For the fourth time students of the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal get the opportunity to have look around at an American University. Once again students of the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal have participated in the Virginia-Academy-Spring-Trip and were able to gain insights into America’s economy, research, history and student life. They were accompanied by Prof. Dr. Michael Herzog and the research associate Victoria Batz.

Sarah Krause

Magdeburg/ Norfolk • The mere thought of paying 18.000 euro per semester for university studies takes away your breath easily. What seems to be unimaginable in Germany, is the stark reality in America. Fourteen students from the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal had the opportunity to get an idea of this situation themselves: From the 17th until 31st of March they spent their time at the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. During that stay, they have attended several seminars and lectures, got in touch with American students and exchanged views and experiences.

The participants, students from the economy, engineering science and industrial design faculty, explored not only the university life but also various laboratories. Enthusiastically they were recounting about modern facilities and newest technology: ‘For example, we were able to have a look at a particle accelerator at the Jefferson laboratory. When visiting these research institutes in the USA, you realize that incentives turn out to be usually a lot higher than in Germany’, Leon Schuller, a student of industrial design at the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal, reports.

On the itinerary of the German travel group were a lot of excursions but they also took part in the university life, including interesting lectures. ‘We had the chance to choose our courses relatively free, there were only a few compulsory events’, explains Alexander Forchert who is going to do his master degree in electrical engineering. Since the university offers a wide range of studies, every student quickly selected ten to fifteen different courses from the offered variety. From photography over electrical engineering up to climate change, there was something for everyone. One of the compulsory courses was the weekly German class which was especially applicable for the intercultural exchange.

Insights into Foreign Cultures

‘For our students, the main objective of the excursion is to gain insights in a foreign culture. The particular focus lays on the faculties of economy, history, research and university life’, explains Prof. Dr. Michael Herzog who brought the project into being in 2015. ‘This trip has not only broadened my mind but also my self-confidence”, Alexander Forchert sums up.

Intention for a Cooperation Agreement

How much potential the country’s economy has to offer, demonstrated Prof. Dr. Michael Herzog to his students in the Fairfax County. A region that once was characterized by fields, is home to numerous companies nowadays. The professor for business informatics who has taught at the university in Norfolk himself in the past, maintained in contact to education and research institutes until today. With the Virginia-Academy-Spring-Trip he makes these contacts available to the students. In order to strengthen the relationship between the Old Dominion University in Norfolk and the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal, both educational institutions are working on a cooperation agreement. This allows other students from Magdeburg and Stendal to applicate for the excursion next year.