Azubis Go USA

For the fifth time now, the “Joachim Herz Stiftung” has supported 25 apprentices from Bavaria and Hamburg to go to Atlanta, Georgia, for an internship programme. One of them was Max Neumann, who is working as apprentice industrial mechanic with Kathrein. After applying for a scholarship in August 2017 and after successfully passing the selection process, he started his ten-week trip to Atlanta on 17 March 2018. Here is his experience report:

During the first two weeks of my adventure, I attended courses at the Southern Crescent Technical College in Griffin together with Caro, another scholarship holder. There we had the opportunity to take various courses matching with our vocational training contents. Among them were hydraulics, pneumatics, welding, and machining for example.

After the courses, we visited several companies in the region, for example Quad Graphics, which specialises in printing and is the second largest business in this industry worldwide. The guided tour of the enterprise was very interesting since I had never seen a company as impressing as this one before.

While studying at college, I stayed with a host family. As my host father worked on campus, he took us to college and back every day. In my leisure time, I enjoyed doing activities with my guest family. On our second weekend in the States, they already organised a trip to Disneyland in Orlando.

Internship at Grenzebach Maschinenbau

After the two-week period at college, I continued my adventure with an eight-week internship at a machine manufacturing company in Grenzebach. The German company is represented at two locations in the USA.

My main task was to install and adjust welding assemblies. After they had been tested, my job was to disassemble them, if necessary, fix them on a pallet and get them ready for shipment.

For the most time during my internship, I worked at a recycling facility, which lifted deficient solar panels on a band conveyor and then separated the aluminium frame from the glass pane by using a saw. This process allowed for a separate disposal and recycling of both components.

Leisure activities during the internship period

During the internship period, I stayed with a different guest family together with Kathi, another scholarship holder. The host father in this family had emigrated from Germany to the United States in order to realise his American Dream of becoming self-employed.

Two other scholarship holders lived only 15 minutes away from our house and had a company car. We did a lot of activities with our two host families. On our free weekends, we explored the south of the States by car: the Universal Studios, Alabama, Panama Beach, Savannah, Stone Mountain und NASA Station, to name only a few.

At the end of my stay abroad, I chose to stay another week and visit New York. There I met with a school friend who had also won a scholarship from the “Joachim Herz Stiftung”. Together we explored the Big Apple.

Conclusion

These ten weeks in the United States helped me to significantly improve my English language skills and to broaden my horizon, both professionally and personally.

I would like to thank everyone who made this trip possible and who supported me in this undertaking. My special thanks to Ms. Reimann-Stettner who supported me in the preparation phase and during my stay abroad. Furthermore, I would like to thank the “Joachim Herz Stiftung” for organising and funding the whole trip.

Finally, I would like to mention that the time I spent in the United States was an extraordinary adventure that I will remember with pleasure!

Further impressions can be found in the video "Azubis in die USA".