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Press release

Commitment that stands out

RWU, Übergabe DAAD-Preis und International Student Award für das Jahr 2023 an zwei indische Studierende durch Prof. Dr. Michael Pfeffer
Prorektor Professor Dr. Michael Pfeffer (l.) überreicht Aparna Ramachandran (2. v. l., Preisträgerin des International Student Award 2023) und Taleen Kannan (2. v. r., Preisträger des DAAD-Preises) die Auszeichnungen, gemeinsam mit Ramona Herrmann (r.), Koordinatorin für internationale Vollzeitstudierende und stellvertretende Leiterin des International Office der RWU.
Christoph Oldenkotte

Weingartenen - The winner of the DAAD Prize 2023 and the winner of the International Student Award 2023 both come from India and are studying at RWU in Weingarten. Taleen Kannan and Aparna Ramachandran are being honored for their diverse intercultural and student engagement. The awards will be presented by Professor Dr. Michael Pfeffer, Vice-Rector for Research, International Affairs and Transfer.

Taleen Kannan is studying Physical Engineering in his eighth Bachelor's semester. He came to Weingarten in spring 2020, just as the coronavirus was spreading worldwide. This also had a significant impact on the start of his studies at RWU. Despite this, the student achieves remarkable academic results and is among the top 20 percent of his year. Thanks to numerous voluntary project assignments, he is able to gain extensive practical experience and improve his personal skills. Taleen Kannan is also involved at the university and works several times as a research assistant and tutor for the subject of physics. He deliberately prefers this extra income to other jobs because of the professional benefits. At RWU, he particularly appreciates the diverse community and the helpful atmosphere.

Taking advantage of student offers

But Taleen Kannan recognizes that the life of a student is not just about academic achievement. Based on his curiosity and his great motivation to stand up for his fellow international students and make a difference, fair treatment among Indian students is close to his heart. Taleen Kannan's extensive commitment also extends beyond the university boundaries: he is also involved in the Protestant-Catholic University Community Weingarten (EKHG) and the Academy of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. He sees the collaboration with other initiatives on campus and in the city as an enormous enrichment. "Get involved in different activities, gain new experiences and utilize all available opportunities and resources to grow while studying abroad," Taleen Kannan advises others. "I hope to create something new that will leave a mark in the field I'm interested in," he sums up.

First international representative

Aparna Ramachandran, who is studying E-Mobility and Green Energy in her sixth Bachelor's semester, has also grown from her multifaceted commitment. The Indian is the first international direct candidate in the current RWU student parliament. There she represents the interests of her fellow international students. Aparna Ramachandran has to overcome language barriers, which also boosts her self-confidence. With all her commitment, she realizes that she would like to enter politics later on.

Committed in many ways

Both award winners are extremely grateful and delighted with their awards. What they have in common is their many years of involvement in the university's Council of Indian Students (CIS) and their support for the International Office during Welcome Weeks. They look after the international newcomers and are also available to them as buddies and contacts during the semester. Aparna Ramachandran and Taleen Kannan also take part in a development policy study support program and represent the Indian RWU students at the Indian Students Germany (ISG) initiative of the Indian Embassy in Berlin.

"I believe that even the smallest appreciation can become a great motivation," Aparna Ramachandran aptly sums it up - even if the recognition in this case is high profile.


About the prizes

The DAAD Prize is an award for foreign students who distinguish themselves through special academic achievements as well as remarkable social or intercultural commitment. The prize money amounts to 1,000 euros and is donated by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The International Student Award recognizes individuals, regardless of their nationality or group, who have made a special effort to promote cooperation and tolerance as well as awareness of different cultures and traditions. The International Student Award is endowed with prize money of 500 euros, sponsored by the Friends of RWU.


Text: Ramona Herrmann / Lisann Gauß