Technische Universität Berlin Summer Research
An important centre of telecommunications and German cinema, Berlin is the largest city in Germany at 3.5 million people, and is one of the top centres of education and research in Europe.
TU Berlin is highly ranked - #82 in the world, and lies solidly within the top 12 universities of Germany, according to THE and QS World Rankings. With 138+ museums (including Museum-island), and more than 400 art galleries, students could spend a year or more in Berlin in the attempt to visit them all. Technische Universität Berlin (Technical University of Berlin) dates back to 1770, and is located within Berlin's "ring-road" rail system, near the city's zoo. With a focus on pioneering research in engineering, natural science, computer science, economics, and humanities, the university has a current population of over 30,700 students, including 5,750 international students (18.7%).
Summer 20 applications
University-specific additional requirements
One academic reference and German-formatted CV required - see the Eligibility section below.
Summer 21 applications
Open Fall 2020
"I was incredibly happy with my decision to go abroad. I was able to work with a team on blockchain research. I was in charge of the social media aspect of their project, and was tasked with setting up a system to securely track and timestamp tweets on the Ethereum network. It was tough and challenging, but an incredibly rewarding experience that gave me skills that I wouldn't have ever learnt otherwise. I was given access to their resources and was given tasks to do to help train me in the new programming languages that I was working in, as well as being able to attend the blockchain class lectures with the masters students that were also taking the class. It was a very exciting opportunity that gave me an incredibly unique experience."
- Nathan Darby, Software Engineering, Summer 2019
Students in Biomedical, Computer, Electrical, Energy, Environmental, Geomatics, Manufacturing, Mechanical, Petroleum, and Software engineering who are interested in participating in a Summer Research Placement at TU Berlin must apply for this as you would for a regular UCI exchange, using the Course List field of the online application to list at least 2-3 possible research placements.
To find potential research opportunities, please consult the individual "Professors" and "Chairs" links on TU Berlin's websiteand then identify potential chair(s), professor(s) and/or projects that are of interest to you. More information can be found under the Research pages. DO NOT contact the professors unless you have been accepted into the program.
Student Tips: "Picking a good supervisor is as important as picking a research topic you are interested in. Talk to them beforehand and lay out expectations and outcomes early on in the process. You will get as much out of the research as the amount of work you put in."
"[Without this experience] I would not have been able to operate the wind tunnel and analyze Particle Image Velocimetry data using MATLAB."
"[After my acceptance], I contacted about 30 professors over Christmas break in a variety of fields. Towards the end of January I got a couple offers and went with the first professor that contacted me. We set up mostly everything before I got there in terms of my work conditions and project. [My] research project allowed me to connect with many professionals in the mechanical engineering field. I was able to learn a lot about the processes required to create a programming tool at a practical level. Don't be afraid to make connections! Talk to other researchers in your department even if they are working on completely different projects. Be confident in your work, have a strong voice in your findings and collaborations with your supervisor. Stay focused, Berlin is a fun city but first and foremost you are there to do research. There will be lots of time to see the city and travel, but make sure to get the work done first. [Before my exchange] I never felt that I was a good programmer, however after this exchange I feel that I can understand and apply a wide range of coding techniques. At first I found it difficult to grasp new concepts and apply them in code. I was always able to contact my professor though, who gave me great insight and never gave me the answers, but suggestions for a better direction. You will learn a lot throughout your research exchange, and gain huge insights from your mentors."
The dates of the program are flexible and are typically arranged between the student and the research overseer (professor/TA), but most placements run from May-August, and must run at least 3 months in length.
Students also have the option of applying for a fall and/or winter exchange - for more information, you can visit the TU Berlin Semester-length program page.
Students will be charged for 2 courses and fees at UCalgary for the Spring semester. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations, etc. in your budget planning.
Berlin cost comparison vs Calgary: Click Here
Student Tips: "The ‘Mensa’ cafeteria is definitely the place to for cheap, healthy, lunches at the university. It is considerably better than the options available at UCalgary. The price of food varies considerably depending on the supermarket you go to, some are cheaper than in Calgary, some more expensive. In general however, food was noticeably cheaper. Also, transit in Berlin is covered by your semester ticket, which you pay for as part of the enrollment process."
Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange?
Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.
The Antje Graupe Pryor Foundation has grants available to undergraduate UCalgary students in the Schulich School of Engineering wishing to study at TUB. The award is $7,500 per semester for a maximum of two semesters ($15,000) or $7,500 for the summer research term. Awards are open to all engineering majors. Students nominated for the summer research will receive this award unless they do not meet the eligibility requirements. Eligibility for this award will be assessed after acceptance into the program.
Students eligible for the AGP funding may also be eligible to apply for the Schulich Student Activities Fund (SSAF). Applications for the funding are due before February 15, and will be evaluated by the awards committee. Available funding is distributed amongst applicants based on need, but AGP funding will be factored in for those that are awarded it.
Students are responsible for arranging their own accommodation during their studies, from hostels to temporary apartments. All students are typically able to arrange housing within the first week of arrival or before they depart from Canada. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Tip: "I would definitely recommend looking for a private apartment with a few other students on the same program. You get to build friendships and learn to be independent. Be careful of the commute time [to the University], but don’t be too discouraged if it’s a little farther than you would like. Check the types of transit available and alternative routes as well. Also, check amenities like internet, laundry, and kitchen."
"[The coordinator] from TUBerlin was super helpful. I emailed him about receiving my Student ID which includes their version of a “UPass”, and also asked him to help me find a dorm, which he did, and worked out amazing as I heard it’s difficult to find a dorm in Berlin. I lived in the Hafenplatz dorm. It is located in the best place in Berlin. An 8 minute walk from the Brandenburg Gate, 2 minutes from Potsdamer Platz and the Mall of Berlin and the Sony Center, 11 minutes to Checkpoint Charlie. The location is so good that they are planning to tear down the dorms in 2019 and create a more business/money seeking area, it’s that good! I had my own dorm with my own washroom, stove top and mini fridge. Comes with a laundry wardrobe and a small closet. My friend stayed in Siegmunds Hof and it was 5 minutes from TUB, Hafenplatz is a 12 minutes train ride to campus. Trains are super convenient and come every 4 minutes or less during rush hour, it never took me longer than 20 minutes to get to uni. I would have wanted to stay in Siegmunds Hof only for the convenience that it is a 5 minute walk from TUB and that it is a bit newer. But I preferred Hafenplatz, seriously a million dollar location and I was able to explore more of the city because of that."
"I searched many housing websites in Berlin - in the end I went with a company called Medici Living, they don’t cut corners they are very professional and accommodating, though they are pretty pricey and don’t hesitate to charge you for any repairs. I was in a flat share with other students and young workers. The apartment came with quite a bit of space, dishwasher, laundry, great stove and a nice bathroom. My commute to the University was up to 13 minutes. A quick 5 minute walk to the train, a 7 minute train ride 4 stops and then a minute walk out of Ernst Reuter Platz station and onto campus. I liked that I had two separate environments. The school environment which was well centered to the industrial side of the city and felt like a place of work. Then my home environment was located in a calm area of town that I got to relax."
This research exchange is open to regular, full-time students in Schulich School of Engineering at UCalgary, who will have completed at least 2 full years (20 courses) at the post-secondary level by the time this program commences. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-), though no knowledge of German is required. Students must also meet the program eligibility requirements (see below).
Eligible majors include students from the following programs: Biomedical, Computer, Electrical, Energy, Environmental, Geomatics, Manufacturing, Mechanical, Petroleum, Software. If you are majoring in other engineering disciplines but with a minor in one of the above areas, you may still apply - however, your research project must be related to your minor. In addition, if the number of eligible applicants exceeds the amount of available funding, preference may be given to those majoring in the eligible disciplines.
Please Note: International Students finishing their studies at the end of this program MUST speak with the exchange advisor before applying due to visa and study permit conflicts.
Research-specific additional requirements (in addition to your application documents as specified in the guide):
- Your Statement of Purpose should include your research interests.
- Put field(s) of intended research into "Tentative Course List" on the online application.
- This application also requires an official hardcopy of your UCalgary transcript as well as official transcripts from any other post-secondary institutions you have attended. This must be dropped off or mailed in hardcopy to us (MT 501) and arrive before the deadline. Only one copy is needed for all your applications.
- We will also require a German-formatted CV (Curriculum Vitae) (Lebenslauf) - please submit this via email to email@example.com
- In the "Photo" upload of your online application, please upload a clear photo of yourself that meets the following specifications:
- In color
- Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
An academic reference is required for a complete application.
NOTE: Your official UCalgary transcripts will be required shortly after the deadline - please submit in hardcopy in a sealed envelope to our office (MT 501)
Do I need to speak German?
It is recommended that you have a basic understanding of German for operating in everyday life, but it is not required, and professors will work with you in English. In Germany, English speakers are able to function fairly well in society with a little to no knowledge of the language for shopping and eating out, etc. but it can be more challenging without basic German knowledge in terms of navigating housing, websites, or filling out forms.
Student Tips: "As I was on a research exchange, I did not have to take a German course, but I learned some basic German using the Android application ‘Duolingo’ wish is available for both Android and iOS. For everyday use, the basics were usually enough: 'Hello', 'goodbye', 'sorry', 'thank you', 'do you speak English?' 'Where is the washroom?', etc. It's easy to get by with just English but I would recommend learning some German prior to the exchange."
What's so special about TU Berlin and the city?
Berlin has always been a popular spot for exchange students. With copious museums and national monuments like the Brandenburg gate or the Reichstag Building, it is a centre for tourism in Germany and activities within Berlin abound. Summer students are able to gain unique experience and marketable skills through this program for future career opportunities.
Student Tips: "The weather was much warmer than Calgary, transit was far much better (you can get to anywhere you like in Berlin with the S and U bahn and anywhere else with the Regional trains. I would also recommend going to Dresden, Heidelberg, and Hamburg!"
"Their transit system is phenomenal. Not one place you can’t reach within the city. Buses and trains come every 5 minutes or less, it’s ridiculous. Transit runs pretty much 24 hours, depending on the line. The S and UBahns are actually run by different companies, but you use the same train ticket for both. Every train station and bus has a validating machine. Berlin is super affordable, the cheapest European capital, so take advantage of the food and activities! If you’re in Berlin and don’t attend a meetup group or a startup fair...have you really experienced Berlin?"
"It never gets too hot in Berlin, you can get away with a light jacket most days even in summer, also always pack an umbrella flash floods hit often. The city all in all is pretty safe everywhere you go, people usually keep to themselves. My favorite area is Zoologischer Garten or the community that holds the Reichstag building."
Do I need a visa to go on this program?
The Federal Foreign Office of Germany has a list of countries where entry visas are required/not required. If an entry visa is not required, students may need to apply for a residency permit (Aufenthaltstitel) as soon as possible on arrival to Germany, and should not travel around Europe in advance of their arrival before lodging the permit application due to processing times (often 4-6 weeks to be processed). If an entry visa is required, students may need to apply for a Study Permit/Visa in advance, according to the procedures of their home country.
What kind of supports does TU Berlin offer?
For students with chronic illnesses or disabilities, there are a variety of supports including wheelchair access, accessible bathrooms, etc. For information on accessibility of campuses across Europe, ESN has created "MappEd!" which allows you to check the accessibility of universities and cities across Europe. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.
Study Abroad 101
Please watch this YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.
Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).
After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.
Study Abroad Advising
If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.
1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.
How to Apply
Download the application guide
This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.
Identify three programs of interest
We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.
Check requirements and deadlines
These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.
Start your application
Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!
Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.
International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.
For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.
Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.