Free board and lodging throughout a course of studies? A privilege for those who were able to get a scholarship of the Maximilianeum Foundation. Each year, a maximum of eight new students are selected – and Annika Möslein is one of them. She is a student of Engineering Science at TUM. For studinews, she speaks about her everyday life at the Foundation and about her dream of flying into space.
Annika, how come you won the scholarship?
Annika Möslein: That was actually quite unexpected. My school recommended me, and I had to submit an application. Then, I was allowed to take part in the exams of the ministerial representative. Anyone who passes the test, can join the Max Weber Program – which is a prerequisite to be invited to the Maxim examination at the Ministry of Culture. Apart from me, there were about 30 other candidates.
What is the Maxim examination like?
It finishes off a multistage process in which the candidates’ application documents, the “Abitur”-marks and the Max-Weber-exams play a crucial role. The Maxim exam itself is an oral examination of about 1.5 hours. I sat at a table with a jury of twelve, who asked me questions about a wide range of different topics – including subjects relevant to the higher education entrance qualification, but also about other things. Primarily, it’s all about creativity and openness to new ideas; some of the topics were actually quite peculiar.
One of the tasks was to think up an imaginary dialogue between Goethe and E.T.A. Hoffmann – about split personalities! That was really fun, as it was quite different from the things that were addressed at school.
How many people are living in the house altogether?
There are 50 students; approximately 60% are boys, and the rest are girls. Every year, there are six to eight freshers.
How was the foundation established?
The foundation was established by King Maximilian II in 1852. Back then, he had planned to enable “talented youngsters” to take on a course of studies without financial worries, in order to employ them as civil servants later on. That’s different now: The foundation for women, which was established in 1980, is actually called “Wittelsbacher Jubiläumsstiftung”. Before, only men were able to get a scholarship – and that’s why I’m only the 90th girl. The girls used to live in a separate building. Now that there is a new building, all the scholarship students are living in a house together.
Have any well-known people lived there?
Yes, many different personalities from Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate – for example Franz Josef Strauss, Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg, the author Carl Amery, but also the composer Michael Kunze, who produced “Ein Bett im Kornfeld”.
Is your room very pompous?
(laughs) No, I have a normal student room. The only thing that is different is that we have a shared kitchen and get delicious meals served for lunch. Unfortunately, I am mostly in Garching around noon.
Has your life changed since you have been living at the Maximilianeum?
At first I did not know what to expect of the foundation. But I got along with the people there very well, right from the beginning, so I quickly felt at home. What is different is the fact that there is a concierge at the entrance and that I get to meet politicians more often, since we are allowed to attend meetings of the Landtag of Bavaria. Otherwise, everything’s remained quite the same – and I can have visitors just like anyone else would.
Why did you choose Engineering Science?
Ever since I was a kid, I have been dreaming of flying into space. Thus, I obviously wanted to combine scientific aspects with something more technical. That’s why I chose this course of studies.
How do you like your studies?
Very much, so far! We are a very international group and talk to each other in several different languages. I like the diversity of the individual study subjects, the fact that you have to have a different mindset for each subject. The range of topics is fascinating. I was looking for a challenge – and I found it!
Where do you see yourself in the future? Do you still want to become an astronaut?
Currently, becoming an astronaut is still quite unrealistic. I am still interested in aerospace technology, and that’s what I’m planning to focus on for my Master’s degree. Apart from that, I’m also very interested in innovations and new technologies. Anyway, I don’t have to make final decisions just yet, so I’m looking forward to other things I’ll discover during my studies.
(Interview: Verena Pongratz)
Annika Möslein (19) went to school in Bruckmühl in the district of Rosenheim. After she completed her Abitur with an overall grade of 1.0, she was recently granted a scholarship by the Maximilianeum Foundation. She has just started her Bachelor’s studies in Engineering Science at the Technical University of Munich. At the foundation, she enjoys free board and lodging, but also lots of offers such as sports, language courses and exchange programs.