Room for ideas
"I think the opportunities we have here are pretty unique. There is a lot of room to make one's ideas come true", is how the young woman who now regards Osnabrück as her home describes the doctoral programme of the Institute of Cognitive Science. The philosophy graduate for example took advantage of the opportunity to hold projects and seminars of her own in collaboration with her professor: "You are expected to gain teaching experience anyway. Only a few hours are mandatory, but I was able to do much more." Kyselo believes that not only the professors, but also her fellow students are very open to new ideas: in addition to other seminars, colloquia and reading groups there are weekly meetings attended by PhD candidates of all disciplines where everyone presents the latest results of their work, initiates debates and can discuss questions relating to their subject with other students. "Because a wide range of people with sometimes very different experiences, focuses of work and academic disciplines come together, it's always very interesting", reports Kyselo. Eronen adds: "In my opinion, our institute is a very inspiring place where many different and interesting people work together." That, he says, is certainly unique.
Relaxed atmosphere at the University
Other than that, the young man from Finland loves the relaxed atmosphere at the university, the friendliness of the people and the fact that from his point of view everything is very unbureaucratic. One reason for this may be that both the city and the university are fairly small. Osnabrück has 160,000 inhabitants, good transport connections and is nonetheless surrounded by open countryside. Among other things the city boasts several theatres, numerous cinemas, the MediaArtFestival, and a large number of cafés, bars and restaurants. In addition, the municipal cultural and communication centres offer a wealth of concerts, cabaret evenings, workshops and readings.
The Osnabrück student union also has a lot to offer. In the heart of the city, but still in a world of its own: just a few hundred metres from the city centre at Jahnplatz, a redeveloped former gas meter factory houses one of the student halls of residence. At the edge of the old town is Germany's smallest hall of residence: a tiny half-timbered tower, part of the city's mediaeval fortifications, offers comfortable living for one on three floors. That's a bit too cosy for Kyselo. She chose a room at Bauernhof Luhrmann, an old farm built in 1797, which has been converted to a hall of residence and offers lots of greenery, a total of 58 rooms and its own chicken run. The doctoral candidate shares a flat at the farm with a couple of other "CogScies": "It's great here. I really like being in Osnabrück and rarely go to Berlin any more."