[Translate to English:] Porträt von Xhoen Gjashta
Crispin-I. Mokry
[Translate to English:] DAAD-Preisträgerin Xhoen Gjashta
Created by Pressestelle |

DAAD Prize for Xhoen Gjashta

Xhoen Gjashta receives this year's German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Award for International Students

Xhoen Gjashta comes from Albania and started her Master's degree in Chemical Engineering at HTWD in 2021 after completing her Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences.

"After my bachelor's degree, I wanted to live and study in another city to get a different view of German culture and people. Dresden interested me as a city. The decision to study at HTWD was partly due to the orientation of the Master's programme. Biopolymers and chemistry based on renewable raw materials appealed to me directly. On the other hand, I was impressed by the broad spectrum of ongoing research projects. To name just a few: Catalysis, battery materials, algae biotechnology to biopolymers and microplastics research - all very innovative and solution-oriented. My goal was to get an insight into the world of research parallel to my studies."

Studies and research

In alongside her studies, she worked as a research assistant in a research project in the technical chemistry laboratory. "She stood out due to her very committed, clean and thoughtful way of working in the lab, scientific curiosity and a far above-average willingness to exert herself. In her studies, she achieved good to very good academic results, often making an above-average contribution to the results in group work due to her fair and helpful nature," recalls project leader Professor Kathrin Harre. 

To finance the time for her Master's thesis and to be able to devote herself fully to it afterwards, the student took on a part-time job as a project engineer in the HTWD junior research group "VEMIWA" in advance. The chemist was already able to present her work results at µMED 2022 (International Conference on Microplastic Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea). This resulted in several EU-wide contacts for the Technical Chemistry Working Group.

In addition, she was involved in public relations and recruiting young scientists. For example, she participated in the Long Night of Science, represented HTW Dresden at the Student Climate Conference, was available as a contact person at the University Information Day and developed a poster and an exhibition object on the topic of "microplastics" for trade fair and advertising purposes.

The beginning in a new country is not always easy

The student from Albania uses her experience to help other students from abroad. For example, she supported a student from Tirana at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in getting started with her studies and took on a sponsorship for a first-year student in the Master's course in Chemical Engineering. Xhoen Gjashta would like to encourage international students to always seek help in good time if they have questions or uncertainties: "I have experienced it and can understand how difficult life in a foreign country can be at first. I myself would have liked someone to share their experiences about the hurdles and successes in Germany. It took me a while to accept that it is normal to experience culture shock at the beginning and not be able to cope with everyday things. Everything takes time."

Currently, Xhoen Gjashta is working in the junior research group "SEMUWA - Safe removal of microplastics in bank filtration and drinking water treatment in Saxony" and plans to do her PhD: "I want to work in research and contribute in finding solutions to current environmental problems. During my doctorate and beyond, I will also work for international cooperation. Because especially when it comes to environmental problems, one should discuss constructively on a global level and act accordingly."

About the DAAD Prize

The DAAD Prize, awarded with 1,000 euros, honours foreign students who are completing their studies in Germany and who stand out for their outstanding academic achievements and remarkable social commitment, as well as for building bridges between countries. The prize has been awarded for more than ten years and is intended to help put faces to the large numbers of international students at German universities and to connect them with stories. This makes it clear that every single international student takes a piece of Germany back to their home country and leaves something of themselves in Germany - an enrichment for both sides.


Created by Pressestelle |


M.Sc. Xhoen Gjashta

M.Sc. Xhoen Gjashta