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The LMU Engineering and BAC Programs Bonded in a Weekend Trip to Eifel

The LMU Engineering and BAC Programs Bonded in a Weekend Trip to Eifel

The LMU Engineering and BAC Programs Bonded in a Weekend Trip to Eifel

This past weekend the engineers and the business/arts/communication students grouped together and we all took a trip out west to get to know each other a little better in the beautiful region of Eifel.

We started things off strong by all braving a high-ropes course together. After some brief instruction, we all were set loose to try a variety of courses with varying difficulty. Some of the tougher obstacles were a little intimidating but climbing with other students all together and cheering each other on made us attempt things we might not have tried alone.

Once the adrenaline levels calmed down a bit, we had lunch at a secluded restaurant that served some great German cuisine. The place had a very nice atmosphere and was only about a two to three minute walk from the ropes course.

The trip then took us to the gorgeous historic town of Bacharach which is along the Rhine River. Once there, we boarded a cruise ship and sailed down the Rhine for some sightseeing and relaxation. The scenery along the Rhine is beautiful and there were many interesting looking towns and quite a few castles to look at while we hung out with each other on the back of the boat.

After the cruise we continued on to the city of Andernach and checked into our hostel. The hostel was right next to the river and had a big plaza area with a mini soccer field (a pick-up game quickly broke out) and a grill area. We all had a big barbeque cookout for dinner with the students running the grill. In the morning we had rented out a conference room where we spent time doing many different bonding activities and games to learn more about each other. We then ate lunch together at the hostel’s all you can eat pasta buffet.

We finished up the trip by going to see the Andernach Geyser and the geyser museum close nearby. We learned about the volcanic processes and the formation of geysers as well as learning and about the Andernach Geyser itself which is the highest cold water geyser in the world.





Daniel Burt/AIB Team



Farewell to our first Summer programs!

Although summer has only officially begun, with the beginning of July, the first Summer Session at AIB has already come to an end!

We would like to thank all the students and faculty for such great summer programs filled with many new experiences and hopefully great memories!

Farewell to everyone and we hope to see you again soon in Bonn!


From Texas A&M University:

                    Sport Business in Europe                                                                                                History of Medicine 



         Sustainable Communities Track A                                                                   Sustainable Communities Track B



From Texas A&M University and Lafayette College:

German Language and Culture

From Loyola Marymount University: 

         Math, Science and Engineering Summer program                                                   Global Imagination program



From Butler University:

Creative Media and Entertainment program

From Columbia College Chicago:

Summer DOK program


From California State University - Long Beach:

Psychology Summer Study Abroad program



Thanks to everyone for an unforgettable summer in Europe!




AIB Team



LMU Global Imagination wraps up a fantastic program

LMU Global Imagination wraps up a fantastic program

Loyola Marymount University professors, Saeri Dobson and Matt Stefl, along with fourteen students, traveled to Germany from Los Angeles, California on a mission to use design and marketing for good. The Global Imagination Program, designed by Dobson and Stefl in collaboration with Akademie für Internationale Bildung Bonn (AIB), includes two courses. In Design Entrepreneurship, students explore and deliver on the “role of the designer in the community by raising public awareness and engaging social responsibility through participatory design, civic engagement and service learning,” Dobson explains.

Thanks to numerous intercultural encounters and hands on voluntary work, not only is the group on the right track to delivering on this promise, but also, it is actively learning the applicability and importance of corporate citizenship, a key goal in Stefl’s course, suitably titled, Marketing for Good.

 LMU students kicked off the Global Imagination Program in Düsseldorf where they started their social design entrepreneurship and cause-conscious marketing coursework.

The students got their first German lesson in a speech exercise class offered usually for refugees at Café Eden, a cultural event hub for people from all backgrounds to socialize with the community via theatre, music and food.The group also had a garden chat with Café Eden director, Günter Kömmet, about the theatre’s work with refugees and enjoyed a concert in native refugee languages.

left: Marketing Professor Christoph Kochhan delivered a lecture on the German segmentation & targeting approach, Sinus Milieus.
right: Learning German pronunciation at Café Eden. 

During a walking tour of Düsseldorf’s refugee neighborhoods, two members of BUNDjugend (the youth division of Germany’s green party) shared their stories of fleeing to Germany and gave the students global context about wealth distribution and migration

  The guides (Nadir from Bangladesh, Mohammad from Syria and Jochen from Germany) made the facts stick with immersive activities and pop quizzes!

 At Düsseldorf’s art collection K21, the students learned about labor and language via a private tour of the new Raqs Media Collective exhibit.


The reward for climbing 82 feet to the top of K21’s piazza was getting to hang from Thomas Saraceno’s sky-suspended netting installation!

Under a rigorous schedule full of research in seven cities, (guest) lectures, product prototype production and more, the group found the perfect match in KITEV’s fast-paced passionate work style.

Christoph Stark, founder of the initiative KITEV ( “Kunst Im Turm” =art in the tower) welcomed the LMU group to Oberhausen, a city 40 miles north of Düsseldorf, and got right to work.

The students, wide-eyed with possibility after the tour of the multistory, protean water tower, were tasked with the challenge to make an immediate positive contribution to Kitev’s efforts. Stark was not short on ideas and hardly shy about informing students that preconceived notions of how to help refugees, artists and other community members with whom Kitev works, may need to be put aside.

Stark gave the group three options: those who wanted to design solutions and create visuals could stay in the water tower, those who were up for manual labor were welcomed to the warehouse/kitchen and those interested in a nap were offered beanbags. The first group, led by Dobson and mainly consisting of graphic design majors, worked with Kitev’s, Agnieszka Wnuczak, and Gesina Rath, to address Kitev’s undertaking to serve food at West Germany’s largest contemporary theater, proceeds of which will benefit the Refugee Kitchen. The second group followed Stark across the street where they were to clean up the warehouse and help Refugee Kitchen chef Ahmad Abbas and volunteers Selma and Imad Itef, cook DRamadan dinner for the theatre guests. The beanbags remained empty.

Over the delicious Ramadan spread, which included chicken and rice, a vegetarian tahini dish, dates and more, students made friends with Oberhausen Theater guests and reflected on the first day of their Kitev collaboration. “My mom always talks about her own escape from political unrest in Nicaragua. But working in the kitchen with the chefs who are seeking refuge today was the first time I really felt personally connected to the turmoil of migration,” said LMU studio arts student, Michael Mahammadie-Sabet.

By the next visit, the students had already begun to adapt to the Kitev’s zippy and innovative process. The design group presented mood boards and spatial plans to Stark for his feedback. The warehouse group jumped into the kitchen for another dinner preparation and some continued to clear the space, a few even used power tools for the first time! When Mohammad and Nek from Afghanistan, invited students to help with the upholstery of their signature maximum comfort denim couches, a student from each group joined. They showed the two students how to prepare discarded materials for repurposing and taught them how to sew—from bobbin winding to stitching.

With Kitev’s Refugee Kitchen, the students cooked and served Ramadan meals, restored an old warehouse, had a jam session and learned to use powertools and sewing machines.

Instead of squeezing the collaboration with Kitev into their existing syllabus projects, the students were able to learn how they could be helpful to Kitev and its beneficiaries in the way the latter wanted to be helped. This came from listening, learning, observation and hands on project work. A huge success was the collaboration’s realization of what Dobson’s syllabus describes as, “designing with rather than just for the community,” and the fostering of “self-awareness and personal development as a social design entrepreneur.”

Design students and marketing minds got their design fix during an exclusive curator-led tour of the Peter Behrens exhibition at MAKK Cologne (Museum of Applied Arts). The retrospective, which marked what would have been Behrens’ 150th birthday, includes about 230 objects, each showing one of the many diverse contributions Behrens made to the history of design. Students gathered packaging design inspiration for their projects starting in the book cover themed room as they learned of the revolutionary nature of Behrens’ illustrations at the time.The students also enjoyed their climb to the top of the Cologne Cathedral, where they were shown behind-the-scenes architectural and sculptural restoration efforts. Part of the charm of the Cathedral is the on-going efforts to preserve and secure the Cathedral, allowing the city to take pride in scaffolding as a permanent visual in the structure’s aesthetic.

Also on the tour is the Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge which is the home to thousands of love stories. The public is welcomed to place “love padlocks” on the gates that line the bridge as a procclaimation of romance.

While in Berlin the group visited the art exhibition Food Revolution 5.0 at the Kunstgewerbemuseum. During the guided tour the students learned about future challenges for global food production and diminishing resources, explored new sustainable technologies in product packaging and discussed the appealing design of digital food and Sea Meat, a substitute made out of seaweed. Equipped with aprons and a multitude of toppings ranging from pink Himalayan salt to Goji berries the students created their own signature square shaped Rittersport chocolate bar. While the bars where cooling off, the group was designing the custom made packaging.

Culinary creativity was improved at Rittersport chocolate workshop in downtown Berlin.

 First hand industry knowledge and career advice was given at AKQA’s Amsterdam offices. The digital agency specializes in creating digital services and products for clients such as Nike or Nestlé. During the interactive workshop students learned about the extensive tasks of an art director, project management from start to finish and how the digital world is transforming in the future. 

  Part of the ​ excursion was also a visit at Amsterdam's Shipyard de Ceuvel, one of the most unique and sustainable urban developments in Europe. As well as a visit at modern and contemporary Art MOCO Museum, where students enjoyed  pieces by Banksy and Roy Lichtenstein.

The Global Imagination group wrapped up the program, exactly where it started - in Düsseldorf!

All people and parties involved in the five week journey throughout Europe, were invited to the students’ final project presentations. The shark tank alike audience had to select their personal product idea favorite by investing either the total of 2,000 EUR in one group or splitting the money among two groups. The audience saw most potential in group: FRISCH, fresh popsicles made by refugees with local ingredients. And in group: BATCH BAR; handmade snack bars that treasure a taste of home for refugees.

Once the last presentation was held, the room was transformed into a dinning venue for Italian cuisine and the guests celebrated the successful end to LMU’s first ever Global Imagination Summer cohort, while enjoying pizza and pasta extravaganza.

 To see our program video click here.


AIB Team



AIB Guest Lecture by Klaus Prömpers

AIB Guest Lecture by Klaus Prömpers

Last Friday, we had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Klaus Prömpers at AIB for a guest lecture.

Mr. Prömpers, who has worked for several publishers and broadcasters in print, radio and television such as the WDR and ZDF, briefly talked about the challenges of modern journalism addressing phenomena such as fake news, alternative facts, as well as social media and journalism in today’s turbulent times.

The students and faculty from Texas A&M and Lafayette Language and Culture program, CCC Summer DOK and the Butler Creative Media and Entertainment program attended the talk and actively participated in the subsequent discussion and Q&A.

We would like to thank Klaus Prömpers and everyone at the guest lecture for the interesting talk.


AIB Team



AIB Charity Weekend 2018

AIB Charity Weekend 2018

 For its fifth anniversary, more than 80 of our students participated in the 2018 AIB Charity Weekend!

After the students got involved in five volunteering projects during the Big Event Charity Day on Saturday, the Bonn Marathon on Sunday complemented this eventful weekend for our students from Texas A&M University, Loyola Marymount University and Penn State University.

Big Event / Charity Day – April 14

In the spirit of its Texan original more than 400 students from universities in Texas, California and Pennsylvania have engaged in numerous charity projects since 2014, doing good for the people of Bonn, their home abroad. Cleaning, gardening, helping the elderly or even contributing to local refugee support initiatives – our students have given back to the local community on various occasions. This year, the students swarmed out to volunteer at the Zentrallager Sachspenden, the Grüne Spielstadt, the Haus am Redoutenpark, the voluntary fire brigade Bonn-Mitte and the Nature Island Pennenfeld!

Bonn Marathon / Charity Run – April 15

Perfect conditions invited more than 10.000 people from all over the world to participate in the Bonn Marathon run on sunday. Seven AIB relay teams and eight half-marathon runners contributed to a fantastic atmosphere fueled by thousands of spectators who came out for support and cheered for the runners. Aside from all the fun and in the light of the marathon as a part of the AIB Charity Weekend the students were also able to collect a considerable amount of donations for the Marol Academy in South Sudan.

Follow this link for a General Anzeiger Bonn-article covering our students in action during the Charity Weekend:

Translated version here!


AIB Team


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