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Ahead of this year’s Winter graduations, a group of Ulster University alumni from Germany have returned after 20 years to relive their memories as engineering students on a life changing international exchange programme.

The group of five friends from Augsburg -  Paul Lindt, Stephen Kraus, Armin Konrad, Michael Limmer, and Martin Liepert - came to Northern Ireland in 1996 to study for a Masters in Engineering.

Ulster University graduate, Paul Lindt said, “Ulster University has an excellent reputation for developing the future talent of the engineering industry. Through an international exchange programme my friends and I got the opportunity to apply for the globally recognised Masters in Engineering that didn’t exist in Germany during that time.”

Coming to Ulster University provided Paul and his friends the exciting opportunity to study at the Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre. This provided them with hands on experience working with world-class researchers on real life engineering challenges.

Paul credits his time at Ulster University for broadening his horizons and giving him an insight into the culture and lives of people in Northern Ireland. Choosing Northern Ireland was a choice that came naturally to Paul because of his fascination with the country’s history, culture and geography. It also provided him and his friend’s life-long knowledge and experience.

He added:“We wanted to keep the memories we gained during our time here alive. Not only did we study here, some of us also played in a local brass band, and after twenty years, we got curious about how both the city and the Jordanstown campus have changed over the years and returned for a tour.

“What I loved about Northern Ireland and Ulster University when I lived here was meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds, the activities organised by the student’s union, and the accommodation which lead to making lifelong friendships with the people I lived with.

“The beauty of the north coast is also something I will never forget along with the cold Irish weather that took us by surprise! This didn’t stop us enjoying the social life in the city, appreciating great music in a range of pubs. A key highlight of my time here was at the graduation at Waterfront Hall, this was the pinnacle of my studies.

“My time at Ulster University was truly memorable.  Personally, my experience allowed me to boost my career in not only finding the profession I love but also providing me with a range of skills for the daily challenges I face in my job.”