27 October 2015

Laurence Barnes, Exchange to Bachelor of Education/Bachelor of Applied Science, Montreal

Laurence's dream of networking, researching the industry and building up his skills were all made possible on his year exchange to TU Berlin.

“Make the most out of it. You don’t get this chance very often."

RMIT Program: Multimedia Design (systems)

Global Program: Exchange

Destination: Berlin, Germany

"During 2012, I backpacked throughout Europe for 5 months and instantly fall in love with Berlin. The city is renounced for its tech start up, great working culture and friendliness to English speakers.

My main background is as a web developer; I also wanted to use my time studying abroad to network, research the possibilities of living and working in Germany and see what the industry is like.

TU Berlin offered a range of different subjects that were a bit different to the normal RMIT structure. All master courses were taught in English, making life easier and sometimes lazy for native English speakers. The class structure was completely different from RMIT, and this took some time to understand their learning system. I was enrolled in three lectures and one project.

The lectures were smaller and more personal than some of the classes I've had at RMIT. The lecturers were able to interact with the students thanks to this format, and would try to stay back and provide help after class. At the end of the semester, you had to sit an oral exam.

The project took up 50% of my course load. In the end I was actually approached by one of my lectures, to work on a project by myself. The project was managed by one of his PhD student who ended up becoming a huge influence and really motivated myself, as well as a great mentor.

The project required me to develop a mobile application for the new Mozilla Firefox Phone, which will hopefully be integrated into the next operating system.

Upon the competition of the first semester, I was approached by the same teacher that assignment me the project and offered me a paid student internship within his department, and would allow me to work with Mozilla further. The department was a part of a T-Labs, an Innovated Lab that was a join corporation between Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) and TU.

My dream of networking, researching the industry and building up my skills were all made possible the over past year."

Exchange in Berlin, Germany

Image by exchange student Laurence Barnes