With DAAD RISE for a research internship at the BTU

Through the DAAD programme RISE Germany, students and doctoral candidates from all over the world can come to Germany for an internship at a university. The students Samihan and Fiona came to Cottbus from the USA. They talk about their internship and why they chose the BTU. Emilia Pożarowska appreciates the advantages of RISE for mentors.

Fiona is studying physics at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She describes her experience at the BTU and with Gemany RISE as follows: "When I applied for DAAD RISE, I applied for a total of three projects all at different universities, but the project here at BTU interested me because we are applying physics to climate-related problems. In my project at BTU, we are performing spectroscopic studies of samarium and cerium oxides on a copper substrate to see how the cerium's oxidation state is changing. This is important because cerium oxides could serve as catalysts for breaking down carbon dioxide, making them a prospect for carbon capture technology." On her life on campus, Fiona adds, "I'm staying in the student dorms, which are very different from American dorms, so I definitely enjoy not having to share a bathroom and kitchen! However, it is quite warm since I am on the top floor of the building."

The exchange students are supervised by mentors at the host university. In Fiona's case, this was Emilia Pożarowska, an academic assistant at the Chair of Applied Physics and Semiconductor Spectroscopy of Prof. Jan Ingo Flege. Emilia Pożarowska would definitely recommend the DAAD RISE. She says: "It gives a huge opportunity for both sides. We, as mentors, are learning how to pass on knowledge and interest to the student, who, usually, have no experience with the systems that we are working with. They, on the other side, can experience working in different fields of science." She describes the formal process from the application to the project offer to contacting the applicants as uncomplicated. The DAAD team provided excellent and cooperative support. When asked about her personal experience with an intern from another country, she answers with a smile: "Working with an intern from another country and culture can show you different points of view, offer new possibilities and give you a lot of fun. I think I learned from my intern as much as she learned from me. Especially when it comes to the language."

Samihan also completed an internship through DAAD RISE Germany at the BTU. He is a computer science student at Arizona State University. About his stay in Cottbus, he says: "

I decided to come to this university because of the university's commitment to developing their VR research capabilities, and VR (and broadly XR) technologies are something I am greatly interested in. Right now at BTU I am working to acquaint myself with VR development software called Vizard and learn how to build interesting and dynamic VR worlds which can be used by the researchers here to conduct whatever research experiments they would like to. I'm currently staying in a dormitory building near campus and it's nice here. I really like how much plant life there is around here, because where I come from in Arizona it feels like there isn't very much green outside.“

RISE Germany supports internationalisation in the natural sciences, engineering and computer science. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) places North American, British and Irish undergraduate students in research internships at German universities and research institutions. The DAAD supports the internships, which take place during the summer months, with scholarships, financed by funds from the Federal Foreign Office and through institutional cooperation.

Key dates and timeline for RISE Germany 2023 - apply from 1 September for 2023!
Enter your internship offer in the RISE Germany database between 1 September and 15 October 2022. After the DAAD has checked it, it will be activated. Students apply online in the RISE Germany database between 1 November and 15 December 2022. The placement process takes place in coordination with the providers. Duration of the internship is a maximum of three 3 months; earliest start date 15 May 2023.


Josefine Kahle
Stabsstelle Kommunikation und Marketing
T +49 (0) 355 69-2215

Susett Tanneberger
Stabsstelle Kommunikation und Marketing
T +49 (0) 355 69-3126
Emilia Pożarowska (left) is Fiona's (right) supervisor during her research internship at BTU. Fiona is involved in experiments and learns a lot about German culture and language (Photo: private)
In his free time, Samihan enjoys the greenery and the different climate in Cottbus and the surrounding area compared to Arizona, here in Branitzer Park (Photo: private)