Pioneering dual degree recipients report on their stay abroad
And so, in the winter semester of 2014/15, for the first time four students in the Simulation Technology Master’s study programme started studying at Eindhoven in the Netherlands to earn the new dual degree. In addition to earning a Master of Science in the elite Simulation Technology study program, Markus Ganser, Felix Ischinger, Aaron Krämer and Jan-Philipp Wolf would also graduate with a degree in Industrial and Mathematics from Eindhoven Technical University (TU/e).
The dual degree curriculum is split between two semesters in Stuttgart and two more in Eindhoven. The lectures the four pioneering students attended at the Dutch partner study program during the first semester of their one-year stay abroad were all conducted in English. The Stuttgarters passed the written exams for their courses. They observe that exams are configured differently than at their home university. “There is less time pressure during the exam. But then, considering how the problems are posed, you also need more time to solve to them.”
Writing of the Master’s thesis commenced in March. Being settled abroad even before starting in on it, according to Markus Ganser, is an advantage that the dual degree has over a normal study abroad semester. For one thing, you get to know the teachers and potential supervisor ahead of time. That, in turn, made it easier to find the right Master’s thesis supervisor in Eindhoven. In addition, every student is supported by a second supervisor from Stuttgart. This structure accommodates the student, since the Dutch study program is oriented toward theoretical mathematics, meaning that a German supervisor from another discipline can throw the bridge to integrative systems science that typifies SimTech. So, Markus Ganser, for example, was supported by a Stuttgart professor in materials theory in addition to the Dutch supervisor in mathematics.
The dual degree provides a chance to sharpen their focus especially for the numerically inclined, like Aaron Krämer– while remaining relevant simultaneously to practical applications. It was not entirely clear to the four pioneers before they started if their technical specialization would indeed mesh smoothly with the program at Eindhoven: “We had no idea if we would find subjects to our liking and that would fit into our class schedule. But these were groundless worries; the transition from Stuttgart to Eindhoven functions very well!”
Shortly after the midway point through their studies, it was time for a first reckoning for the dual degree – and these four were unanimous: if they had the chance to do it again, they definitely would.