Home | Legals | Data Protection | Sitemap | interACT

CLICS Students abroad

What experiences do the CLICS students make abroad? How do they live? What do they do? Follow our students abroad....


Jonas Frey, Bachelor Thesis @ NAIST, Japan from June until November 2018

I am Jonas Frey studying electrical engineer at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. I was lucky to have the opportunity to stay for 3 months at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology and write my bachelors` thesis at the Intelligent System Control Lab supervised by Professor Takamitsu Matsubara. I could enjoy the best personal mentoring and work on deep learning in the field of robotics. The Nara Institute of Science and Technology is one of three mainly research focused facilities in Japan, only providing graduated student programs. Visiting other cities located nearby NAIST helped to balance the very research focused environment with little student life, nicely. Everybody was always very helpful and supportive and I am really thankful, that I could work together with such great and patient people. If you go the NAIST you can expect to get a lot of responsibility and work with state-of-the-art equipment on current research topics. I can definitely recommend going to NAIST if you want to focus on research and you don't mind to take the train for 1h to get to the next big city for some variety.



Zhong Zhou, Research stay @ KIT ISL from November until December 2018

I am a PhD student in Language Technology Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. I work closely with Prof. Alex Waibel, and Matthias Sperber and other students in KIT. We work on translation from rich-resource languages to low-resource languages. The main challenges we identify are the lack of low-resource language data, effective methods for cross-lingual transfer, and the variable-binding problem that is common in neural systems. We build a translation system that addresses these challenges using eight European language families as our test ground. We obtain 60.6% accuracy in qualitative evaluation where our translations are akin to human translations in a preliminary study. We further the work during my stay in KIT and push for advancement in the scientific community.


Robin Schmucker, Bachelor Thesis @ CMU from October 2017 until March 2018

I am very grateful for the CLICS exchange program which enabled me to write my bachelor‘s thesis in the field of service robotics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. My visit gave me the unique opportunity to work in an international environment alongside leading researchers in their respective fields. For me it was real inspiration and a huge step in my development as a young researcher. Also, I want to thank all the people I met, who welcomed me with open arms and made me feel at home. We all had a good time discussing ideas and doing research, but also enjoyed the student life in Pittsburgh. 

Lian Xizhe, Master Thesis @ CMU from October 2017 until March 2018

I’m a master student at KIT, thanks for CLICS gave me the chance to go to CMU, Pittsburgh for doing master thesis. I’m really impressed by the enthusiasm of the work here. CMU has a perfect academic atmosphere, people are willing to exchange their opinions towards researches, which inspires a lot of research ideas and approaches. CMU is also very international. Here one can meet people from all over the world, studying, working, doing research. The stay in Pittsburgh enlarges my horizon and it’s surely a pleasurable experience.

Markus Müller, Research Stay for PhD-Thesis @ CMU from June - July 2017

CLICS provided me with the opportunity to visit Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. During my visit, I was able to collaborate with researchers being among the best in their field. Discussing research, talking about new ideas and attending the weekly colloquium are the things I enjoyed most while staying at CMU. Thanks to this exchange, I was able to focus on research that will contribute to my PhD thesis, and to the field in general.

Qing Zhu, Master Thesis @ CMU from October 2016 until February 2017

I'm Qingxiaoyang Zhu, a graduate student from KIT, majoring in computer science. I really appreciate it that I had such an opportunity to compose my master's thesis at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Currently I'm mainly focusing on the verbalization of robots which provides a way for people to know the experience of a robot. 

In addition, the diverse possibilities at CMU really have left me a deep impression. I attended seminars in both the robotics institute and the machine learning department every week, and they broadened my view in academic perspectives. There was also a weekly group meeting which allowed me to communicate with other students on robotics topic. Particularly, I even got a chance to visit UberATG and try a ride on an autonomously driving car. The various robots in CORAL Lab such as coBot, Pepper, Baxter, Nao and those in the Small Size League also impressed me a lot. 

Here I want to say thank you to my supervisors for getting me involved in such exciting topic, and to those people in the lab for introducing the interesting restaurant, museum and the great visit points to me. 


Thomas Zenkel, Master Thesis @ CMU from October 2016 until April 2017


I'm Thomas, a computer science graduate student at KIT. I'm spending six month at CMU in Pittsburgh to finish my master's degree. Currently I'm working on my thesis about character based language models with the goal to improve speech recognition systems. Beyond that the CLICS scholarship also gives me the chance to take part in the ordinary college life: I attend a lecture about machine translation, take part in a paper discussion group and play in the club basketball team of CMU. Thank you to all the people in my lab, to my basketball teammates and all my new friendships: you already made my time in Pittsburgh unforgettable!


Jan Niehues, Research Stay @  CMU, October 2017


Supported by the CLICS project, I had the opportunity to visit the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. During my stay I was able to exchange ideas with the leading researcher in machine translation and automatic speech recognition. I enjoyed the interesting discussion with researchers and students. We were able to start collaborations that already resulted in research ideas published in conferences. Following my distinguished lecture on "Pre-Translation for Neural Machine TranslationCombining NMT and SMT" gave me the opportunity to further discuss the topic with researchers and students.

Thanh-Le Ha, Research Stay @  CMU from December 2016 until March 2017

I am Le, a PhD candidate from KIT, Germany. Thanks to CLICS, I have been spending some months in CMU - Pittsburgh for my research related to multilingual neural machine translation. I attended some lectures including machine translation and sequence to sequence modelling as well as reading groups and a weekly colloquium in which I met and talk with many good students and researchers. I really like the academic environment in CMU, where people can have the best chances to show their ideas and develop their research. I also enjoy the colourful life here with all its differences from Germany.


Matthias Sperber, Research Stay @ CMU from December 2016 until February 2017

I’m Matthias, I’m staying at CMU in Pittsburgh for 3 months to conduct research that will become part of my PhD thesis. I just finished a project on automatic speech translation that was mostly done during my stay here. Being at CMU has allowed me to meet and collaborate with new people and exchange ideas with other researchers who have different perspectives. I have especially enjoyed group meetings, the paper reading group, as well the weekly colloquium with many high-profile speakers. Beyond that, I have been impressed with the hospitality here, I have made many new friends who have introduced me to Pittsburgh’s restaurants, bars, museums, and last but not least the Pittsburgh symphony.


Yang Zhang, Bachelor Thesis @ CMU from June until October 2016

I am a computer science student at KIT and conducted my bachelor's thesis at CMU in Summer 2016. I am very grateful CLICS granted me the opportunity to visit one of the best schools in the world in the area of my interest. I was delighted to have met so many brilliant minds and it was very inspiring working along with them. Apart from research, CMU and Pittsburgh offer a variety of recreational activities, which is a great way to make friends and get to know the culture. Overall, this was an incredible experience and I would recommend it to anyone anytime.


Marco Vetter, Diploma Thesis @ NAIST from April to September 2015

From April to September 2015 I spent half a year in a CLICS-supported exchange with the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Ikoma, Japan, where I worked on my research on automatic speech recognition. The atmosphere at the Augmented Human Communication Lab was very conducive to concentrated work, with plenty of opportunity to engage in discussions with the other students about both work and other topics. The faculty at the lab was highly supportive and made themselves available whenever possible. Outside of work, both the lab and the university repeatedly organised cultural activities, such as hikes, excursions or a trip to a natural hot spring. Thanks to the proximity, I was also able to regularly travel to Osaka on weekends for recreation.