Munich: A Home Away from Home (Siti Zafarah)
The Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP) is a highlight for most TUM Asia final-year undergraduates. Students spend three to five months at the home campus in Munich, Germany, taking in many new experiences while completing their Bachelor Thesis. In this issue, the DIGEST team catches up with six Bachelor students to learn more about their time in Europe.
We are happy to hear that you are settling well in Germany! How has it been living in Munich so far, especially as compared to Singapore?
Zafarah: Settling down in Munich was a whole new experience for me as I have never been to Europe. One difference was to adjust to the food preferences. In Germany, majority of the halal food available is limited to the kebab and fries. But I have learnt to appreciate the variety of vegan products available in the supermarkets. Another difference that I am learning is that the days in winter are shorter and it usually turns to night time by five in the evening.
Describe how a typical day in Munich looks like for you.
Zafarah: I stay with a German family – a couple and their five-year-old son. They have been very friendly and warm towards me and I often have meals with them. On days I do not need to be in school, I would stay in to spend time with the family or play with their son. I realise one thing different about them as compared to families in Singapore is that they do not use gadgets too often. They prefer to do things together such as playing football, baking or going for a stroll in the park. Time with the family has made up a main part of my time in Munich aside from school.
What would be your most memorable experience so far?
Zafarah: For me, it would be meeting Muslim friends from Germany, Turkey and other countries. One time, the few of us gathered together to go hiking at Mittenwald. I enjoyed getting to learn about the diverse cultures of the people I interact with and exploring different halal food options available in Munich.
Can you tell us more about the topic you have chosen for your bachelor thesis, and its potential impact?
Zafarah: My thesis is based around the photovoltaic and wind hybrid system (PV-Wind). I chose this topic because it is a potential technology that can help under-developed countries to reduce technology pollution while distributing electricity to the masses.
As you are about to come to the end of your Bachelor studies, what would be your greatest takeaway from your academic journey in TUM Asia?
Zafarah: I am glad for the opportunity to come to Munich and be exposed to the different cultures and lifestyles here. The OIP has taught me to work independently through my thesis-writing. Studying in TUM Asia has taught me the need to understand the concept instead of merely fact-studying.
Lastly, what is one thing you will miss about Germany when your OIP ends?
Zafarah: I will miss the times of fun I had with friends here in Munich, and the family that I am staying with since we have forged a bond with the time spent together.
– Siti Zafarah studied in the Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering & Information Technology with the Technical University of Munich. She studied in the Singapore branch campus (TUM Asia) and spent three months in Munich, Germany to complete her Bachelor thesis at the home campus of the university.
To read the full interview with Zafarah, it was first published in our DIGEST newsletter (Jan 2019). View the e-newsletter here >>
TUM Asia administrates the TUM Bachelor degrees together with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). GCE ‘A’ Levels, Polytechnic Diploma and international qualification holders may apply for the TUM Bachelor degrees. Find out more about the programmes offered >>
Interested students may apply for the TUM Bachelor of Science programmes from January to March every year. Applications are accepted at our partner university’s admission site: https://admission.singaporetech.edu.sg