The universities of UA Ruhr cooperate with hundreds of universities and institutions around the world. In 2013, the UA Ruhr universities have adopted a Mission Statement for their joint liaison offices.
Detailed information about the range of services for students, teachers and researchers are available at the liaison offices’ websites.
- Serve as a first point of contact for international students and researchers interested in UA Ruhr institutions
- Support student and faculty exchange
- Develop and deepen research contacts
- Organize summer programs and group study visits
- Help international guests find funding for teaching, study, and research in the Ruhr area
- Initiate new forms of collaboration between UA Ruhr and international institutions
- Keep in touch with friends and alumni from the Ruhr area
The website of each office provides additional information about its service range for students, teachers, and researchers from the respective country. Please don’t hesitate to contact our liaison offices if you have any questions or require assistance with choosing the UA Ruhr university program or partner that best fits your interests.
UA RUHR LIAISON OFFICES
Liveblog: US-Top students visit the UA Ruhr / Ruhr-Fellowship Program June-July 2017
The plans for the rest of the first week were company visits, a coal mine visit, and language classes. Each Ruhr fellow was matched with a company that relates to the fellow’s educational background and interests. I got matched with Contilia, a healthcare company that has branches of hospitals, kindergartens, and senior homes all throughout the NRW area. When I came to my company visit, I was told that I’d be working in a microbiology lab within the hospital. I was THRILLED to hear this as I get to finally have some “wet-lab” experience since most of my lab experience at Berkeley has been with a “dry-lab”.
After our company visits, we got to go underground and tour RAG, the last working coal mine of Germany. The experience was remarkable; meeting the prideful coalminers and seeing the manual labor they all endured on a daily basis really moved me and I was impressed with how cool, calm, light hearted all the miners were despite their heavy-duty jobs working thousands of meters underground! In order to get into the mine, everyone from our group had to trade in our normal clothes for a miner’s uniform consisting of many layers of long-sleeved shirts, long pants, long socks, heavy duty boots, ankle AND knee guards, and a heavy duty helmet. I felt quite silly but also very legitimate as I walked out in my outfit! We took an elevator down 1200 meters and traveled even further via tram to reach where the actual coal mining was happening. The most impressive part of seeing the coal mining happen was seeing how the improvements of technology within the mining space made the whole process efficient and safe to work in.
We also started our language classes this week. Our group was split into two levels – a beginning level and an intermediate level. I have no German language background and was placed in the beginning level class along with many other Ruhr fellows who also knew little to no German as well. It’s fun starting out with this beginning group because we’re all learning at the same speed together and it’s quite funny seeing each other experience similar feelings for excitement, confusion, and the like when it comes to learning a completely different language.
A narrative voice speaking both in English and German pronounces out statements and asks the people on stage to go to the left if their answer is "Yes" and to the right if their answer is "No". The statements include: "I am a German citizen", "I have a credit card", "I love my motherland", "I am a happy person", "I have been previously convicted". The audience then watches the people on stage move from left to right after each statement, observing the divide that exists regarding the majority that possesses the "good passports" and the minority possessing the "bad passports". At the very end of the piece, the narrator asks: "I believe that one day there will be no borders in the world". This is the only statement in which the people do not divide each other into the "Yes" and "No" sides, but instead form a line extended from the "Yes" side to the "No" side, with their hands tied to each other in the form of a wall. It is thus unclear if their answer is a "No" and that walls will be ever-existing, or if they lie in all different parts of the "Yes-No" spectrum regarding the topic of borders.
Yesterday, a group of us from the program, were stopped at a train station by two German men. They asked if we were American and then immediately started commenting on the political situation in the U.S., and on how the reasons people voted for Trump were in complete contradiction to their own values. The dance piece states that there is a big division in Germany between the people's experiences and value systems regarding movement and immigration, and one of the lesson from the U.S. election is that such divisions cannot go ignored for too long. This was a very thought-provoking way to start my experience in the Ruhr, and I am curious to learn more about the ways people engage with political questions here.
As I mentioned earlier, I spent the weekend traveling around Prague and Vienna. I went with two of my Ruhr fellow buddies, Sumesh and Frank. We all agreed this was the perfect travel group, as Sumesh had all the plans organized, Frank spoke German, and I had the chill personality to ease us all if anything were to go wrong. We took an overnight bus to Prague and got there early in the morning. After dropping our backpacks off at our hostels, we spent the entire day walking all around Prague, and oh my, it was BEAUTIFUL. Some of my favorite parts from the trip was visiting Prague Castel TWICE (once in the day time, once in the evening!), walking into random shops filled with handcrafted toys and trinkets that would only be found in Prague, and meeting up with other Ruhr fellows for dinner that served true Prague cuisine. The next day, we took a four-hour bus to Vienna. Sumesh, Frank, and I were all just so astonished at the fact of how easily it was for us to travel from one country to another! We kept raving at how the program intentionally gives us weekends for free in hopes for us to seize the opportunity to travel around and immerse ourselves in European culture. I couldn’t believe at how much I’ve done in so little time, and overall, I had an amazing week!
The rest of the week consisted of a visit to the Ruhr Museum and the Philharmonie as part of a summer intern meet up called “Meeting of the Minds” and a visit to the Landtag of NRW. The “Meeting of the Minds” event was really interesting because I got to meet other students, both from in and out of the United States, who were also staying in Germany for the summer. I really enjoyed meeting some new friends from the states, as well as those who were from other countries, like Great Britain and Germany, because we all got to talk about our experiences abroad and how those experiences compared to our time at home in our respective countries. The Ruhr Museum was phenomenal! We got to tour around the many floors that the museum had to offer and my favorite part of the tour was seeing the old mining machines that were up for display as we walked into the museum. I really appreciate the coal mining pride that the community members of Essen live by. After the museum, we visited the Philharmonie to watch classical pianist Rafal Blechacz. The experience was WONDERFUL and the venue itself was gorgeous.
Finally, we visited the Landtag of NRW. We got to tour the state parliament building as well as get an overview of the history of the parliament leaders of NRW. We got to explore the Chamber where elected representatives from different parties come together to make decisions and draft laws. This tour was really interesting because it gave a nice summary of not only the history of the different leaders of NRW, but also the different parties and beliefs that were prominent at the certain time periods of different types of leadership
The next day was a CEO talk at HOCHTIEF, a construction company that I thought I hadn’t heard of, but later found out that I knew very much about one of their American counterparts, Turner Construction, because they recently remodeled a few buildings at my campus in Berkeley, CA. We met with Nikolaus Graf von Matuschka for the evening spent the time asking him questions about the company, how he got to where he is, and his day to day perspectives with running a company. I really enjoyed getting the one on one time with Mr. Matuschka, as well as all of the other CEO talks we had because we get the chance to see a genuine glimpse of who these people are and how their past experiences help shape how they run their companies today.
My favorite part of the week was visiting the BVB stadium in Dortmund! Our group got the extreme, VIP tour of the stadium!!! We not only got to see the different views of the stadium (including box seats, the cheering section, and even the luxurious seats the players sat in when they weren’t playing) but we also got to tour the team’s locker room. Our tour guide was so enthusiastic and charismatic that he got our whole group so pumped to be in the stadium.
I was shown my basic day-to-day lab duties by my two mentors, Hannah and Danny. They are two lab technicians who have been working with the hospital for a few years and they told me how much they really enjoyed the job because of how they get to help people by interpreting the different types of bacteria found in infected areas of patients and figuring out which antibiotics to prescribe them to get them in better health. Hannah and Danny gave me a tour of the lab on my first day and showed me daily and weekly duties that I’d oversee. I spent lots of time taking notes and asking questions so that I would be able to keep up with the lab’s work pace, which I’ve come to realize is very fast-paced, efficient, and organized.
I was really happy to see that some of the techniques that I’ve learned in my biology and chemistry lab classes were able to be put into good, practical use in the Contilia lab environment. I loved how much Hannah and Danny were letting me assist them with and I was even helping inoculate cultures of bacteria to agar plates on my second day!
I had plans to meet up with some family and my partner in Mallorca for the weekend and got to spend my entire weekend soaking up the sun and swimming in beautiful blue water! Some of my favorite parts of this weekend were boating around the Western part of the island, where I got to practice diving in clear, gorgeous water, riding a vespa around the island with my partner, and snorkeling around and seeing fish! I loved being able to travel around the island on a vespa because it gave my partner and me the opportunity to visit beaches that many locals go to, which I thought was way better than visiting the touristy beaches because the local beaches were smaller, quieter, and more peaceful. After this trip I came back to Essen golden tan and wishing that my weekend could have lasted longer!!
On top of my daily/weekly duties, I also get to shadow Hannah and Danny around the lab. One of my favorite things to do is sit with one of them while they look at agar plates of different types of bacteria. Certain plates are selective for certain mediums, and certain bacteria have specific characteristics that distinguishes them from other types. Some bacteria grow metallic, whereas some grow pink!!!
I also spent a day doing research on some of the most important and common gram positive and gram negative types of bacteria, like of E. Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae, that the lab encounters on a daily basis. This research helped me better understand some of the processes used in the lab environment.