Hello Erfan, where are you from and what drew you to Munich?

Hello. I hope you are doing well. I am from Iran. I was born in Esfahan. It is one of the most cultural and historical cities in the world.

I always like to experience studying abroad and because of my interest in the field of paper and recycling and since Germany is one of the most advanced countries in this fields I started searching for the universities in this country and luckily I found this major at MUAS, this is how I got to Munich.

Did you come to Munich alone?

Yes I did. But fortunately. My brother’s friend is living in Munich and upon my arrival he was waiting for me at the airport.

How long have you been studying at the university?

 I have finished my second semester.

How did you come to the master in Paper Technology?

My bachelor degree was chemical engineering. Because of my interest in paper made filters and recycling, also my research and experiences during my bachelor degree with one of my professors I decided to continue in this major.

What did you do before the master?

 After I was graduated from the university, I was working on my English language and I was looking for good universities all around the world. Hopefully I found this university at DAAD and I applied for it immediately.

Did you like studying there from the very beginning?

Yes I did. I like studying here very much. Everyone including professors and program coordinator were very helpful and friendly and I never had any problem. In addition, our teachers at MUAS have a very close contact with industry and it was very interesting to me. But unfortunately, I started my studies during covid-19 pandemic and I hope this crisis will be over soon.

Should life fit into work or work into life?

 I believe that people have to enjoy from every moment of their lives. If you have a work that you literally love it and you enjoy doing it then you can enjoy both work and life together. I think as long as you can be a useful person for the society then you can be satisfied with yourself and you can be pleased with both at the same time.

What was your favorite subject at university?

I liked every individual subject even those which were not related with paper because I found them very necessary for my future profession. In the beginning of my studies, the Introduction into paper was very interesting to me because I had no background and this lecture showed me all I need to know about this industry, but as I passed the other courses, the more I learnt about it and the more I got interested.

How do you organize yourself during your studies? What is difficult about it?

 Since we need to take many subjects during one semester and they are heavy and difficult courses, to not fall behind from the lessons we need to have an organized schedule. I usually write a special schedule for myself, also thanks to the recommended schedule for every semester and the organized program provided for every course, we have enough time to get prepared for everything. Since now I have not had any difficulties.

Was it difficult to settle into student life at the beginning of your studies?

Not actually because I had also the experience of living in another city during my bachelor. But, when I came here because I came from different atmosphere and I had to do many things like opening bank account, getting my residency cart, … I was in a lot of stress but as time passed I learnt more about the German lows and later on I was able to help my foreign friends.

Did you have a job besides your studies?

 Yes I am working part time as a lab assistant in the Chemical and Construction department of Technical University of Munich.

Are you socially committed at the university?

Unfortunately because my studies started during Covid-19 and all are classes were held online, I have not been able to be socially committed at our university.

Did you find it difficult that the Master’s is in English? Is it perhaps even an enrichment for you? How is it to study with so many international students?

Of course studying in another language beside your native language is hard and stressful but I am very glad that I found this opportunity to study in English and to improve my English skills.

It is very interesting and I am very happy to be with many international students and get to know their cultures and becoming friends.

What about your German language skills?

I am very interest in learning German because it is very important to be able to communicate even though many here in Munich can speak English. Fortunately, last semester we had a German language course offered by Institute for Paper Technology (IVP).

What does success mean to you?

In my opinion success is achieving the goals you have set for yourself and what you do is important and valuable. Not necessarily money related.

What are your impressions about studying?

By studying, man can learn more and it can be a bridge for an improvement so he can be a better person. Studying can not only be limited to the academic books, it can be historical, psychology, etc. With the help of the studying a man can pull himself out of the darkness. In my experience coming to this university and taking some courses and communicating with professors were the beginning of improvement for my future.

What is the biggest difference to school?

 In school, we are not still mature and we are very naughty and playful and we do not think much about our future but at the university we have an independent life, have a goal and we think much more about our future life and profession, you are more involved with real life. In the university everything is on our own and we have to make the best out of this short period.

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to live in Germany and find a good job since there are many good working opportunities here when it comes to paper industry. Even though you cannot see the future, but if I get the opportunity I would like to continue my studying and get my PhD degree in Paper technology.

I would like to mention that before coming to Germany I had acceptance from USA but I decided to come to Germany and I am happy that I made this decision. Regarding my major I would like to add that all the academic staffs are very friendly and patient and thanks to Ms. Nina Kohr, one of our coordinators in Master of paper Technology, who always gives us the best help for educational issues, we also had no difficulties about accommodation upon our arrival.

Another important thing for me that I want to talk about is the scholarship provided by IVP that helps the students to manage their costs. Fortunately after only one semester I was able to get this found that was a great help for me. I hope that my experiences would be helpful for other students.

Thank you

Erfan Salehi