Yinxue from China
is studying Geoenvironmental Engineering
The environmental visionary
It’s the clean air that Yinxue Wang finds perennially fascinating in Clausthal. In her imagination, she had drawn herself a fantasy picture of a fairytale place with little houses and a beautiful lake. If you compare Clausthal to Chinese cities with millions of inhabitants, that picture was not far removed from reality. What did surprise the 23‑year-old was the fact that this small town nonetheless houses so many foreign students – some 1,400 of them.
International flair at the heart of the Harz
“I really like the international flair here. It’s easy to meet people,” Yinxue reports. She became aware of the exchange program through her university in China. At Sichuan University, there are not many ways of engaging with the protection of the environment from a scientific perspective. Subjects like medicine and law are more popular there. “I wanted to study geoenvironmental engineering because I think expertise in this field is going to be increasingly in demand in my home country,” Yinxue explains. “Besides, I want to use what I know to help improve the environmental situation in China in future.” She finds it unfair that her parents and friends are not living and working in the same kind of lovely atmosphere she currently enjoys.
Studying in a relaxed atmosphere
“Whenever I get back from China, I revel in the peace and quiet. It’s less hectic, and people don’t talk so loud. All the people are very open and friendly,” Yinxue has observed. One thing suits her particularly well: “Everything is highly organized here.” She likes that level of structure and loves writing things down in her diary. “My friends in China always tease me about that,” she says, laughing. But that trait will actually be indispensable in her studies, for this 23‑year-old has major plans.
The big goal: self-employment
What she would most like to do, together with the friends she has made in Clausthal, is start up her own company in China that will be concerned with geoenvironmental engineering and recycling. She also wants to study the latter subject in her master’s program. That means Yinxue will be staying in Germany for a while yet. “I don’t want to go anywhere else, because I like it here. Clausthal provides the things I’m interested in. Besides, a new town would mean not only leaving friends behind but also slowly building everything up again from scratch,” she concludes.
A little homesickness is allowed
There are two things she really misses in Germany, however. One of them is Chinese food. She is amused to report that the only “German” dish she cooks is spaghetti. She also finds it a pity that you can’t buy everything over the internet in Germany. “At home, you can order literally anything online. The choice is huge, and it’s much cheaper than in a shop. To do your shopping, you actually don’t need to leave the house at all, Yinxue recalls. But that would almost be a cause for regret – considering the lovely fresh air here...