Kindle fra Summer University 2016

From USA to DTU

Wednesday 10 Aug 16

While most DTU students are enjoying their holiday, the campus grounds are kept alive and breathing by Summer University participants from all around the world. At the Department of Chemical Engineering, a minor American invasion has been taking place - resulting in scientific as well as social experimentation.

Every year, DTU offers Summer University spots for non-European chemical engineering students from partner universities from around the world. This year, 68 American students participated in the course ‘Laboratory in Chemical/Biochemical Engineering’. They got the possibility of doing experiments at the pilot plant at DTU Chemical Engineering, where they get to take what they have learned and go from laboratory scale to pilot scale. For three to four weeks, the students worked, played and everything in between.

While waiting for water and yeast to separate in a centrifuge, Danny and Caleb from Virginia Tech took some time to reflect on their experience at DTU:

”I’ve never been abroad before so this is a great opportunity for me. Instead of staying home for the summer, I’m able to come here and meet a lot of new people,” says Danny.
Caleb agreed and added that Summer University provides experiences both inside as well as outside the lab:

“The social and academic aspects go well together here. You learn a lot on both levels. And even though Lyngby is a bit outside of Copenhagen, it isn’t too far – especially compared with the distances you sometimes experience back in the US,” he said and smiled: “But, of course, back home we have our cars to get around.”


Je t’aime Europe!

Also for Kindle from Alabama University, the mix of DTU education and European impressions was the big plus of Summer University:

“Here at the pilot plant, we get to perform some experiments on a larger scale than usual. It gives us some important lab experience but also an opportunity to get to know Danish working culture,” she said.

The programme may also allow the American students to see other parts of Europe. For instance, going around Central- and Northern Europe on an Interrail ticket as Kindle did:

“Before arriving at DTU, a fellow student and I took some time travelling around Europe. The travelling part of Summer University is an important ingredient in what I take home from my stay: Seeing the world from new sides, understanding cultures and differences - but also bonding with some of the other students from my home university that I didn’t know as well before going here,” she said while her lab partner Alex, also from Alabama University, nodded.

When asked about the challenging aspects of the programme, Kindle again referred to cultural differences – especially on the language front:

“I feel that my main challenges have related to cultural differences. I have learned a lot about myself and other people by being a cultural outsider. The biggest challenge, perhaps, was the language barrier when travelling in France. They aren’t as fluent in English as the Danes, to put it mildly.”

To find out more about Summer University at DTU Chemical Engineering go to the Summer University website.

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