Finding New Experiences: Tobie Tham

11 April 2017

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. Tobie Tham, a final-year student in the Electrical Engineering and Information Technology programme, recently spent three months in Germany. We speak with Tobie on his experiences in Europe.

Hi Tobie, can you tell us more about your time at Technical University of Munich’s (TUM) home campus?

Tobie: What was really nice was that I received the same kind of assistance from my professors and supervisors in Germany as I did in Singapore. We could freely ask questions during our lessons in Singapore and it was the same in Germany when I had to clarify any doubts on my Bachelor thesis work. With this level of help, it made it easy to integrate into a new environment.

How was the experience of living in Europe for three months?

Tobie: It has been some time since I spent time outside of Singapore. My OIP experience changed my opinions about travelling. Because of my time here, I am now more keen to travel to other countries to experience new cultures.

Many students worry that living in Germany requires you to speak fluent German. Was this assumption true for you?

Tobie: I did take a basic German course from Goethe-Institut Singapore before I left for Munich. I was able to gain a basic understanding in the German culture and language. The course introduced us to what kind of lifestyle and encounters we could expect in Germany. Furthermore, the course was extremely enjoyable! But the requirement to speak fluent German is not true when I was in Germany. Germans speak good English and you can get around easily with English.

What do you think you could have done better if you had the opportunity to do this all over again?

Tobie: You may find this odd, but I would say that I would have brought food that one would not be able to be get in Munich, such as Milo. I personally enjoy drinking Milo, however, I did not bring any along with me to Munich as I thought that it was not necessary. Surprisingly, I found myself missing the familiarity of having a cup of Milo during my stay in Munich.

As you move on to your career after completing your studies, what will be one special take-away from your OIP experience?

Tobie: This education journey has been a rigorous one, with its difficulties along the way. I will definitely take-away the ability to persevere and be determined, even in the face of challenges. This attitude will help me in new challenges as I step into the workforce.

Tobie is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science degree in the field of Electrical Engineering & Information Technology with the Technical University of Munich. He studied in the Singapore branch campus (TUM Asia) and spent three months in Munich, Germany to complete his thesis at the home campus of the university. 

To read the full interview with Tobie, it was first published in our DIGEST newsletter (Jan 2017).
View the e-newsletter here >>

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