I spent my summer of 2015 interning at the Universität Stuttgart in Germany. I worked in the Institut für Photovoltaik (ipv) in the University under the guidance of Dr. Markus Schubert. My task was directly related to a current project of the ipv (with industrial partners) on virtually integrating a battery storage system into the electricity grid of a housing quarter in a medium-sized city. I had to develop predictive algorithms to forecast the electrical consumption of private households and small companies being participants in the project.
The work environment in Germany is unique, and very relaxed- the only concern is to meet the deadline. However, a major problem that I faced there was language. Since I started my work on an ongoing project, I found it challenging to understand the existing work, which was of course completely in German! To lower this barrier, DAAD offers a free online language course, which really made my life much easier.
It was great meeting international students in the university and interacting with them helped me understand the varied social and academic culture across the world. This program also gave me a great opportunity to travel around southern Europe; in particular Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Vatican City and Italy. I got to visit the International Jazz Marathon in Brussels when I went there. Since literally all the travel is through trains, one gets to experience the transitions in the culture, language and food between each country. Overall, this internship experience exposed me to the academic programs in Europe, and opened my mind to the possibilities of future study in Europe.