Alex is a student assistant in the research brewery at TU Clausthal.

Her focus is on analysis – in this case of brewery products.

Alex is a passionate rescue worker. That applies in the lecture hall...

... and in the field. Alex regularly practices for emergencies with the GRC.

Alexandra from Erfurt

is studying Chemistry (Master)

The all-rounder

Alexandra Humann is studying for a Master's degree in Chemistry at Clausthal University of Technology. She is also a volunteer with the Clausthal-Zellerfeld mountain rescue service and the German Red Cross (DRK). In this portrait, she reveals how she has settled into the town.

Alexandra, also known as Alex, actually planned to study abroad, for example in Ireland or Scotland. When she opted for a Master's degree at Clausthal University of Technology instead, she had many good reasons for her decision. One of which was a phone call that answered all her questions beforehand: "I was unsure whether starting in the summer semester would work well. However, in a personal consultation with the student advisory service, I was immediately assured that it didn't matter."

Two semesters later, Alex has fully arrived in the Upper Harz Mountains and is very happy with her choice: "This small town really won me over!"

"Almost everything in chemistry is in English"

After completing her Bachelor's degree, Alex became aware of Clausthal University of Technology via the Federal Employment Agency’s study portal. Among the various programs on offer, the Clausthal course stood out due to its optional focus on analytical chemistry – the ideal choice for Alex. The fact that the Master's course has also been offered entirely in English since the summer semester of 2023 was ultimately the determining factor: "I learned how to work in the natural sciences in English. Almost everything in chemistry is in English, so why shouldn't I study it like that?"

Alex is now one of the first Master's students on the English-taught Chemistry program. She recalls that the transition from one language to another did not always go smoothly at first. However, a year after the program was established, students are used to the new language: "The course fits in perfectly with my expectations now."

Always ready to try something new

Beside her studies, Alex gathers working experience as a student assistant. In the Clausthal research brewery at the Institute of Electrochemistry, she analyzes brewery products. At the Institute of Separation and Process Technology she does "troubleshooting": Alex has to find out why a self-made fluorometer is not working. "This offers an additional technical aspect from which I can learn a lot. In general, there are many opportunities at TU Clausthal if you are open to it."

And being open for new things is exactly what Alex loves to do. As a teenager, she pursued several hobbies at once: Skiing, dancing ballet, playing the flute and practicing the martial art of kung fu. Professionally, she did not only study chemistry, but also completed a three-month training course to become a paramedic – a childhood dream of hers that she decided to realize right after her bachelor's degree. "But I always knew that I would still do my master’s," she says looking back.

First responder – even during lectures

In Clausthal, Alex didn’t have to say goodbye to her uniform. Shortly after the move, she started volunteering with the local mountain rescue team and the German Red Cross. She now has weekly training sessions and is learning to climb – yet another new challenge. However, she says that the on-call team has made her feel very welcome and volunteering offers a good diversion from everyday university life: "I enjoy being out of the uni bubble and not just talking about exams and projects."

Her life in Clausthal now also includes extreme situations – Alex has already been involved in search and rescue missions and providing security at events as the mountain rescue service not only helps in rough terrain, but also supports the emergency services as first responders. In order to respond quickly in case of an emergency, Alex always carries a radio alarm receiver with her. The device even raised the alarm during a lecture once. "I always let the lecturers know that it can happen. So far, I've actually only received positive feedback," Alex says.

Thanks to her open manner, Alex quickly felt at home at Clausthal University of Technology and in town. "In Clausthal-Zellerfeld, there's always something to experience." She could well imagine following her Master's degree with a doctorate, if she finds the right research topic: "I would prefer an interdisciplinary project. I love looking at a topic from different angles."

(Stand: 2024)