Li Sining

It’s really fortunate for me to get the chance to study in Paderborn as an exchange student. This is an unforgettable and meaningful experience by now. I want to sincerely thank DAAD to offer this project for students in University of Paderborn and Beihang University. Thanks to Pro. Mertsching, Pro. Yuan, Tobias and all the other teachers who gave me lots of help during this study. At the same time, thanks to my buddy and other students in GET lab and German course who have shared a good time with me.

Time goes really fast. I still remember the time I arrived in Germany. It was still cold but our buddies took us to the dormitory and helped us with each procedure for registration. For a student who firstly went abroad, this made me feel warm. For the following days, I experienced the enthusiasm and considerate attitude of German people. Now I want to share my feelings from three aspects: preparation, study and everyday life.


Before leaving, exchange students can scan the research directions of the lab and choose one which they are interested in. That may have something to do with the project you will take part in. In addition, the basic understanding of the culture of the country is necessary, which will benefit the rapid adaptation of life abroad.
For the Chinese students who will join in the exchange project in the future, I have a few small suggestions as follows:

Language: Practice English before leaving. For that will be the most useful language when communicating with foreigners and travelling abroad.

Plan: To make a suitable plan for study and travel. You can list a few goals that you want to achieve after exchange study, like professional goal, language level and so on. Then try to achieve them step by step. For travelling, you will have several holidays and that will be a good chance to travel. Don’t forget to apply for the semester ticket before the semester. That is very convenient and helpful.
Luggage: There’s no need to prepare too many things for everyday life. I want to recommend a forum website that will be quite useful among Chinese students.  You can search for some secondhand things that you may use in Paderborn, for instance, electric cooker. On the other hand, there’s no use to take too much Chinese food. There are three Asian shops in Paderborn and why not try to have a good taste of German food.

Study in Germany

The study pattern in Germany is a little different from that in China. In Germany, generally students won’t study till too late at night. During daytime, we can go to listen to lectures and go to lab for research. In GET lab, students don’t have stable computer or position for study. We have an account for computer and can use it anywhere in lab. Every time we have questions we can contact our supervisor for discussing. I took part in one project which is about the measurement of laser located on the robot. After getting familiar with different types of distance measurement devices, I concentrated on the Hokuyo URG-04LX Laser. I realized the connection of computer and the laser in order to get real-time data collection with C++ program. In order to realize analysis and processing of a certain amount of data, for example, 200 times, 'snapshot' was added to program. After one-time collection of the certain amount of data, all the data were put to zero and another collection started from zero until setting up another 'snapshot'. In addition, the data could be saved as .txt file automatically. Through testing for different materials, the result of the analysis for the collecting data is useful for application of the laser.

In addition to the research in GET lab, I took Robotics and German course. Robotics was taught by Pro. Mertsching, at the same time, Tobias gave the exercises. This course is taught in English, which is convenient and understandable for foreign students. During the classes, teachers and students have positive communication. Students can ask questions anytime. This helps the development of high quality education in Germany. With regard to German course, it is different from language education in China. I didn’t learn any German before this course. Firstly I was a little afraid because I even didn’t know the pronunciation of the letters. After the first class, I didn’t worry about any more. The teacher, Frau Pienemann, is very nice and kind. She gave the firm basis education of German for us. She had travelled to China before, so she liked to talk with us about our country. She emphasized on the communication in class. So we usually sat in a circle and learnt German by games, which was interesting and memorable. At the end of the course, the teacher and all the classmates went out for picnic together, playing games, tasting food from different countries, talking to each other and enjoying the beautiful sunshine. I want to give my thanks to Frau Pienemann and the other classmates and hope them everything goes well in the future.

Everyday Life

In University of Paderborn, every student has one dormitory and five people share a kitchen. We can cook for ourselves or go to Mensa for lunch and dinner. Cooking Chinese food and inviting friends to share is a good way to introduce Chinese culture. There are four supermarkets near the university and REWE is the nearest. One point that should be paid attention to is supermarkets are closed on Sunday. Don’t forget to prepare some food in advance. Asian supermarkets are near the railway station. There is also a big Chinese restaurant near the football square.
The stores except restaurants are also closed on Sunday. You can spend the time drinking a cup of coffee and talking to friends or strangers in cafeteria. On weekends, travelling to neighboring cities like Bonn, Bielefeld and so on is a better chance to experience different styles in Germany. The public transportation is free owing to the semester ticket.
Communicating with foreigners is a good chance to get to the different culture. The students in my language class come from different countries. We got familiar with each other and sometimes went out for picnic together. Sometimes we went to someone’s place for dinner. Learning how to cook foreign food was interesting. I also took part in a few parties. I recommend you to take part in the parties to understand foreign communication culture.

I can still remember the life in Germany, which will be a beautiful memory in my life. Hope to have a chance to go there again. I really love this country and people there.