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Akihito and his experience as a mechatronic student at SDU Sønderborg

My name is Akihito Harasawa and I am 21 years old. I study mechatronics at SDU Sønderborg.

I used to live in Sønderborg going to one of the high schools and from then I heard of and looked around SDU Sønderborg for the first time. Once I went back to where I come from, Japan, I decided to study in a Danish university.

I have been interested in trains since my childhood and keen to be related to machinery. I remembered my visit to SDU Sønderborg, and there I found mechatronics on SDU’s webpage.

The best part of the study programme and the study environment in Sønderborg

Studying Engineering in Sønderborg is definitely different from other places. Engineering at SDU Sønderborg is not only teacher-to-student lectures, but also self-learning. Students often find solutions by themselves, and interpret experiments to gain deeper knowledges. The campus also has plenty of laboratory facilities, and students can actively make use of them.

Mechatronics is the best in terms that there are both lecture-gained knowledge and semester projects to recap the theories that the students have learnt in a practical manner. In the semester projects the students don't only relate to the practices, but also to learning about collaboration through teamwork with other students, which I think plays an important role in the future at companies. I think that the practical aspects of the study programme helps the students grasp the topics from the classes more easily. For example, through lab experiment. which allows students to learn the topics more directly.

I think that the international environment on campus really helps foreign students feel ease into getting into the societies. Having a vast variety of students also gets me to face topics I have never been related to, such as the Catalonia-Spain conflict and Brazil’s slam districs which have been very enlightening.

Sønderborg and connections to the companies in the area

I personally feel that people in Sønderborg are generally easier and more open to talk to than those in bigger cities. The study environment in the town is the best as students feel close to each other. Since the town itself isn’t a massive metropolitan, people can get to know each other, even among non-students.

Another thing to mention is that the companies in the area and the campus itself are offering a lot of opportunities to be a part of them, either by offering student work or by participating in business lunches.
I feel that the close connections to the companies in the area allows me to start realizing my future. When I see the companies seeking for new student workers, I often think of applying since it may benefit me to improve the knowledges and collaboration skills that I have gained or to network in terms of finding  potential internships or future workplaces.