The h_da became a full member of the European university alliance ‘European University of Technology’, or ‘EUt+’ for short, last November, and aims to apply the framework to progressively intensify and expand its connections to partner institutions. A core aim: to make it easier for students to spend time studying at other universities, as well. Carmen Boupda from Dublin and François Wastable from Troyes are the first two students to arrive in Darmstadt since the alliance was founded. We spoke to them, asking about their experiences during the summer semester here in Darmstadt – only to also take away some interesting music tips, into the bargain.
By Nico Damm, editor, Hochschulkommunikation
Carmen Boupda is clearly having a lot of fun during the photo-shoot on campus – hardly surprising, seeing as how modelling and photography are hobbies of hers. The 22 year old is studying electrical engineering at Dublin Technical University, and arrived at the h_da as part of an external work placement funded by the ERASMUS programme. Her daily routine included working on test rigs designed to research electro-magnetic fields, in the electronics lab at the faculty for Electrical and Information Engineering. “I’ve always wanted to come to Darmstadt” says Boupda, but not merely for the study opportunities: “friends of mine from earlier in Cameroon have been here for years.” Boupda has seen quite a few things in her time, for she only left the West-African country for Dublin but five years ago. Having been here, she could now certainly envisage returning to Darmstadt to complete her Masters. Hopefully not then under such strenuous conditions dictated by the pandemic, which have affected so many students. Having said this, by dint of her work placement status, she enjoyed rather privileged conditions, being granted access to the campus and to those professors supervising her, both as contact person and personally. Then there’s her shared flat: “my flatmates are all so nice and considerate – if anyone cooks, it’s always for everyone. We’re all engineers from a variety of countries, like Thailand, Argentina or Russia.” Boupda additionally took time out for some enjoyable trips throughout Germany. Here’s a link to her favourite song of the moment on Spotify.
François Wastable is studying ‘Control and Computer Engineering’, at the Reims campus of Troyes University in the Champagne region of France. He was enrolled at h_da under the ERASMUS programme as a Masters degree student. Wastable likewise chose to live in a shared flat, together with two German and a Jordanian students. As Wastable so nonchalantly puts it: “sometimes my studies felt like bed/desk/bed/desk”. At 23 years of age, the pandemic plonked him in the rather unusual state of being able to continue his studies exclusively online – in spite of being ‘on location’ – which meant that any distractions his flatmates could provide were highly welcome: “we spend a lot of time playing cards in the lounge”. Covid-19 scotched his first attempt to come to Darmstadt, but the second succeeded. “I just relish a good challenge.” Wastable, who has outlined a Playlist of his favourite songs, also says he’d like to spend the relatively short time he has left in Germany having a good time – getting to see Berlin, as well as downing a German beer in a German pub are high on his list. Santé to you, too, François!
Carmen’s favourite song