“Work should fit into life. In Germany, people enjoy their lives. They work, but still keep being happy.”

Praharsha, Student Master Paper Technology 

Prahasha comes from India, where he received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering. Since there is a very large paper company near his home town Hyderabad, he wanted to learn more about paper technology. He then found out that you can study Paper Technology in English in the Master’s degree programme in beautiful Munich, on the other side of the world. This was a fantastic discovery as he wanted to study in Germany. His choices were Germany or the USA, but the USA was too IT-specialized for him. Praharsha is now in his third of four semesters at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. Of course, all beginnings are difficult; the bureaucracy in Germany is quite different from what he’s accustomed to and he had to learn and understand the public transport network, but within two weeks, Prahasha felt at home. He also settled in quickly at the university. “There is more concept here than at home and if you know how it works, it is not difficult to get good grades”. His favourite subjects are paper and cardboard, paper chemistry and thermodynamics. He believes that the courses are not too difficult and that whoever attends the lectures and participates has nothing to fear, largely because the professors are simply the best. When asked what success means to him, he says that he wants to do good in a top position such as that of a manager, and as his own boss, he wants to pay his employees a decent salary. Prahasha asserts that the studies are really great, but those who know some German have a clear advantage because in this industry, it is important to make connections. However, in Munich, it is easy to communicate in English, which is what he loves about this city. He is currently working at the university but in summer, he would like a job in the paper industry. One of the great benefits of this degree is the opportunity to do an internship, which offers students chances at a job after graduation. This opportunity is particularly helpful in the paper industry as the educational and professional communities are small and there is a constant need for new paper technology experts. If Prahasha could change something, it would be to have worked in the paper industry and dealt with the subject matter before commencing his studies. As mentioned before, Prahasha thinks that the biggest difference between studying here in Munich and in India is the concept, and he feels that everything is clearly regulated here. He has also been fortunate enough to be in contact with a fellow student a semester ahead of him who answers all his course and study-related questions, and also happens to come from India. In his free time here in Munich, Prahasha spends his time with friends. He also used to play cricket in his free time but now there aren’t many opportunities here. He says that the biggest cultural difference for him was the Oktoberfest. He had never seen so much beer in one place before, but it was a great experience, he says. He also loves German food. He hasn’t visited his family since he began his studies in Munich but he would like to go home in September and tell them all about his new experiences in Germany.

Winter semester 2019/20

Text based on an interview, by Anna-Sarah Charlotte Weigel (IVP)