My name is Josh and I spent 6 months in Munich, Germany doing a co-op for IP Design (Industrielle Produkt Design). Having a co-op in Germany worked well for me because I am already fluent in the German language and know their culture and customs. I am originally from Germany and went to school there when I was younger. I often go back to visit family and friends during the semester and summer breaks from CU.
My co-op for IP Design lasted from July 2006 to December 2006. During my time with the company, I worked on four major projects: Kitchen Lab Designs, Alpine Ski Design, Shower Drain System, and a Handicap Assistance Device. These projects were created using a Solid Works program and then presented to the clients. After meeting with the clients, I would go and make any other changes the client requested and submit the final project. I enjoyed my time with IP Design because I got work with teams on real design project instead of performing menial tasks the entire time. The practice and experience I got with Solid Works and presentation to clients is invaluable.
During my free time in Munich, I joined a cross-country ski club and spent much of my time outdoors in the snow. In addition to the ski club in Munich, I also knew some former students of CU-Boulder who are from Norway and were on the CU Cross-Country ski team, so I went skiing with them as well. I also traveled around Europe and visited other countries such as Norway and Austria. As I said before, because I’m from Germany, I also visited family and friends from where I lived in Germany.
The one piece of advice I have for students looking at a co-op overseas is to know well in advance if the company you are working for will help provide housing or not. IP Design was a smaller company and did not have any housing set up for employees, so I had to find an apartment on my own without their help. Overall, my experience living on my own in Munich and working for IP Design was great. I highly recommend getting a co-op which will allow you to experience new culture and customs.