IGCSP 21-22 | Stay in Germany, Report by BITS students

Friday, 12.11. by Mitesh Rajnish Katariya & Himanshu Sharma

The adventurous and exciting journey started as soon as we landed at Frankfurt airport and the first challenge was to reach the bus which could take us to Braunschweig. After a little hustle, we could reach the bus but it made us 2 hours behind the schedule. In the journey to Braunschweig, we were captivated by the countryside view with the architectural distinction of houses, buildings, agricultural farms, and cars. We reached the Youth Hostel in the afternoon, kept our baggage, and freshened up.
We were briefed about some do’s and don’ts in the hostel by Max, Luise, and Nadja who extended a warm hospitable welcome to us. Following it, we went to the Main Building for the documentation and registration purpose where we clicked the first group picture as well.
All of us were very hungry by then and were eager and excited to explore German food. We had an awesome Falafel for lunch which refreshed and re-energized everyone for the events that had to follow. We had a rather enthralling walk towards the IWF where we got an opportunity to explore the German architecture, culture, food, traditions, media of transport, and most importantly – people. The first formal activity was the Ice breaker game, which was very well curated and met its purpose and deliverables while having so much fun. We actually got to know each other which helped in further easing up the discussions.
Now, it was the time for the most awaited moment “German Dinner”. We had our dinner at the Youth Hostel and we were mesmerized by the different tastes and dishes. After the hectic day, some of us still had the energy and excitement to discover the streets and buildings of  Braunschweig. We went for a walk and marked all the locations, shops, and malls to visit in the coming days. Before  going to bed, we all were very happy and that, the first day was beyond our excitement and enthusiasm.       

Saturday, 13.11. by Ishu Kumar

The day started off quite early in the morning since we had a hike planned. When I woke up, I had recuperated from most of the exhaustion from the previous day’s travel. We had breakfast at the Youth Hostel mess and headed to the main gate. Max, Nadja and Luise were waiting for us there.
First, we walked off to a meeting place where our German teammates were waiting for us. This was the second time we were meeting them after the ice-break session yesterday, so it was nice. We clicked several photos with the whole group, and then we all headed towards a park.
At the park, to our surprise, a ball game had been planned for us. The game rules were such that all the people were divided into two teams, and one player from each team would take turns to through the ball underarm. The team that lands the ball farthest at the end would win. This game went for quite long as we covered the distance through the whole park. Some people were competing, some were just doing it for fun, and we all enjoyed the nice weather out there. Just to mention, our team won that game 🙂
Then we went to a restaurant, where the Germans had planned a lunch for us. I had fried potatoes without eggs, salad with French dressing, and apple juice. Again, the gathering was fun as we all enjoyed each other company. After lunch, our German teammates took leave from us, and the whole BITS group got together to wander in the city. We visited City Market and several other places. This was a great day, and I look forward to the coming days in Braunschweig.

Monday, 15.11. by Pradumnya Bang and Rushil Patel

We all woke up early to a chilly morning as it was an important day – We were to attend Prof. Christoph Herrmann’s lecture on Sustainable Manufacturing, the core idea of our program at IWF Building. Prof. Herrmann explained about Sustainability, the need for Industry 4.0, and Cyber-Physical Production systems. After an hour-long interaction, we attended a welcome speech by Prof. Knut Baumann, vice president for Academic and Student affairs – TU Braunschweig. We then met Mr. Bastian Thiede, who guided us through the experimental learning factory and research factory in IWF. We explored an industry-related infrastructure
used for testing prototypes in a real environment.
After that, all of us went to Mensa for lunch. The German students helped us identify different dishes and choose the best one. After lunch, we went back to Maschbau where we worked in our respective groups. We had a discussion with our mentors about the deliverables of the challenge and approach to work.
After the end of group-work in Maschbau, Some of us decided to go for some souvenir shopping at Valendor Gift Shop in the City Centre. When I asked for some Braunschweig memorabilia, to my amazement – the shop owner asked If I was visiting for the first time, lowered the price significantly and even offered some items for free! I think that demonstrates the friendliness and gratitude of Germans in Braunschweig and I’m sure many
other Indian students had similar exchanges.
Next up – We were all super charged up for the prime attraction of the night – Bowling at City-Bowling Center, Braunschweig where we reached around 8:30 PM. Teams were made with 4 people per bowling lane and off we started! After scoring consistent 0’s in the first four throws, I decided to rethink my bowling strategy 😂.
After bowling, We toured some unique Braunschweig streets while returning back to the hostel. On our way, we stopped at a Turkish street food shop for some Kebab’s that pleased our taste buds immensely. The best part of such events (apart from the fun) is the interpersonal/intercultural communications exchanges among students. It’s always fun to listen to people talking about their hometowns, families, career and future prospects. I’d say that’s the main benefit of taking part in the Indo-German Challenge for Sustainable Manufacturing.

Tuesday, 16.11. by Kanishk Chaudhary

The day started off by finishing and compiling our PowerPoint presentation for our first deliverable: presenting our initial ideas and what we understood from the task sheet in front of everyone. The lunch in Mensa for this day was the best lunch I had during my stay in Germany. There was a vegetarian burger, a different type of French fries that were sweet, cake and BioZisch lemon drink.
After satisfying our appetites, we headed back to MaschBau for our
presentations. Our mentor, Marvin, and some of the other teams gave some valuable advice that we went back and discussed about during the groupwork hour.
At 4pm, we walked to National Jürgens Brewery that was nearby to MaschBau. There, we met Max Juraschek, an alumnus of IWF, TU Braunschweig who too was part of the Indo-German Center for Sustainable Manufacturing like us back in his uni days. He gave
us a glass of beer or lemonade for tasting, then showed us around the brewery and the beer making process, from the raw ingredients till the storage. He even gave us a free sample of pale ale for us to try.
The day ended with some night sightseeing around Braunschweig – outside views of Schloss Arkaden, Dankwarderode Castle, Braunschweiger Dom, Happy Rizzi House and St. Magni Kirche.

Wednesday, 17.11. by Dev Kartik Sharma

Today was going to be a busy day. Resisting the temptations of the beautiful chilly sunrise out the window, I got up and ready after having a modest breakfast (vegetarian :’) ). Walking down the road was an experience of its own, catching rare cars like the ’98 Toyota supra on a beautiful autumn ridden asphalt.
At the MaschBau, we warmed up through team-building exercises (surprisingly hard but so much fun!). After our group work, we headed to the mensa, where Jannis would help me choose vegetarian food that didn’t have “Eier” (engl. eggs) . The food and the company there was remarkable, won’t lie. I loved how serious people were about sustainable living. For example, you would receive a small fee in return for a used glass bottle.
Now we headed back to the IWF, where we had an amazing virtual tour of the Battery production facility lined up for us. I say “amazing” because, after all that food, I was surprised how I was not already drowsing away through the presentation as it was good and interactive.
Our group also had a look (and ride) at the e-bike prototype in the workshop. Later on, we went on to visit the National History Museum, where we clicked a ton of photos and looked through evolutionary history documented with so much finesse. The museum curator was kind enough to hand us all with a custom made pen as memorabilia.
By now I was a little exhausted, so we went back to grab dinner at the student hostel and rest up well because guess what? It was Game Night! We gathered at “The Expertise”, played a lot of card and board games like Uno!, the bull-card game (which I owned, by the way, that too for a first-timer) and many more. All of us had a wonderful time as we connected over games and great German beer (Cheers to Zexu, Luise, Lorena and Jannis XD), laughs and fun all around, and a perfect end to a long day.

Thursday, 18.11. by Vinay Neil Pan

Some of Indian participants had an evaluative component in the young hours of the day. We had groupwork scheduled in the morning, but the Indian side had to take time off to go for RT-PCR testing, since we were travelling back the very next day. Till lunch, we once explored the scenic streets of Braunschweig, taking the opportunity of doing some shopping as well. All of us met at the Mensa for lunch, then headed back to IWF for a workshop on entrepreneurship. The workshop was really interesting and fun, as we got to use every bit of our entrepreneurial skills for pitching odd items at odder places – my group was tasked with selling an adhesive tape for a coffee shop; some others got tasks like pitching thumbtacks for gardening purposes!!
Towards the end of the workshop-lecture, we had to bid goodbye to two of our German teammates, who happened to be working professionals. With the day and the trip coming to a close, all of us spent time in the marketplace of Braunschweig. Waving farewell to most of our German teammates, and wishing them a exciting journey to India, we proceeded to prepare ourselves for the lengthy travel the next day.