Joachim Nemesszeghy

My semester abroad in Ottobrunn.


I spent my semester abroad in Ottobrunn near Munich from September 2012 to February 2013 and this was also my compulsory internship. I still don’t know whether this can be described as ‘abroad’ because it’s just over the Austrian border! Nevertheless the culture there is different to that here in Austria. ‘Mia san mia’ (we are who we are) as they say in Bavaria and that’s certainly true, however you interpret it…

I completed my internship with EADS IW, now known as AGI (Airbus Group Innovations). How can you get an internship there? Many are brought to despair by the EADS applicant tool. However I chose a different way because I didn’t just want any old internship – I wanted to work in fuel cell technology and aviation at a renowned company. The geographical location was not so important to me. So I set about looking for scientific publications and identified authors who came from EADS IW in Ottobrunn. I called them up and told them how interesting I found their publication and asked whether I might be able to work with them as part of an internship or Master’s thesis. This worked really well – if I had simply written to the HR department to express my interest, my letter would undoubtedly have been lost among all the many other applications.

Munich as a city is very beautiful – it has plenty to offer in terms of its architecture and cuisine and the surrounding area is full of leisure activities: the mountains are within an hour’s drive and there are many beautiful lakes around Munich. Personally I loved the Lake Ammer with Andechs Abbey, home to an exceptional restaurant and brewery. You can also try some new things in and around Munich. For example, I successfully completed a basic course in paragliding. Friends from home are bound to want to visit you here – during Oktoberfest in particular, all of our floor space was filled with guests! There are also plenty of opportunities to take last-minute trips over the weekend. The climate is varied with hot summers for bathing and fairy-tale snowy landscapes in winter. The traditional Christmas markets, excursions to Neuschwanstein Castle among other places and professional experiences are all fond memories. I made some good friends there and am still in close contact with them today, even though I now live in Hamburg.

One final tip about the high accommodation costs: there are opportunities to obtain funding for your stay abroad in Austria, but Munich also has a good public transport system – so it is also possible to live on the outskirts. The accommodation is better value here and you can live in a beautiful area and be in the city centre in just 30 minutes.