University Summer Courses, famously known amongst the German language student community in the South Asian region is a unique programme that gives students the opportunity to attend a summer programme with a view to help them experience the German culture, language, education in action. This year a number of students will participate in this programme online.

Awardees from the year 2020 Syed Habeeb Tehseen, Satyajit Patel and Tanay Dwivedi share their thoughts and experience.

Tanay Dwivedi, IV Year Dual Degree, Mechanical Engineering & Data Science, Indian Institute of Technology Madras

During my school days, I was very fond of automobiles and always wanted to study the engineering behind them. Since German companies are the best in this field, it naturally motivated me to learn the German language hoping that this would open up multiple future avenues. I saw the HSK scholarship programme as an opportunity to have a first-hand experience of learning & interacting in the German language and gaining insight into the German culture. Moreover, I endeavored to improve my German language to a level where I can have some language fluency. Therefore, I applied for the HSK scholarship programme during the summer of 2019.

Although I had many memorable experiences in Hamburg, the one that stands out as pivotal for me is the time spent with the guest family and friends from all over the world. We used to watch different German films and visit places in Hamburg & nearby cities, all of which contributed significantly to improving my language proficiency. Moreover, the course instructors always strived to make the lessons as interactive as possible and preferred multiple excursions instead of classroom teaching. The exciting part was that I could complete my B2 within a month, which would have generally taken at least a year to finish.

Since I started learning the German language, I always enjoyed it, which helped me keep a consistent record of being a German language learner. Furthermore, I was fortunate to receive scholarships from the Goethe Institute and had excellent German exam test scores. I believe that this and a strong statement of purpose helped the selection committee select me as a suitable candidate.

I would highly recommend this scholarship programme to other aspiring applicants with intermediate German language proficiency, i.e., B1 or B2, irrespective of their major field of studies. Learning German at home country gives knowledge but learning German in Germany provides context & an unforgettable experience that stays on forever. It is also an excellent opportunity to learn about German culture, which is highly integrated with the language learning process. Connecting with fellow learners worldwide, traveling to different places, and interacting with lots of people are some of the other advantages that one gets from this scholarship.

Satyajit Patel, BA in German Studies, University of Mumbai

When I was 15, I found the hunger of travelling in myself and started learning about new languages and new cultures. I always dreamt of studying in Europe. With the help of DAAD, not only did I find my way to Germany, I also got a chance to study there. That influenced me a lot to learn more about the country and the language. That’s how I commenced my adventure with the language.

I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree in german studies, when I found out about the scholarship. I was in my 2nd year. We were learning about the culture and history of Germany and that attracted me the most. I always believe in the theory of experimentation. No doubt studying the language theoretically enriches us with lots of knowledge but visiting the place, interacting with people and the chance to be a part of the culture creates an everlasting image in our lives. That’s what inspired me the most and I applied for the HSK scholarship programme.

One of the best things that I really loved about my entire experience is to be in a class full of intentional students, who speak different languages and are from different cultures. The only thing that was common between us was that our passion ran deep for German language. It made me feel that no matter where you are from, what your race is or religion is, one language can overcome these boundaries and can connect you to the whole world. And German did it for me. Other than that I have made some good friends with whom I am still connected to. I also did a short film with my other classmates which we presented on the final day of my course. I had been to a lot of excursions arranged by the university. The programme had not only opened the door to Germany but also to its neighbouring countries such as Switzerland, Austria, France, Czech Republic, Poland etc. I had a chance to visit these countries and experience them on my own. Being far away from the east (India) it was an enriching and exquisite experience for me to travel through different European countries.

The name of the course was German for Tourism, which I was awarded the scholarship for. According to me my motivation letter and my knowledge of the language made me a winner in this context. I always had a positive approach to the language. I was so much into the language that I completed my B1 within a year. Other than that, my keen interest in travelling and film-making made me a suitable candidate for the course I opted for in the scholarship.

Yes, I would definitely recommend this programme to other aspiring applicants. The reasons simply as follow:

  • You learn not only about the language but also the right way to communicate with the language as you will be surrounded by natives.
  • One is not just limited to German culture but also gets a taste of different cultures from the lands of Arab to Latin America.
  • You finally get to use what you have read in the books!
  • This programme can give you a captivating experience of studying in a foreign country.
  • You get to visit the neighbouring countries of Germany such as Switzerland, Austria and France.
  • At last, you get to make a lot of friends, to meet a lot of people who come from different corners of the world which makes you go berserk!

Syed Habeeb Tehseen, MA German Literature, Jawaharlal Nehru University

I decided to learn German due to my interest in authors such as Kafka, Goethe, Hesse and Thomas Mann. I also found learning the language to be intellectually stimulating.
What inspired me to apply for the HSK Scholarship programme was the opportunity to experience Germany, to get to practise my language amongst native speakers and to get to spend time at a german university amongst educators and students from all across the world. The best part about my experience was that I could speak to participants from different corners of the world using German as a common language.

My course at the Freie Universitaet, Berlin was called Berlin Pur. It involved language classes in the mornings complemented by an additional afternoon programme of cultural studies during which we ventured out into the city partaking in guided tours, study projects and meeting with experts of the city to discuss various themes ranging from literature, art and even politics. We met with artists, NGO representatives, authors and the programme even included a visit to the German Bundestag which offered us a closer look at the workings of German democracy. The evening programmes were full of visits to the theater, night walks, and sports activities. The most interesting aspect of living in Berlin for a month was the history at offer. With a well connected public transport system, one is only minutes away from landmarks such as Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate, East Side Gallery, the Berlin Wall Memorial, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Museuminsel.

My selection for the scholarship I believe was based on language proficiency, personal motivation and my general interests with regards to the German language. I would encourage all aspirants to apply for the HSK Scholarship since it is much more than just a language course. It is a chance to visit a new country, meet new people, learn about others and yourself, learn and cultivate new ideas and expand your horizons.

Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed in the texts are solely those of the  students, and so is the language and the content. The DAAD has brought it to on as is basis.