Malvine Barchfeld has been studying traffic engineering in Dresden since the winter semester of 2022/23. The MINT scholarship holder is 20 years old and comes from near Mannheim.

In an interview für "Verkehrslage", she tells us what brought her to Dresden and what little hurdles and surprises she encountered when starting her studies.

You revealed in advance that you are currently in the middle of your first exam phase. How are the preparations for the exams going?

Malvine Barchfeld (MB): Quite well. I studied a bit more at the beginning so I could have more rest between exams. At first, I thought it was a huge pile to learn. But now I've started and it's quite doable.

Back to the beginning of your studies: How did you find the Dresden diploma programme in traffic engineering? What interests you about it?

MB: Originally, I wanted to study something in the field of logistics because I am fascinated by road and traffic planning. Through the MINT-EC programme of TU Dresden, I took part in a digital lecture series in the spring of 2022, in which various professorships of the Faculty of Transport Sciences at TU Dresden presented themselves with specialist lectures. That's when I realised that transport planning belongs to the field of transport science. That appealed to me. There was also the unique opportunity to apply for a MINT-EC scholarship at the TUD. That was the final deciding factor for me to study in Dresden.

You have been awarded the MINT scholarship at TU Dresden. What does the scholarship mean to you? Besides the financial means, do you also make use of other offers that the scholarship provides?

MB: Unfortunately, not yet, or not so often. I recently went to an interesting event where you could get to know the other scholarship holders. It was nice to exchange ideas and hear what other students are doing. Soon there will be a second event where other offers of the scholarship will be presented.

What are your MINT interests?

MB: At school, my STEM interests were mainly biology and maths. A big part of the traffic engineering degree is physics. I was never taken with the physics lessons at school, but here at university, the courses, interest me.

As a woman in MINT - is that something special for you?

MB: It's a bit strange. We are outnumbered in our degree programme with 5 or 6 women out of 43 freshmen students. But I don't see that as anything special, I just do what I want. I've always been good at maths, too, and as a girl, I was therefore always a bit outnumbered. That is normal for me.

Did you have any concerns before starting your studies?

MB: I was a bit apprehensive about leaving home again after my year abroad. I thought that when you start studying, you're really on your own. But I was particularly surprised at how easy it was to get to know people. The freshers' week was especially helpful. It was easier than I thought.

Which lecture do you like best so far?

MB: I particularly like trains and public transport. I also find traffic safety technology very interesting because I have a personal connection to it through cycling. As a cyclist, you are usually the "weaker" road user, next to cars, for example.

What do you like about Dresden?

MB: No matter where you want to go, you can get there in 20 minutes. I think that's great. Besides I find the Elbe very beautiful, for example for picnics. It's also really easy to get into conversation with people, especially other students.

Looking for a flat or a room is not easy in most big cities. How did that work out for you?

MB: I was relatively late with my decision for Dresden. Commuting from Mannheim was not an option. The student halls of residence were all full. Through WG-gesucht, I finally found a room in a 2-person flat-share close to the Großer Garten. Unfortunately, it wasn't ready until November. That´s why I spent the first month in a flat for fitters. The beginning was a bit bumpy, but in the meantime, I'm happy in my flat-share.

What surprised you the most during your first months studying in Dresden?

MB: I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and open people are here. Especially because I have often heard the cliché about Dresden that people tend to be more reserved or grumpy. I don't share that impression at all.

When you look back on the past summer. What do you wish you had known before you started your studies?

MB: That you shouldn't despair if the other students perhaps already know more than you do. You shouldn't be put off by this. You are very welcome to seek contact. Everyone is really friendly and happy to explain things to me if I have questions about railways, for example.

The year 2023 has just begun. What are you looking forward to most this year?

MB: Here's to summer! With friends, we're planning all the time how we'll sit by the Elbe in the summer and maybe meet a few new people. I think it's a chance to experience a lot besides studying.

Thank you very much, Malvine.


Mareike Suckow


Applications are open to first-year students who have completed their Abitur at a MINT-EC school, a MINT-friendly or digital school or who are a cooperation school of TU Dresden and who will begin their studies in a MINT subject at TU Dresden in the winter semester 2023/24.

The application period for the start of studies in 2023/24 is expected to begin on 15 July 2023 and end on 11 September 2023.

All information at:

Start your studies with the MINT scholarship

The Gesellschaft von Freunden und Förderern der TU Dresden e.V. (GFF) awards up to 13 scholarships each year to successful, performance-oriented first-year students who are beginning their studies in the so-called MINT subjects (Mathematics, Informatics, Natural Sciences, Technology).

The Society of Friends and Sponsors of the TU Dresden e.V. (GFF) awards up to

16 scholarships

to successful first-time students who are beginning their studies in the so-called MINT subjects.

MINT Scholarship of the TU Dresden

- Awarding of scholarships to successful, performance-oriented graduates of the network schools of MINT-EC e.V. and MINT Zukunft schaffen e.V.

- Sponsor: Society of Friends and Sponsors of the TU Dresden e.V. (GFF)

- Financial support: 300€/month for the 1st year of study

- Further offers of the scholarship: Buddy programme for networking with students of higher semesters, getting to know regional companies and members of the GFF

What does "MINT" mean?

The abbreviation MINT stands as a summary term for the teaching and study subjects or professions in the fields of mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology.