Artyom is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Computational Mechanics of Materials and Structures at University of Stuttgart. He found the programme and enrolled via Studyportals. We asked Artyom about his experience of searching and applying to a university abroad.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
Hi, my name is Artyom Flerko. I am 26 years old and I come from Belarus.
Where are/were you studying and what programme? What degree and since when are you enrolled in this programme?
Currently, I study Master Computational Mechanics of Materials and Structures at University of Stuttgart. I started studying here on the 1st of September 2015. Technically, the semester starts on 12th of October, but I was offered to participate in an intensive German course in September before that.
Why did you want to study abroad?
I decided to study abroad to discover different cultures. The reason I chose Germany in particular was because I am interested in higher mathematics and engineering.
Deciding for a university
What were your main priorities when choosing your university and your programme (e.g. academics, accommodation, university services & facilities, personal & professional development, city & culture, cost & funding, practicalities, social life)?
As far as I am concerned, I decided the university which to take, based on several factors:
- How strong the program is in each university
- How big the city is
- How easy it is to find accommodation
- In general, the country (language, the opportunities for travel and finding a job)
Was this your first study choice? What other universities did you consider? What was the main reason for your final choice?
I was applying for different universities in two different countries (Germany and Sweden). Three were in Germany (University of Stuttgart, University of Bochum and University of Siegen) and two in Sweden (Linköping University and Linnaeus University). All programmes were about Mechanical Engineering and although I was accepted by everyone, I chose University of Stuttgart.
Did you know from the start that you wanted to study in that particular country and city? Why did you choose this particular location?
At the beginning, I wanted to study in Sweden. But then, I found out more information about Germany, particularly about University of Stuttgart. Finally, I decided to take University of Stuttgart (studying the German Language is very interesting for me).
Did you take a language test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS) when applying for the programme? If yes, which one did you choose, why and how was your experience with it?
Yes, I took a language test – TOEFL ibt and IELTS in order to apply for Master programme. IELTS was much easier for me – I took 6.5 at first time. In comparison to TOEFL ibt – IELTS is much more friendly and easier.
What would be your advice for students from your country that consider studying abroad?
The main advice – is to study a foreign language and to not be afraid of the new study adventure.
How did you finance your stay abroad and what financial advice would you give to future students?
I have a scholarship – ESSYB. I was looking for a scholarship for a long time. But I found it and now it works. So, look for financial support constantly.
Why would you (not) recommend this particular city / university? How would you rate your experience on a scale from zero to ten (0 – It was a total disaster, 10 – I had the time of my life)?
I would recommend Germany and particularly University of Stuttgart in many ways. It is a very strong university in the research field and has very good stuff. I would rate my experience at 9. By the way, my university helped me find accommodation pretty fast and it was very suitable.
Is there anything that you would do differently if you could do it over again?
Be ready constantly for something new – and study foreign languages all the time.
What was the biggest surprise in your study abroad adventure?
The biggest surprise in my study abroad adventure is that it is absolutely not fearful to start something and it is very, very challenging to study abroad where you can find new friends from all over the world and see a different culture, cuisine and travel a lot.
Were you inspired by Artyom's story?