Stayed in Germany to Pursue a Masters Degree
Like many students, Joanna Kwong wanted to go abroad during her time at university. After meeting some German friends while working and studying abroad, Joanna knew she wanted to go to Germany. She then got a placement at Staatsbetrieb Geobasisinformation und Vermessung Sachsen (GeoSN) for five months. After finishing her internship, Joanna was inspired to stay in Germany to pursue a master’s degree.
At GeoSN, Joanna put her GIS skills to work. Not only did she gain work experience in her field of study, Joanna also learned how to use her skills in a European setting. She worked in the public sector and got real work experience which differed greatly than academia.
Joanna met many students while working here in Saxony, and as a result her ideas of pursuing a master’s degree in Germany became much more concrete. She did plenty of research before she found the program she wanted. Located in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, this university has a good reputation for geoinformatics and allowed Joanna to specialize in research topics of her choice and not just be “put in a box”. She went to visit the campus in person and said she“found herself being one of them, being a student and working in a research lab”.
She went through the application process while doing her internship in Dresden. Although dates and exact procedures for applications may vary for each institution, Joanna tells us that it is usually between 4-8 month operation. When applying to extend her visa she had little difficulties in doing so, as she made sure she had adequate time for it to process.
Joanna believes the experience with her internship through the ASiiA program as well as her graduate studies will help her realise her passions. Her master’s degree is unique and has been a great learning experience so far. Not only her higher education, but her experience in another country will be an asset. She told us that she believes it is “really important for some employers that you can interact with different types of people from different backgrounds”.
Joanna’s tip for future ASiiA interns:
Be open to meeting new people and “try to meet people you see yourself being”. For her this meant meeting many students, which only further motivated her to apply for a masters degree in Germany. If you come to Germany to learn the language it is important to remember that it takes time. Your will have to get used to the “real German” that will take some practice.