinen Stress! If you already spoke perfect German, you wouldn t need to go anyway. But if you start to get nervous, here are a couple things you can use to practice a bit beforehand. There are tons of games and quizzes on and some other quiz sites. Here s one for example: These are a nice easy way to practice some basic vocab. And here s another nice one so you can ask Germans where they are from and not have to awkwardly nod when you have no idea what they are saying: If you haven t been introduced to it already, LEO (www.leo.org) is just about the best German-to-English dictionary on the web. Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/) is getting better, and some people like the dict.cc (http://www.dict.cc/) layout, but LEO is the king here, so go ahead and bookmark it now. You can also download apps like Duolingo (http://www.duolingo.com/) for free! Download the dict.cc app to your smartphone and install the German/English dictionary this will let you look up vocabulary on your phone on the fly without an internet connection! Listen to some German music! This is obviously dependent on your taste, but here are a few artists and some of their best-known songs to get you started. Seeed - Augenbling, Riddim No.1, Aufstehn. Probably the biggest act in Germany right now, they have stuff anywhere from reggae to dance music. Check out the guest verse from CeeLo Green on Aufstehn; it comes out of nowhere. Peter Fox - Alles Neu, Haus am See. The lead man in Seeed, he also has a really well known solo album, Stadtaffe. The whole thing is worth a listen. Kraftklub - Ich will nicht nach Berlin, Eure Mädchen - A rock/punk group who really don t like the hipsters in Berlin. 5 Cro - Einmal um die Welt, Du. He describes his music as Raop, Rap/Hip Hop. Some pretty clever lyrics and relaxing feel. Clueso - Gewinner, Chicago, Barfuss. Acoustic guitar music, a bit of a breather. If this is more your thing, also check out Philipp Poisel or Bosse. Die Ärtzte - Westerland. Some old rockers, kind of like the Green Day of Germany. Not the most new/hip music, but worth a listen. Lena - 99 Luftballons. What, were we going to NOT put this on the list? Honorable Mentions: Die Toten Hosen and Fettes Brot - Two more pretty wellknown German bands. is a site where native speakers from all languages put up clips of themselves pronouncing words. So use this if you see a word but don t know how it s pronounced. Here are some Germans saying Eichhörnchen (squirrel), which is definitely a tough one for Americans: has a surprisingly good German learning section, with a lot of wellwritten articles about grammar and pronunciation. Here are a couple interesting ones: Zungenbrecher (tonguebreakers a.k.a. tongue twisters) with audio: Falsche Freunde - words that may seem similar to English words, but aren t: Konjunktiv II - Everyone s favorite tense! The passive form - not quite as fun as Konjunktiv II, but still up there: If we don t mention the URI Kaffeestunde, the German professors will hunt us down. So there s that. It s not too late for the German Summer School either. Spend a few weeks at URI immersing yourself in German and prepping yourself for your year abroad. Join the facebook group for 3 rd, 4 th and 5 th year German IEP students! Here you can exchange ideas with students going abroad, those who are in Germany right now and those who have returned from Germany. The returned students are an excellent resource when you have questions! Apply For Some Scholarships Here are the biggest scholarships you should be aware of. There is a more complete list online at Beatrice S. Demers Foreign Language Fellows Program ellows/tabid/838/default.aspx 6 This scholarship is for Rhode Island residents and anyone who is a student at a Rhode Island college or university who wishes to pursue foreign language study. Preference will be given to applicants from the University of Rhode Island who meet qualifications. This is a scholarship set up by a former URI professor and IEP students have won a lot of money, which you can use for tuition, rent, or anything else as you need during your time abroad. For the application go to the link, or just Google the formal title. The deadline has been in January in past years, check the site for details. Be sure to start early so you can give time to people writing letters of recommendation. DAAD Study Scholarship https://www.daad.org/undergrad The DAAD (Deutscher Akademiker Austausch Dienst) is a German government-run program for the support of international academic cooperation. For the undergraduate study abroad scholarship this comes in the form of ~750 per month. This is an involved application, so you will need to be working on it during the fall semester to have it done by the end of January deadline (check the website for the exact date). Along with letters of recommendation and a full application, you will need to have an institute placement in Braunschweig, so you ll need to institutes and find a place willing to take you in and give you some sort of project. This is not something you can do during break, because people in Germany just won t you back during the holidays. You also need a German professor to fill out a language evaluation form, and to get an official transcript to mail in with the application. Long story short, start early. Benjamin A Gilman Scholarship The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide. Awards from $3,000 to $5,000. IEP Scholarships The IEP also has a number of in-house scholarships which are just for you. Some are based on language, some on engineering major, and some others. These are awarded in the spring and are obviously just for IEP students, so definitely apply: Let s Talk About Paperwork Be warned at this point that this is the first of the many discussions of paperwork in this guide. But to start it off slowly, just make sure you apply for a passport at some time during your junior year; winter or spring break would be good times to do it. If not then, do it when school gets out in May at the latest. And while you re getting your picture taken, wear something 7 respectable and get at least 6 extra copies of the passport picture, and scan one in so you have it digitally. If you already have a passport, you need to get this type of picture anyway (why you need these will come up again later). Now let s discuss some of the URI paperwork. First of all: The information in this section is not 100% complete and is subject to change year to year. This is an overview of the things that you need to do, and for more details you need to discuss with Sigrid. The most important paperwork you need to do at URI is the prior approval form. This is going to have a list of all courses you want to take (and those you will definitely take). Putting courses on this list doesn t mean you have to take them, but transferring credits from courses you take that aren t on that sheet and given to the OIE at URI will be much more difficult to transfer. So put anything that you think you might take on the list. There is also a stock list of classes that have been approved in the past, and an explanation of how you actually find the times and places in the Classes section later. If you want to try something new, you need to go onto the main TUBS website, https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/ (which you might want to bookmark while you re at it), translate the description of the course to English, and take it to your engineering department head. Continuing with the prior approval form, the first thing you need to do is figure out which courses you need to take. Then you need to start getting signatures from the head of the department that the credits are being transferred to. So all the standard IEP classes go through Sigrid. If you want to take an extra German grammar or conversation class (which is a great idea and a lot of students do), that also goes through Sigrid. The engineering classes go through your department head. You should also put a research project on this form; these transfer as special projects generally. You would also need to get a math department signature if you want to take a math course. Once all the classes are added, get it signed by your advisor and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Jared Abdirkin by dropping the form off with his assistant Wendy; she will notify you when the form is signed by him ready to be picked up. Then get it in to Sigrid and to Tom Hospod and keep a copy of it for your own records. We have put together a Prepare for your Year Abroad page at where you should start to find a timeline, other valuable information, and most importantly, a new link you need to consult with all necessary forms to fill out for the URI Office of International Education: ; it will take some time to print and fill out those required forms, get the appropriate signatures and then turn it into the OIE, 37 Lower College Road, by the March 1 deadline, so start early! You also need to make a Lebenslauf (resume) and a Bewerbungsschreiben (cover letter) in German, which you will use for institutes and internships. There are different norms for both of these in Germany, so you can t just translate something you have in English. For example, it is customary to put a professional picture of yourself on your resume, as well as details like age and marital status. You can get some examples of previous students from Sigrid, but here are some 8 other resources for them: (with English explanations of some terms) (this one is actually for Germans applying abroad, but has some helpful stuff) Gestaltung (shape/form) is not helpful, because it is focusing on American/British formatting standards Wortlisten und Wendungen (word lists and phrases) at the bottom is a reeeaaaally nice list of translations, but be careful about using things that are too fancy and very unrealistic for your German level (Anschreiben on the side also refers to cover letter, that and the Lebenslauf tab are the main things to look at here) Googling Lebenslauf Beispiele or Lebenslauf Tipps (yes, 2 P s) will also get you lots of examples to look at Another thing to do during your junior year is figure out exactly what you still need in order to graduate. There are two good resources for this: one is a Graduation worksheet that Sigrid will give you during one of your preparation meetings, the other is your curriculum sheets. You should meet with Sigrid to make sure you are clear on which gen-eds you still need. Curriculum sheets: It is a good idea to have a decent idea of what you need to take your 5th year. You will be registering for classes in February/March while you are at your internship, and you re not going to be in the mood to think about Rhode Island. So make some basic notes about what you need to take to make your job a bit easier; this will help you double check that you have all your graduation requirements handled as well. Setting Up A Research Project For students with a GPA of 3.3 or higher, there is the chance to engage in a research project at one of the unique TU-BS institutes. You will work there for 10 hrs. a week, present a final report and write a summary in English for your URI advisor. That way you can earn 3 special problem credits. If interested you need to have prior approval for it from a URI faculty in your engineering department who also serves as a mentor skyping/ ing with you about your progress. If you haven t looked into that yet, here s the list of research institutes at TUBS: https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/struktur/fakultaeten/institute/index.html. Note: This does not work in English; you have to deal with it in German. You will need to meet with Sigrid to discuss potential interests you have within engineering. Then you can narrow down a couple of potential places and start sending them s asking about the potential to do research with them in the Fall. If you are applying for the 9 DAAD, this is something you need as a part of your application anyway, but regardless it is definitely something to get working on early. For students going to TU Darmstadt, there is the opportunity to conduct both a summer or Fall semester research project through the IREP program, International Research in Engineering Program. You will find all the application information on our website: https://www.tudarmstadt.de/international/exchangestudents/inbound/usaaustraliacanadanewzealand/irepsummer /irepapplication_4/specialprograms_11.en.jsp. Please be aware that the project supervisor will select and there will be other applicants. So we suggest to apply for three different projects - even if they have the same supervisor because only one student can work on one project. Talk to Sigrid also who can advise you in the process. TU Braunschweig Application TU-BS s deadline is June 1 st for the following winter semester You must apply online at https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/international/incomings/exchange/application/index.html and submit a pdf copy of the application form signed by you to Sigrid. She will then submit this document together with other supporting documents (1. prior approval form signed by Sigrid for German and Gen ed courses, by your engineering advisor for engineering courses and by Jared Abdirkin, COE s new Assistant Dean for Student Affairs; 2. a copy of your URI ID and 3. a copy of your unofficial transcript to the TU-BS portal through Towards the end of July/beginning of August, you will receive an acceptance letter from TU-BS which you have to submit to Tom Hospod in the OIE at URI and to the RI Foundation in case you were awarded a Demers scholarship. Here are a few specific things that might be a bit confusing on the TUBS application, and how you should answer them. If anything is confusing or seems to have changed, contact Sigrid about it. Study area (under current studies): Try to find the closest equivalent to your major Mobility Type: Studium Mobility Programme: Direct Exchange Faculty: This is where you put the closest equivalent to the engineering department you are in at URI. The exception is chemical engineers, who also put mechanical engineering, because most of the Chem. E research done at TUBS is with engines and is lumped with ME. Here is a list of the Fakultäten, which are like the colleges at URI, and have 10 majors within them: https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/struktur/fakultaeten. Here is a good place to start for each major, although there are more specializations available at TUBS. It is listed Fakultät - Studiengang (Field of Study), which is the closest equivalent to your major. ME: Maschinenbau - Allgemeiner or Kraftfahrzeugtechnik ISE: Maschinenbau - Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen CHE: Maschinenbau - Bioingenieurwesen (there are Biologische Prozesse and Chemisch-Physikalische Prozesse here) BME: Lebenswissenschaften - Biotechnologie CVE: Architektur, Bauingenieurwesen und Umweltwissenschaften - Bauingenieurwesen OCE: Same as CVE, this lets you take Geotechnik and some other courses about sea structures ELE: Elektrotechnik, Informationstechnik, Physik - Elektrotechnik CPE: Elektrotechnik, Informationstechnik, Physik - Informationstechnik Study area (under details of mobility): Engineering and engineering trades (broad programmes) (just trust us on this one) Base all questions in the Mobility Period section on your total time in Germany; even though you are only really at the university one semester, you remain enrolled the second semester for visa reasons. Here s a useful (English) link about how people describe language levels in Europe, which you ll definitely hear a lot while abroad: The first of many times that you can use this is on your application for TUBS. For the English section, put M for Mother Tongue (if that applies). TU Darmstadt Application TU-DA s deadline is April 15. 1) register through this site: https://tuda.moveon4.de/form/55b8849b84fb96032c000000/eng 2) print out the filled in PDF and have me sign 3) write a motivation letter why you want to study at TU Darmstadt 4) fill out 4 pages of a fillable PDF (housing, visa info etc.) and print and sign/ have me sign 5) drop off at TI house or send in scanned 11 Sigrid will then scan everything in to create a combined application package which includes the applications, prior approval form, transcript, the TUDA paperwork you filled out earlier, your passport copy, and send this to Herrn Christian Tischer via attachment. Main contact at TU Darmstadt s International Office: -- Christian Tischer International Exchange Coordinator North and Latin America (except Brazil), Australia, New Zealand International Relations and Mobility Technische Universität Darmstadt Karolinenplatz 5 (S1/01) Room Darmstadt Germany Tel (0) Fax (0) Web: Housing Application Fill out your application for housing as soon as you know you are going abroad. It is best to do this as early as possible. Sigrid is working with Frau Schröder in the TU-BS housing office submitting a list of rooms she should bloc in the Affenfelsen dorm which is newly renovated with singles, doubles and 5 person suites and includes internet access. However, you are only guaranteed a room when you submit the online application and sign the contract she will send to you subsequently. Housing application: From here you find the direct link to the application in English.: https://tl1host.de/swbs/wohnheimaufnahmeantrag.html For the checkboxes on the first page, Einzelzimmer will be a one-person apartment, Doppelzimmer a two-person apartment, Einzelzimmer in WG will be a room in an apartment (pictu
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