Niklas from Goslar
is studying Energy and Materials Physics (M.Sc.)
Out of the small town and into the big city jungle? The route that many of his schoolmates chose is not for him. Niklas Knoop is from the Goslar district and decided to stay close to home when he went to university. “It was easy to choose where to study, since Clausthal offers fascinating scientific degree programs and a small, familial community, right in the middle of the Harz,” the 23‑year-old recalls. “I looked at several universities, but the TU was better.” Niklas is a master’s student in the energy and materials physics program and has been appreciating Clausthal’s friendly atmosphere for more than four years.
A conversation with the program advisor
Before Niklas decided on Clausthal, he had arranged to talk to the program advisor for the power systems technologies degree. Following that conversation, he knew the program could be right for him. “After two semesters of the bachelor’s program, however, I realized that I was even more interested in scientific subjects than in electrical engineering and technical drawing.” So he decided to transfer into the energy and materials physics program and thereby nurture his interest in physics and chemistry through his studies. He finds it easier to learn things when the subject matter really interests him. “Then I can motivate myself well and learn complex topics with real pleasure,” he says.
Learning to value exercise and nature as counterpoints to studying
“Clausthal has a very large sports program, and I wanted to try out all sorts of things, but I got stuck on A for aikido,” Niklas reports. He has been practicing the Japanese martial art for a few years now, has reached the third kyū, or level, with its green belt, and is the aikido representative at the Sports Center. He can also be enthusiastic about Clausthal-Zellerfeld’s natural surroundings. After lectures, it takes him just a few minutes to reach the countryside for a ride on his longboard, for instance. His way home is not long either.
Lunch with the professors
“What totally surprised me at Clausthal was to find professors sitting next to you at lunch in the Mensa, and recognizing you from their lectures,” Niklas laughs. That easy contact to professors is very helpful when it comes to student jobs at the university too. “I got a job as a student assistant in the Institute of Energy Research and Physical Technologies in the fourth semester of my bachelor’s program, and I’ve been working there ever since.” In Niklas’s eyes, having the chance to put one’s newly acquired knowledge into practice is another plus of the university in the Upper Harz. “In your bachelor’s thesis here, it’s not just the theory that matters but also its application and the practical work. Even as a bachelor’s student, you do exciting projects.” Once he has his master’s degree, he can well imagine doing a doctorate and maybe pursuing a career in research.