Around 350 international students from over 100 nations have started their studies at TU Ilmenau in recent months. On Wednesday, June 8, 2022, they were officially welcomed to the Goethe city at a reception hosted by the City of Ilmenau and the university.
Warm welcome for new international students
"A great enrichment for Ilmenau"
"I am very pleased that you have come here from many different countries around the world and will make Ilmenau your second home in the next few years," said Ilmenau's mayor Dr. Daniel Schultheiß, welcoming the new students in the Parksaal of the Festhalle: "I came to Ilmenau as a student myself more than 20 years ago and I know how challenging a new environment can be. But I also remember how warmly I was welcomed by the other students, by the university staff and by many local people. In the meantime, Ilmenau has become my home."
Ilmenau may not be a big city, but it is a lovable, open and, thanks to the students, a young city, he said:
Students have been shaping Ilmenau's cityscape for more than 100 years. Their ideas, their languages and their culture are a great enrichment for Ilmenau.
At the same time, the mayor emphasized the university's outstanding scientific and research potential:
The Technische Universität is a center of innovation and a driving force for the development of the city of Ilmenau and the region. In addition to numerous craft businesses, medium-sized companies and service companies, the economy in Ilmenau is characterized by technology-oriented companies. With the Technology and Start-up Center as well as the business parks and industrial estates, there are excellent conditions for start-ups, settlements and growth. Perhaps these companies will even be part of your further future after your studies in Ilmenau. I would be very happy about that!
The President of the TU Ilmenau, Prof. Kai-Uwe Sattler, also warmly welcomed the students:
You probably came to Germany for very different reasons: Because friends or relatives have already studied here, because we offer interesting study programs, because you just think Germany is great, or because there are no tuition fees in Ilmenau.
Whatever the reason, the president said, students would find excellent study and research conditions at the TU Ilmenau and a wide range of opportunities to get involved in associations, clubs or the town in addition to their studies. At the same time, he asked the students to not only stay within their national community, but to network with German and international students as well.
Great cultural diversity that shapes campus life
Following the official greetings, the students themselves showed an excerpt of the great cultural diversity that characterizes campus life at the TU Ilmenau: They performed traditional Latin American, Indian and African dances and made music, sang and recited poems in their national languages.
Student Moses Christopher Bollavarapu, who had traveled all the way from Stuttgart for the event, where he is currently writing his master's thesis, reported on his own career and experiences at TU Ilmenau. Although he started his Master's degree in Research in Computer and Systems Engineering at a particularly challenging time during the Corona pandemic – in the winter semester 2020/21 – he is excelling and will complete his studies on schedule after four semesters – already with first job offers in his pocket. For this special achievement and his great voluntary commitment, both in his home country of India and in the student council of the TU Ilmenau and in the student committee of his degree program, he was awarded the "DAAD Prize 2021 for Outstanding Achievements by International Students and Doctoral Students" at the TU Ilmenau in December, endowed with 1,000 euros.
His report on his experiences was intended to serve as motivation for the new students during the often difficult initial period and underscored the words of the president, who concluded his welcoming speech by inviting the students to join in shaping campus and city life:
I hope that one day, when you may leave Ilmenau after completing your Studies, that not only the university and the city will have influenced you, but that you yourself will have left your individual traces in Ilmenau as well.