Stay in Braunschweig by Sachin Thakur

Being someone who did not even have a second-hand experience of visiting a foreign land, I was very excited to visit Germany. No one even in my distant relatives had ever visited a European country and therefore I landed in Germany completely ignorant of all there was to know. I had zero knowledge of German which turns out to be the most important skill for surviving in Germany. But I was able to not only survive but also was able to enjoy my month-long stay at Braunschweig with the help of my German colleagues. Everyone at the TU-Braunschweig was extremely helpful and helped me with tasks ranging from making a proper coffee to explaining the transportation system. I arrived at Frankfurt airport on 6th November 2021 and had to find my way until Braunschweig station with another fellow BITSian which was turning out to be challenging since as soon as we left the Frankfurt airport, there were little to no signs in English. We struggled in the start but eventually, some Germans helped us figure out the system and we were on our way. After sleeping for one entire day for recovering from all the travel, I was ready to explore the city of Braunschweig with which I was again helped by Maximilian and Luise from the university. The TU-Braunschweig’s IWF lab, city center, museum and numerous other places around the city were all unforgettable experiences for me.

It did take me some time to get accustomed to German food which in contrast to Indian spicy food was a balanced diet. The weather was obviously a bit challenging for me as it was 4 degrees on average with high wind speeds and occasional light showers with little to no sunlight. Therefore cycling was a big challenge but was also a bit adventurous for me. The thing that I most admired apart from the German cars was the fact that everything was highly efficient and extremely organized. Be it how they separated the trash or how the transportation system was organized or how the daily items were packaged.

Every now and then I would go shopping in the city center which in my opinion is a must-visit place in Braunschweig. All the different stores with historical buildings and churches surrounding the modern architecture are truly a sight to be mesmerized upon. At TU-Braunschweig, I had a great learning experience and insightful discussions with all the researchers and students.

During my second week of the stay, I was also accompanied by 12 Indian students from BITS as a part of the Indo-German challenge of Sustainable Manufacturing(IGCSM). During this period, we Indian students and our German counterparts enjoyed multiple events ranging from game-night to industrial tours to museum visits. German students, specially Yannik helped me a lot in traveling viz the city and also enlightened us about the German culture. To sum up, It was one mesmerizing and unforgettable experience for me and I look forward to visiting the amazing place again.