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"My first idea when I arrived at Chemnitz? Getting to know many people”

Adithya Sridhar was the winner of the DAAD-prize this year - he engages voluntarily in the Club of Cultures and in the Buddy Program of the International Office

  • The winner of the DAAD-prize this year, Adithya Sridhar, is engaged in the organization of a variety of events of the International Office, among them the "Welcome Dinner” at the Club of Cultures. On the photo he stands together with his supervisors from the International Office, Susan Kuchs and Oliver Sachs. Photo: private

He received the invitation to the award of the DAAD-prize in the classical way by mail. "I am very happy to be selected for this award and I would like to say thank you to all my professors, lecturers and friends who have supported me from the beginning and they are still going on. Naturally, this prize encourages me to help even more” says Adithya Sridhar. The 24-year-old Indian received this special prize of the DAAD for outstanding performances of international students at German universities last week. Sridhar is doing his studies in the Master-degree-program "Micro & Nano Systems” and engages voluntarily within two student programs: the "Club of Cultures” and the "Buddy Program” of the International Office.

Sridhar was curious of the adventures of a stay beyond the borders of his home city Chennai on the East coast of Southern India. "Until I was 19 years old I have not made a lot of experiences in India. I lived together with my parents. Furthermore my university was located at my home city” Sridhar tells. He did his Bachelor in Electrical Engineering and Electronics at the SRM University Chennai. Thanks to a German guest lecturer he heard from TU Chemnitz and decided to pack his bags.

The opposite of a mega-city of six million inhabitants and an average temperature of 35 degree Celsius

From October 2008 to March 2010 he lived as exchange student at Chemnitz. During this time he was supported academically and individually by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schufft, holder of the professorship Power Systems and High-Voltage Engineering at TU Chemnitz. "For the first time I had to cope with all on my own. This meant to me: a new language, learning to cook and to earn my first own money” says the Indian and continues: "I come from a mega-city of an estimated number of six million inhabitants and an average temperature of 35 degree Celsius. Chemnitz is the right opposite. This is what I like here.”

Sridhar decided to extend his stay at Chemnitz. In summer 2010 he finished successfully his studies at Chennai and already in October of the same year he was back at TU Chemnitz and started his studies in the English-speaking Master-degree-program "Micro & Nano Systems”. "I had a secure side job as scientific assistant. I already worked at the Professorship Factory Planning and Factory Management during my exchange year with Dr. Jens Schütze.”

Sridhar arranges to learn German in a variety of ways. During his exchange year he participated in a language course, he comprehended the lectures by the use of a dictionary and met regularly with his German buddy from the International Office. "Due to my extensive curriculum it is difficult to participate continuously in German language courses. I have discovered alternative ways - I learn from my German friends and even from news broadcasted in the Campus-Cafeteria” says Sridhar.

"The bar service at the Club of Cultures was the perfect position for me”

Sridhar got to know a considerable number of his friends thanks to the Club of Cultures which counts among the best-known student clubs on the university campus true to the motto "The whole world in one club”. To go there was - according to his own words - the first idea Sridhar had when he arrived at Chemnitz in October 2008. At the beginning Sridhar jobbed at the bar of the Club of Cultures. "This was the perfect position for me because everyone came to me to order a drink which offered me the opportunity to practise my German” Sridhar smiles. Today Sridhar is involved in the organization of international evening events like "English Tea Party” or "Indian Night”. "The members of the Club of Cultures work there for three to four years in the average. We are friends and family, brothers and sisters. I like this a lot” says Sridhar.

In addition to the Club of Cultures, Sridhar is also engaged within the Buddy Program of the International Office since 2009. From this time on he supported six new international students - named "Partner Children” - coming from Italy, Brazil and India to get oriented on the campus and at Chemnitz. Furthermore Sridhar supported the organization of several events like the "Welcome Dinner” as well as Halloween and Christmas parties. "I have a lot of fun in working for the Buddy Program because everyday I get to know new cultures and attitudes.”

Within the next months Sridhar intends to complete his Master thesis dealing with the topic of cathodoluminescence supervised by Prof. Dr. Michael Hietschold, holder of the Professorship Solid Surfaces Analysis at the Institute of Physics. What comes next, Sridhar does not exactly know yet. What is for sure is what he will do with the endowment of 1.000 Euro of the DAAD-prize: He will book a ticket to India. Sridhar has not seen his family at Chennai since three years.

(Author: Victoria Graul, Translation: Dr. Wolfgang Lambrecht)

Katharina Thehos

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