Experiencing German engineering spirit: University welcomes students from Latin America

female students holding a glass globe in her hand
The DAAD-funded program KOSPIE offers stipends for combined study and practical stays for engineers from advanced developing countries. Three students from Mexico and one from Colombia are currently studying at TU Bergakademie Freiberg and, in addition, complete internships at different companies.

Studying and working in the country of Gottlieb Daimler, Otto Lilienthal and Karl Zeiss: The participating students of engineering and natural sciences are expected to take new impulses for sustainable technical development with them from their stay in Germany to their home countries. To this end, the four scholarship holders studied process engineering and mechanical engineering at TU Bergakademie Freiberg. Until the end of the summer, they will have completed internships at the companies DBI - Gastechnologisches Institut gGmbH Freiberg, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Continental AG (Nuremberg) and Fette Compacting GmbH.

Karen Paulina Felix ValenciaIn addition to the German engineering spirit, participants learn about a new culture and new approaches to future technological challenges, confirms Karen Felix Valencia, student at the Universidad de Sonora. "It was a very exciting and amazing time packed with new knowledge - especially at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. From the date of my arrival, the InternationalJosé Alejandro Ramírez Parada Office has made me feel at home and supported me in every respect about studies, leisure time or company culture." Participant José Alejandro Ramírez Parada was unsure about the demands of studying in Germany before leaving his home town Hermosillo: "The experience was better than I had imagined - even during the pandemic times", he tells us.

Focus on Latin America

In the coming winter semester, the university will welcome another three scholarship holders from Mexico to study process engineering and industrial engineering. Those interested in the KOSPIE program apply to the DAAD, which selects the grantees and proposes them for the universities in the program. The International University Centre is responsible for project administration, coordinates sociocultural and professional support, and offers a German language course for the scholarship holders to accompany their studies. "Interested German universities are accepted into the program after a competitive selection process. We are pleased that we succeeded in the 2019 to 2022 call for applications and of course hope to be successful in the new 2022 to 2025 selection process as well," says Ingrid Lange, director of the International Office. The DAAD will make its decision this fall.

By participating in the program, the university hopes to attract more well-qualified students from Central and Latin America. "KOSPIE follows on from successful similar Latin American projects at our university, such as the Chile program or the Brazil program ‘Science without Borders’ and is an opportunity to strengthen collaborations with the participating Latin American partner universities," says Ingrid Lange.

Background: About the KOSPIE program

The German Academic Exchange Service e.V. (DAAD) supports the KOSPIE scholarship program with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Ideally, the scholarship recipients should later work in development-related fields and thus contribute to strengthening the private (and/or public) sector in their home countries. The participating students of engineering and natural sciences from the countries Argentina, Colombia and Mexico complete a 10-month combined study and internship stay in Germany.

Fragen beantwortet / Contact: 
Ingrid Lange, Ingrid.Lange@iuz.tu-freiberg.de