I interned at the Power Electronics Chair of Christian Albrechts Universität zu Kiel in Kiel, Germany this summer. The Chair is one of the leading research centres in the world on power electronics and related fields such as micro-grids and smart transformers. My project was originally based on designing modular inverters for micro-grid testing but upon joining the Chair, the professor asked me to give a presentation on my past research work. He then decided that I should work on the design and modulation strategies for efficient converters through effective PCB design. This aspect of flexibility in research topics, I feel, is the most distinguishing feature of the DAAD WISE program.
The work culture of Germany is very informal, yet proper. As long as the results are delivered on time, the students can manage their time any way they please. That brings us to the travel perks in Europe. Being in Germany, you are a mere few train-hours away from the architectural beauty of Prague, the train ferry to Copenhagen, the scenic Swiss Alps, the canals of Amsterdam, Belgian Chocolates, and the food and monuments of Italy. In addition, there are always the local attractions; I was lucky enough to witness the world’s largest sailing festival as part of the Kiel Week celebrations.
The language (It’s not a barrier) was one of the most exciting challenges I faced in Germany (I took an online course funded by DAAD). Apart from working on a project, navigating through the linguistic and cultural differences, and managing household chores was indeed a valuable life experience.