Zhifeng Ma

As an exchange student from Beihang University, I spent one semester in university of Paderborn in Germany. How time flies! I had to say good bye to Germany and went back to Beijing. Thanks to Prof. Mertsching, Prof. Boecker, and Prof. Jiao, Prof. Yuan. Thanks them for providing us with such a valuable opportunity, and making a nice cooperation between two universities. Thanks for the supports from DAAD. Thanks to Mr. Fischer, an excellent engineer, who helped me go through my Mobile Robot Control project and tanght me program techniques. Thanks to Qimeng Zhang and Lijing Chen who shared so much with me in Germany.

It is my pleasure to share my experiences with those who have interest in the exchange program. Meanwhile, it give me the chance to look back to the wonderful life again. To begin with, there are some tips for you.

To make a good Plan

A clearly goal and a good plan are important and helpful for me to attend this exchange program. The following is my plan.

"I expect an improvement in my research field. I am very interested in the embedded system research in GET lab of Paderborn. Being interest in FPGA-based logic design and C++ programming, I will take part in some research work and apply my knowledge in GET lab's researches, which are about image processing and intelligent sensor technology. In addition, this exchange program aims at culture communication between China and Germany. I am interested very much in Germany culture. As I know, German people are always very precise, which may explain the high technology level in Germany. Besides, Germany has a profound history in arts and literature. So, I believe I will benefit a lot from this program"

Looking back at my plan, no matter if I have had covered it; I believe I had benefited a lot from it. I just hope it can also help you.

Self Discipline

Self discipline is the key to follow your plan. No matter studying in GET Lab, learning German, or travelling with Eurobiz team, self discipline will make you gain more respective and achieve goals easily.

Well Prepared for Language

You will find that one task you can work out easily at our hometown, but do not work again in Germany because that you are a totally beginner here. The culture, the language and the environment are all strange to you. So just keep in mind that you need prepare the language. At least prepare English language as much as possible.

Except challenges and difficulties, so many great experiences make life wonderful here. I will share some experiences with you as followed.

Mobile Robot Programming at GET Lab

Thanks to Prof. Mertsching for providing me "GUI of Rescue Robot" internship and give me so much help. The main task is to organize and display sensors information clearly and lively to help the operator to understand the state of robot and the environment around robot well and can remotely control the robot by using joystick. I am interest in this small project very much. By the help of Mr. Fischer I improved my programming skill and learnt how to use many useful tools and libraries. Further more I became familiar with Linux platform which I'd like to work with.

A good German Teacher

'Herr Kuhlmann', a strict patient kind and self-esteem man, is my German teacher. Although I only got one-hundred hours to study this course with him in class, and had got little time to review it or move any further, but I appreciate the high quality tutorial very much.

High Quality Museums

I recommend you to visit the museum firstly whenever you come to a new city in Germany. If you search museum information in Germany online, you will find so many kinds of museums there! Such as Chocolate Museum in Cologne, the world biggest computer museum-HNF in Parderborn, the Germany Museum in Munich, etc. There are so much information and knowledge for you to explore. So, please do not hesitate to enjoy yourself there.

Activities with Eurobiz

Thanks a lot to Eurobiz, the international student union in the University of Paderborn. They organized many trips such as Munich, Bonn, Berlin, Koeln. Taking part in these traveling also gave me good chances to know more about history, development and culture of Germany. Meanwhile, they also held many parties for foreign students. Among these, welcome party and Cologne Carnival were very interesting and significant for me. I'd like recommend you to join them.

Skating at Bruges at Christmas

During the Christmas holiday, I traveled in Holland, Belgium and Luxemberg myself for 5 days. I should tell you that if you like liveliness and like to play with more travelers, Christmas is not a good choice for you. Because there are few travelers on the way and almost every shop was closed, especially at Christmas and on Christmas Eve. Luckily at Christmas I was in Brugge of Belgium. Walking around the almost perfectly preserved city of Bruges was like taking a step back in time. From its 13th-century origins as a cloth-manufacturing town to its current incarnation as a tourism mecca, Bruges seems to have changed a little. As in a fairy tale, swans glide down the winding canals and the stone houses look like they're made of gingerbread. Even though glass-fronted stores have taken over the ground floors of ancient buildings, and the swans scatter before tour boats chugging along the canals. It is really wonderful place. After lunch, I found a Skating rink near the museum. Many people were skating there to celebrate the festival. I could not help myself to join them and enjoy the festival.

Cooking together with Our Buddies

Since the student dormitory supply kitchen for student, so I had the chance to cook together with my friends for our buddies and many of our new friends. I remember one time we cooked together with our buddies and my Chinese friends. I cooked Chinese food while our buddies cooked Germany food. After two hours hard working, we finished and shared these food together. That is teamwork!

Making Dumplings With Mr. Titus on New Years Eve

Mr. Titus is a very kind German. He can speak quite fluent Chinese because he had studied Chinese for 9 years since he studied in Bonn University. Before the New Year I got an email that he would like to make dumpling together with Chinese students. With curiosity, I sent him an email and got reply. So on New Years Eve, the biggest festival in China, several students and I made dumplings together with Mr. Titus and his wife at their home. So many thanks to him and his wife. Best wish for them.


At last, I would like to say I love Germany very much. I love the people, the culture and the good environment there deeply. I hope I can get the opportunity to visit there again.