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ERASMUS programme at TUM Germany

UCL undergraduates share their experiences

Erasmus in Munchen

Third year undergraduate students, Aymeric Bourland, Clement Venard and Owen Jones are currently doing an ERASMUS year at TUM.

Courses they are taking include:

  • Seminar in Nanoelectronics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Mathematical Methods of Information Technology
  • Engineering Management
  • Introduction to Leadership/Organizational Psychology

Aymeric is enjoying tutoring German students in English as a good opportunity to share the English culture and promote UCL, and a good way to give back to TUM the opportunity he has been given.

Clement Venard has written an account of his impressions so far:

"My first day in Munich involved me wandering down to the opening day of Oktoberfest where I learnt my first important phrase in German "ein maB bitte" (one beer please). It's true the Germans really do love their beer, but this isn't why I have enjoyed every moment of living in the Bavarian capital.

The city itself is probably the safest place I have ever been to, I could leave my bike unlocked and nobody would steal it. When the estate agent was showing me around my new flat she laughed at me when I asked if it was safe to leave my bike outside.

University felt a bit like going back in time. Smart boards are a novelty here and blackboards still remain the norm. Another surprising thing that occurred in our first lecture was as soon as the professor finished teaching everyone knocked on the desk as a kind-of subtle applause. The professors are all very helpful and most are accompanied by a PhD student who is also there to assist.

The work is challenging and much more mathematically based but not impossible. Same of the courses offered sound incredibly interesting, such as "soccer robots" where you are able to design and build a robot capable of playing football. Germany itself has a proud engineering heritage and the common joke is that all TUM students go onto eventually work at BMW (pronounced BMV if you're German). If you study Engineering in Germany people respect you whereas in the U.K. I get a lot of funny looks as to their surprise at seeing me in daylight as opposed to being glued in front of a flickering computer screen.

Geographically Munich is extremely well placed, excursions to the mountains for skiing or hiking take just a little over two hours. I've just come back from a weekend in Prague which is 5 hours by bus and the previous weekend I was visiting Salzburg. There are many places to visit in Bavaria such as the beautiful Neuschwanstein castle and in the summer you can go swimming in the many lakes in the region.

English universities could learn a lot from their German counterparts. Cafeterias are extremely cheap and offer good healthy food, something which in London is very difficult to find. Also there is a student group called TUMi, the "i" being for international where students from all around the world studying at TUM meet to do excursions or take part in cultural events. There is also MENSA which is a group for Erasmus students but most excursions are given in preference to LMU students (they are the equivalent of Kings College to TUM students).

The most important thing before going to Germany is to try and learn as much of the language as possible prior to going; Duoliriguo is very good if language lessons are too expensive. You will be able to speak to the locals and have a much more enjoyable time, Germans are impressed when they hear English people trying to speak German.

Overall I feel that doing an Erasmus opens you up to the world, you suddenly realise that you have opportunities all over the planet. London itself isn't the only city in the world to work (although I do miss it at times). I hope by the end of this Erasmus my German will be sufficiently good enough to in the future work in Germany or use this added skill to be able to work in other countries."

What is ERASMUS?

Erasmus is a the EU's flagship educational exchange scheme that enables higher education students to study or work abroad as part of their degree. The scheme currently involves 9 out of 10 higher education establishments and supports cooperation between the universities of 33 countries. Over 3 million students have benefited from Erasmus since it started in 1987.

About Technical University Munich

Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen (TUM) is one of Europe's top universities. It is committed to excellence in research and teaching, interdisciplinary education and the active promotion of promising young scientists. The university also forges strong links with companies and scientific institutions across the world. TUM was one of the first universities in Germany to be named a University of Excellence. In the international Shanghai Ranking (ARWU), TUM was rated the number one German university both in 2011 and 2013.

Interested in studying abroad?

You can find out more information at the study abroad website, or students can contact the departmental Study Abroad Tutor, Prof Polina Bayvel (p.bayvel@ucl.ac.uk).

You can also find out more details about ERASMUS at: