Jonas Rimbach thinks outside the box and likes to change his perspective. “During my dual studies, I constantly change my perspective: university – training company. Theory – practice. I can apply the knowledge I gained during my studies directly in my company. Practical insights from my work, in turn, help me to get a better understanding of the theory.” This has helped the student on various occasions so far – in his job, for example, when he had to design a changing device for the VACUPRESS, as well as in his private life.
The 21-year-old believes it is essential to frequently change his perspective, as the field of work and the course of study in mechanical engineering are becoming increasingly international and complex. In addition to technical expertise, linguistic and intercultural competence is becoming more and more important. “The Grenzebach Group is globally active. That's why I will also be in charge of plants and customers abroad in the future." A job that Jonas is already looking forward to.
And if not now, then when? The 21-year-old was given the opportunity to spend a semester abroad during his fifth semester of dual studies at the Technical University of Applied Sciences of Central Hesse (Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, THM) in Bad Hersfeld. The ideal opportunity to improve his English skills as well as to get to know the field of mechanical engineering through the eyes of another country.
With the support of Grenzebach Bad Hersfeld, the “Ireland is calling” project was getting started! Join our colleague on his five-month adventure on the Emerald Isle. Jonas will bring you along on his journey – first-hand, open, honest.
Things are starting to get real
“I could not sleep at all the night before my departure. I was super nervous. The thrill of anticipation was incredible”, the student says. A last hug from family and friends, a last wave at the airport in Frankfurt before he boarded the plane. Two suitcases – filled to the brim with clothes, books, and other things for the next five months – were his only companions on the one-and-a-half-hour flight to Dublin. The next stage, the journey to the university's campus dormitory in Dundalk, was perfectly organized: From Dublin Airport, a shuttle service provided by DkIT took the 21-year-old straight to his new home.
Time goes by differently here
Dundalk, Belfast, Dublin
In the literal sense of the word. Once he arrived in Ireland, Jonas set his watch back an hour. However, life in Ireland is also a bit more leisurely in general. In the larger cities, there is nevertheless plenty to do at any time of the day or night. Dundalk, with a population of around 40,000, also has the typical Irish mix of serenity and tradition, open-mindedness and friendliness.
Life at the university follows its own pace as well: the "academic quarter" (Latin: c.t., cum tempore) is an intrinsic part of university life – ten to fifteen minutes late is considered to be good manners.
“The Irish are very welcoming, open and helpful. For example, in the very first week, I had a flat tire. A local Irishman was driving past me at that moment. He simply stopped and asked if he could help me. I was amazed. We immediately started talking and changed my bicycle tire together. I was immensely grateful to the stranger. Typical Irish!”
Hello, Hallo, Olá, Bonjour …
About 600 international students started their semester at the Dundalk Institute of Technology together with Jonas. “I am living in a shared flat on campus with three other Germans and a Vietnamese student. Many other Erasmus students live in the dormitory, for example from Africa, Spain, France and several other countries. From every room I hear a different language.” The student was delighted to see when the first running groups started forming, "Sport is part of my daily routine. It is even more fun when you're doing it in a group!”
Jonas’ first lectures will start soon. Only a few of the other international students have also chosen his field of study: Mechanical & Electrical Engineering. When asked if he is nervous, the 21-year-old laughs: “I am looking forward to the new experiences. I am sure that I will learn a lot during this time, both professionally and personally!”