News+Stories: When and why did you decide to study at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz)?
Lukas Müllwisch: The chemical and process engineering and the chemical and pharmaceutical engineering study programme combine many different disciplines, such as chemistry, physics and mechanical engineering. I like the fact that a wide range of knowledge is imparted. On this solid basis, I want to work in management in a corporate group later on. At TU Graz, I appreciate the quality of the education and the wide range of study-abroad programmes, which I definitely want to take advantage of. I advise anyone who is interested in chemistry and technology to study process engineering.
Lisa Thieme: I owe my enthusiasm for technology to my father, with whom I fully automated the family home as a child. Technical internships and project work at school brought me even closer to electrical engineering. If you can imagine a combination of electrical engineering with mathematics, energy management, physics and ethics, then electrical engineering is the right course for you. And through the many exercises and tutorials, this study programme forces me to stay on top of things."
What did you have to organise before the first day of study?
Lukas Müllwisch: Before the first day of study, I registered for my study programme. It’s also helpful to make contact with people from higher semesters whom you know or to join a tutorial group at the beginning of the semester.
Lisa Thieme: After enrolling for the study programme, I took a closer look at the curriculum and registered for the first semester courses. The next important step for me was TU Graz’s Welcome Days at the end of September, where I got a lot of basic information.
Attention: The general admission deadline for the winter semester 2020/21 at TU Graz ends on 30th September 2020.
When were you at TU Graz for the first time? What was your first impression of the University?
Lukas Müllwisch: I went to the open day at TU Graz for the first time from school. The first impression was very positive and the guided tours and information I received were very exciting.
Lisa Thieme: Before my studies I took part in the "Trying out studying" programme and attended a physics lecture at TU Graz. This confirmed my decision. At the beginning I was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the University and the lecture hall, but then I quickly found my way around.
On the website "Studying at TU Graz Info 2020", interested parties can find information about study programmes at TU Graz, such as online study guidance, video presentations and the dates of the virtual consultation hours (offered in German). If you have international background you can get in touch with the International Student Ambassadors of TU Graz.
Can you remember your first weeks as a student?
Lukas Müllwisch: I was quite nervous before the first weeks because I didn't know anybody.
Lisa Thieme: I knew a handful of students from TU Graz, but no one in the same course of studies. At the Welcome Days I got to know other first-year students and quickly found a circle of friends. Although I was a bit overwhelmed at the beginning, I quickly settled in at the University. The tutorial for first-semester students and the fresher Olympics also helped me to make friends and meet new people. And the study programme representatives at TU Graz Student Union (HTU Graz) give a lot of support and helpful answers to all kinds of questions.
Was studying as you expected it to be? What surprised you?
Lukas Müllwisch: I was surprised by the atmosphere in the lecture halls, for example knocking on the desk when you have a question.
Lisa Thieme: At first I was amazed at how many ongoing assignments and exercises (de facto homework) one has to do at the University. Over time, however, I learned to appreciate this, because I was always forced to stay on the ball and study along with the others. I benefited from this during the exams.
Apart from that, everyday life at the University is roughly what I had imagined and hoped it would be. It is a lot of fun to attend lectures or exercise classes in which the teaching staff are so passionate about their subjects.
It is a lot of fun to attend lectures or exercise classes in which the teaching staff are so passionate about their subjects. (Lisa Thieme)
What was the most difficult time at the beginning of your studies?
Lukas Müllwisch: The first two semesters were the most difficult as I attended every lecture and that was very exhausting in addition to the exercises and laboratory classes. But this taught me to better estimate the workload of exams and courses.
Lisa Thieme: Since I had previously attended a general secondary school (AHS), it was not so easy for me to familiarize myself with all the technical material at the beginning. Talking with other students about it, studying together and supporting each other helped me a lot.
How do you like life in Graz?
Lukas Müllwisch: I still live at home, outside Graz, and commute all the time, but what is so cool about Graz are all the different possibilities of going out. Besides my studies I mainly do sports and meet friends.
Lisa Thieme: As a German citizen with my main residence in Klagenfurt, life in Graz has not been too different from that at home. A new beginning in another city and moving away from home for the first time was still a challenge, but also a great opportunity. For me, Graz is the perfect student city. It offers fantastic educational facilities and loads of leisure activities. Those who like to do sports like me will find many beautiful green areas and sports facilities. I also love how incredibly fast you can get anywhere on foot, by bike or by public transport.
Graz is the perfect student city. It offers fantastic educational facilities and loads of leisure activities. Those who like to do sports like me will find many beautiful green areas and sports facilities. (Lisa Thieme)
Where do you like to study best?
Lukas Müllwisch: I prefer to study in my room, where I’ve got peace and quiet.
Lisa Thieme: I'm a big fan of the learning centres at TU Graz.
So how’s it going now? Has the corona crisis changed your plans?
Lukas Müllwisch: Due to the corona crisis, everything comes at once and at times I was not clear about the grading of some courses.
Lisa Thieme: I definitely want to complete my bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and then do my master's – I don't know exactly what subject I'm going to study. There are so many great master's programmes to choose from.
The corona crisis is of course having an impact, but I think that the teaching staff are really making an effort to continue as best they can despite the state of emergency – in terms of lectures and exercises as well as exams.
Starting University: 3 tips from Lisa:
- Surround yourself with the right people. Share the efforts and celebrate the successes with them.
- Don’t compare yourself with others; everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Time management is the key to success.
Starting University: 3 tips from Lukas:
- If you join a tutorial group, you can also have contact with people from higher semesters.
- Learn how to assess the learning effort needed for exams, e.g. in exchange with other students.
- Don't be discouraged if a test goes wrong.