This semester, our international students are once again facing significant financial challenges as a result of the pandemic. Many part-time student jobs, which the majority of international students have normally used to finance their studies, are currently not available, and the students’ parents are themselves often under financial strain in their home countries. To support the international students and recognise their achievements, the International Office provides scholarships for academic excellence and social commitment from funding provided by the city of Hamburg, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Karl H. Ditze Stiftung.
In order to apply, international Bachelor’s students must have completed at least two semesters at HAW Hamburg and Master’s students must have completed one semester. They must also be within the standard study period. Additionally, students must have an average grade of 2.2 or better and two letters or reference from HAW Hamburg instructors. If their application is successful, students receive a partial scholarship of €1,800 for one semester.
In summer semester 2021, the HAW Hamburg International Office received 42 valid applications for excellence and social commitment scholarships from international Bachelor’s and Master’s students. Thirty-one students from 14 different countries were awarded funding. Most of the recipients are from Vietnam (11) and Indonesia (5), which is not surprising as these two countries are the top countries of origin for international students pursuing degrees at HAW Hamburg.
The front runner in terms of the number of excellence scholarships was, as in every semester, the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science with 14 recipients, nine of whom are in the Information Engineering degree course. The Faculty of Life Sciences and the Faculty of Design, Media and Information followed directly with six recipients each, and the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences with two.
To provide a better picture of our international scholarship recipients, we introduce some of them in more detail here:
Dionisia Jodi is an extremely ambitious Mechatronics student in her sixth semester and has now received the scholarship for the fourth time. With her degrees from HAW Hamburg (she is also planning to complete her Master’s degree in Automation Technology), she expects to have good career-entry prospects in her industry. She compliments HAW Hamburg’s implementation of the online seminars and says, ‘Luckily, HAW Hamburg has managed to carry out digital teaching sessions and online labs very efficiently. For example, our professor for microprocessor technology had a microcontroller sent to each student’s home. Even though I ‘ve had to stare at a computer screen at home during the corona semester, I’ve been able to enhance my knowledge thanks to the outstanding support from HAW Hamburg.’
Andre Alves, who is from the USA, has received the academic excellence scholarship for a second time due to his outstanding achievements and his current GPA of 1.0. Germany is the fourth country that he has lived in for a longer period of time. He tells us how he has adjusted to studying under pandemic conditions: ‘An unofficial motto in my previous careers has been semper gumby – always flexible! When the Covid-19 pandemic forced us all to make changes to our lifestyle, I just applied that experience to the current situation.’
Farrell Justinno of Indonesia has also been recognised for a third time for his excellent achievements in the Aeronautical Engineering degree course. He selected HAW Hamburg because of the specialisations in strength and lightweight construction, the finite element method and CAD. The scholarship will enable him to focus on his studies and compensate financially for the corona-related loss of his part-time job. He is able to see one advantage of the pandemic as well: because he is now at home more, he can invest more time in studying.
Vietnamese student Minh Lai from the Logistics/Business Studies degree course has received the excellence scholarship this semester for a second time. She decided to study at HAW Hamburg because of the linkage between the subjects of business and technology. Her tip for other international students is as follows: ‘Have clear goals with approachable steps and stick to the plan consistently.’ In terms of a career, she is particularly interested in the area of supply chain management, which she would like to study in a Master’s degree.
International Master’s students were also recognised with excellence scholarships. Among them is Ka Chun Au, who is in his second semester of the Renewable Energy Systems Master’s degree course in the Faculty of Life Sciences. He decided on HAW Hamburg because of the highly practical orientation of his subject. The instructors who have taught him over the last two semesters praised his motivation and his outstanding subject-area knowledge, which is reflected in his GPA of 1.4. He says, ‘The corona semesters were exhausting and it was difficult to concentrate in online seminars, but with a lot of self-discipline and effective time management, I was able to successfully complete the courses.’ Outside of his studies he attends German courses at the Volkshochschule and is working towards the B1 level because he plans to find a job in Germany after graduation. ‘I aim to find a job in a related field and work in Germany. I consider staying in Germany because of its good quality of life, sense of welcomeness and security.’
The three scholarship recipients recognised for their exceptional social commitment in the international context at HAW Hamburg are Ngoc My Nguyen (Media and Information, sixth semester), Xuan Thien Trang Nguyen (Logistics/Business Studies, third semester) and Thy Tran (Foreign Trade/International Management, fourth semester). They volunteer with the student organisation AIESEC and in the International Office’s weBuddy programme, among other activities.
We wish all the scholarship recipients a good semester and all the best for their studies and careers.
All calls for scholarship applications from international students are posted on our website. The next application deadline is 30 September 2021.