How do German engineers work? What is it like to study at TUM? Ong Zi Xuan (20) and Asmaa' Widad Binte Hamdad (19), students from Singapore, have looked over the shoulder of TUM scientists for one week. They were the first participants of the “Building the Future” project, which will invite two Singaporean youths from disadvantaged families to Munich each year. Why they started to slide at TUM and how they liked German breakfast.
You could get some impressions what it’s like to study at TUM. What has surprised you most?
Asmaa' Widad Binte Hamdad: I am surprised how the university prioritizes hands-on practice for the students.
Ong Zi Xuan: To be honest, the slides located at the Garching campus surprised me the most (two slides in the mathematics / informatics faculty building going from the fourth to the ground floor forming a parabola; private video on youtube). I was totally caught off guard by my own velocity down the slide. It was scary yet fun!
You are studying engineering subjects. Is there a different approach in Germany?
Asmaa' Widad Binte Hamdad: For me, the university provides an interactive learning experience. The students get to what things are actually like after learning the theories behind it. For example, the hydro lab that I visited, the robotics lab as well as the flight simulator make learning much more interesting.
You lived at a host family. What is special in German everyday life compared to Singapore?
Ong Zi Xuan: From my opinion, there isn't much difference. If I must say, it should be the public transport system. In Singapore, we are required to "tap in and out" using a card whenever we use a public transport. In Germany, we can just walk in and out with the daily / weekly / monthly pass in our pockets without tapping on any machine.
Asmaa' Widad Binte Hamdad: My host family was very kind and caring. We ate breakfast together everyday and I loved it so much. Maybe it’s because in Singapore the day starts as early as 6 am and my family and I usually are not able to have breakfast together.
Can you imagine to study in Germany?
Ong Zi Xuan: Yes, I have been thinking about it since I returned to Singapore. Germany is definitely my first choice if I have the chance to study overseas.
“Building the Future”:
Technische Universität München has its own campus in Singapore for ten years. As part of TUM Asia’s 10th anniversary celebrations, TUM and the Singaporean Straits Times Pocket Money Fund launched the “Building the Future” project. The partners aim to inspire young people for technology and natural sciences. TUM also wants to thank the people of Singapore for their hospitality.