University of Paderborn – Ashutosh Soni

280 Views, Posted on: June 30, 2017

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The day I arrived in Germany, the weather was really bad. It was raining, the temperature was about 9 degree Celsius and there were strong winds blowing. The very first thing I said to my guide was, “The weather here is really bad today.” She replied, “It is a great conversation starter here, Germans love to talk about the bad weather here.”

It has been well over a month since I have started working in the chair of ThET (Thermodynamics and Energy Technology) in the University of Paderborn. My work here comprises of Molecular Dynamics Simulation and optimization of ms2 (a simulation software) using informatics after observing experimental and simulation data.

With advances in computing power and methodological efficiencies it has become easier to simulate compounds/substances rather than performing experiments on them. The field of MD Simulations is still a growing one, but it is playing an important role in providing macroscopic properties and other important data for substances which are physically too dangerous or just not feasible enough to be experimented upon.

The working environment here is pretty good. Everyone is always really polite and ready to help you out in any way possible, be it related to work, some general issue or even queries related to travel and sightseeing (transportation facilities, best cities to visit etc.)

The work ethics of people here is also great. They work really hard at whatever they are pursuing. The best part about working here is that the Professor in charge of this chair is the coolest Professor I have ever seen. On our first day here, he gave us a pep talk for about 40 minutes. He told us about his various visits to India. He even gave us tips on how and where to travel while we are here and how to get to know others. He said, “You are here for your internship, but you should explore this place as much as possible and meet new people while you are at it.” We talked some more about the present economy of Germany, the weather here etc. and then we left his chamber. Whenever we visit some place he asks us about our experiences and is always there to cheer us up.

Paderborn, the city I live in, is a small city and a really beautiful one. It is surrounded by greenery and several mountain ranges. The city is full of diversity with the perfect blend of high tech as well as the middle ages. It is home to the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum, the largest computer museum in the world as well as really beautiful and old Cathedral and churches. Here one can have an awesome coffee in one of the street cafes and enjoy the atmosphere and the beauty of the city. They also have a summer festival which is held in the University premises on 1st June, on that day everyone in the city is enjoying with their friends and family, having barbecue and drinks (especially beer)

The biggest pro about Germany according to me is that it is student friendly. There is one con about Germany that I can think of, but it is a minor one – the food here is really bland and if the person is vegetarian (I am) then it becomes even more difficult to find good food here. But since I have to cook, I am able to make a decent meal for myself. The best vegetarian dish here that meets Indian taste standards is “Falafel”. There are some indian restaurants in here, but they are pretty expensive. There is still a month left before my intern ends and I still have a lot of exploring to do.

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