My name is Felix Polster. I am a Renewable Energy Engineering student at Technical University of Berlin (TUB). From February to August I spent half a year at the NTNU in Trondheim, Norway writing my master thesis.
Since I have never been abroad for studying purposes during my bachelor’s or master’s, drawing up my master thesis at another university was the last chance. Unfortunately, organizing a thesis abroad is not that easy since one must find a topic instead of just choosing some courses. Therefore, I started to contact some Professors at foreign universities who were doing research in the field of renewable energies. Unfortunately, without any success. Subsequently, I asked the TUB professors if they had any research relations to other universities. Luckily, through the chair of fluid system dynamics run by Professor Thamsen I got in touch with Lars Sætran from NTNU. He is the head of the experimental fluid dynamics group at NTNU. After a skype meeting with him and his two PhD students Jan and Franz we could already agree on a rough topic for my thesis. The thesis should contain the comparison of wind tunnel wake measurements with analytical wake models.
The overall organizational effort was held to a minimum due to the easy registration procedure at NTNU. After registration for the spring semester on the NTNU webpage I only had to apply for housing. Furthermore, I had to apply for the Nordic Water Network scholarship. In my case a scholarship was crucial since Norway is significantly more expensive than Germany.
I chose to live in the student village Moholt which is quite famous among exchange students. For a single room (14 m²) with own bathroom in a brand-new building with a very well-equipped kitchen I paid around 530€ per month. Other rooms with shared bathroom were slightly cheaper but in significantly worse conditions. Therefore, I can highly recommend an own bathroom. Furthermore, Moholt was only a 5-minute bus ride away from the university campus in Gløshaugen, which was convenient.
Already on my first day in Trondheim I had a group meeting with my supervising Professor Lars Saetran, his PhD students and the other master students. From the very beginning the atmosphere in this group was nothing short of remarkable. Everyone was exceptional friendly and welcoming. Over the next six month I was doing wind tunnel measurements and simulations. All my questions or request were quickly answered by Lars, Jan or Franz. The product was a great thesis which was graded as very good. Acknowledgement of the thesis at TUB was conducted without any problems.
Beside the thesis there was a vast variety of leisure time activities. The sport organization of NTNU, the NTNUi offered dozens of sports like football, volleyball and badminton. There were five gyms spread around Trondheim. Gym membership including the NTNUi membership costs around 200€ per semester. The NTNUi offered a free rental for different sport equipment like skiing, snowboarding, tents or hiking gear. Besides that, the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) organized several multiday trips to different famous destinations in Norway, like Lofoten or Geiranger Fjord. Furthermore, they organized parties or other socializing events. The best experience during my stay in Norway was a 4-day backcountry skiing trip to an area called Sunnmøre alps. The area contains several mountains located directly at the awesome Hjorundfjord which were suitable for all levels from beginner to professional. Moreover, snow and weather conditions were great.