International training at DIATEST - an apprentice and a trainer travel to Wisconsin/USA for a professional internship

Expanding one's own expertise in precision mechanics, getting to know a different training system, dealing with different units of measurement and finding one's way in a different culture - this is what our trainer André and our apprentice were able to experience for four weeks during their professional stay abroad. Both were thrilled:

"My overall impression of this project is fantastic. I would and will recommend it to everyone and highly recommend a stay abroad." (André)

"It was a very nice/awesome experience to be able to practice my profession in a foreign country and also to learn new working procedures." (Luca)

The German economy is international, DIATEST is international. DIATEST trainees report on their stay abroad in the USA, what experiences they had and what impressed them most!

But first we have to correct one small thing: André successfully completed his training as a precision mechanic a long time ago. But since, as we all know, you never stop learning, André has now been able to experience how training is done in the USA in addition to his training certificate.

They both spent the first week at Madison Area Technical College (MATC for short; in the northern U.S. state of Wisconsin, America's "Dairyland."

There, André and Luca first received practical training and were prepared for the upcoming three-week internship. This included the American system of units in inches and feet ("the Ruler Game" - The Ruler Game - Learn to Read a Ruler), thread standards, the production of sample workpieces and an introduction to the control of robots. As an instructor, André learned about training content and teaching methods at MATC, exchanged ideas with instructors from the Technical College.

After one week at the MATC, Luca transferred to a US company for three more weeks to learn about practical training in precision mechanics. There, he had to take on various tasks, such as assembly work, programming a CNC milling machine or working on automation projects. Since André went through the program as a trainer, he was only able to work in companies for another week and learn about in-company training.

Were there any challenges? In addition to thorough preparation, it is well known that you learn the language and technical terms best in the country itself, in our case "on the job"! Working every day in the local language and in a different culture, as well as dealing with different units of measurement, meant definitely leaving one's personal comfort zone. However, André and Luca saw this as a positive enrichment and mastered the practical tasks in the company with flying colours thanks to their professional skills.

For André and Luca, the training period in the USA was a personal experience full of positive surprises. Not only do you get to know the working methods in another country, you also get to know its people, way of life and culture. For both of them, the politeness and motivation in the companies was impressive. Back in Germany, they look back on their time in the USA with all-round satisfaction:

"It was really a very great project and I'm glad I was able to be part of it, it was a super well planned trip. We learned a lot and also a lot of new things in our profession. I can only recommend everyone to make such a trip." (Luca)

"Personally, the trip has benefited me a lot. My language skills in writing and speaking could be improved, I got to know many new people and so also their lifestyle and culture, as well as I have become a lot more open-minded to foreign people." (André)

In case of particularly good performance during the training, DIATEST has been supporting a stay of several weeks abroad with a partner organization for many years. An experience that none of the participants would want to miss!

International relations live - professional exchange with the US state of Wisconsin, from „DHZ Deutsche Handwerks Zeitung, 74. Jahrgang, 4. November 2022, Ausgabe 21, Seite 7“, („only available in German language“)

We would like to thank all the participating organizations, companies and people whose commitment makes such unforgettable experiences possible for young people! The programme was made possible by the Chamber of Skilled Crafts Frankfurt-Rhein-Main. Together with the MATC, Department of Mechanics, the Chamber developed a practical training course, arranged suitable internships, organised travel, accommodation and the accompanying programme, and provided financial support.

"AusbildungWeltweit" is a funding program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to provide financial support for worldwide and practice-oriented stays abroad during vocational training. In the foreign company, trainees, trainers and instructors can acquire international professional competence, gain new experience for their training and develop personally." (Program - BMBF AusbildungWeltweit (