Blog of Alfred Bohou


The HAW.International funding program of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which was launched in October 2019, supports internationalization measures at the university level, especially for universities of applied sciences. It is within the framework of this program that the Technical University of Applied Sciences in Wildau has established a partnership with the University of Kara in Togo in West Africa. In fact, this partnership allows the TH-Wildau University to be in contact with West Africa. So a scientific conference on renewable energies is organized every year by the University of Wildau in partnership with the University of Kara. This scientific conference called German-West African conference is already organized twice for teachers-researchers, researchers, doctors and doctoral students from the West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo). At these first two editions,  students were selected following the study of the scientific papers they presented. At the second conference, I was selected for a three-month stay in Germany. This stay started on August 01, 2021 and ended on October 31 of the same year.

My stay in Germany during these three months cost the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) a sum of 5,075 euros including the round trip airfare.

My life in Germany

On Monday, August 02, 2021 my plane landed at the Brandenburg airport in Berlin at about 18:30. Already at 18:40 I was welcomed by Mr. Ron van de Sand who took me to my room in Niederlehme located at 3,3Km from the Technical University of Applied Sciences in Wildau. It is room 14(2) in building 148 on karl-marx-straße. I found almost everything a student needs to survive. The rent was 320 euros. I found it a bit expensive; but ok !...

I found the architecture of the houses and also the layout of the streets and alleys in the country very beautiful. And also, I noticed that each driver of car respects the code of the road what makes fluid the traffic.

Not far from me, I had two supermarkets in which I used to buy food to cook every Monday evening. At a certain point, not being used to European food, my consumption was reduced to pasta, including macaroni, couscous and sometimes rice and potatoes. In any case, in terms of food, I didn't complain too much except that at one point, I wanted to have corn dough with vegetables.

At the university, I worked in the chemistry laboratory headed by Prof. Dr. Michael Herzog under the direction of Mr. Kiril Dimitrov. I worked on plastic waste management. We did not evolve too much even if I could manipulate several times on polystyrene production, mechanical characterization of GPPS and HIPS blends and depolymerization of polyethylene terephthalate.

We also had days of rejoicing!

On the Thursday of our first week at wildau, I was invited to a barbecue with some of the university staff. It was a great time!  I also participated in the 2021 edition of Solarboot-Regatta organized by the university on a river in Wildau.  I also participated in a party of Cameroonians living in Germany Mauerpark cleimstr. 55 10437 Berlin. It was just great! I also travelled through a good part of the country and I understood that Germany is really a developed country. I visited Berlin and other big cities several times. I also went to Hamburg where I was amazed by the train and bus station. It was late otherwise, I had to go to the port of Hamburg. But that was only a part of it.  I visited the Pure Power Biogas GmbH & Co KG, a center for the production of biogas from organic waste under the direction of Prof. Dr. Michael Herzog. It was just for tourism. I wanted to experience the industrial reality of what I have read in the literature because this is the subject I am working on, but alas... However, I saw the installations and got some brief explanations about the procedure.



My Acknowledgments  are for all those people who helped me during this period which was not  easy. I will mention them in no particular order, knowing that they were useful and even very useful. They are M.Eng. Ron van de Sand, Prof. Dr. Michael Herzog, Prof. Dr. Jörg Reiff-Stephan, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Tippe, Mr. Kiril Dimitrov, Mr. Simon Devos-Chernova, Mr. Carolina Winkler.

I also thank my thesis supervisor Prof. Basile KOUNOUHEWA for his assistance in all aspects.