News & Events

AIB and PTB collaborate on a Project in Kenya

AIB and PTB collaborate on a Project in Kenya

A Talk with AIB Graduates Taylor Zann and Sarah Franke about their Recent Trip to Kenya:


“In this day and age, you never know what’s going to show up next in your email inbox. It was a typical February morning when I got one particular email that got my mind churning. It was from AIB, the school I studied abroad with in Germany a few years ago, and they were looking for two graduates to join an excursion to Kenya to help film a documentary on quality infrastructure. Fast forward a few weeks, and I was in the heart of an African marketplace, camera in hand, with another AIB graduate, Sarah, and together we were making a movie!”


“Last month, we had the opportunity to travel to Nairobi, Kenya with the National Metrological Institute of Germany (PTB). Having had a positive experience working with AIB film students in 2015, the folks at PTB reached out to AIB again for this project, a short video about quality infrastructure throughout Africa - which for us began with learning what quality infrastructure is. Turns out it encompasses a lot, but the gist of it is that in order for people to trust the products and services that they encounter in their everyday lives, there is a lot of testing and standardization work that needs to be done. For example, how can someone trust that they are getting the correct amount of gasoline at the pump, and that the gasoline itself is up to national standards? We followed the men and women who test and measure the gasoline and equipment, so as to provide assurance that consumers are receiving a quality product. The ultimate goal of the video was to demonstrate the importance of this type of work. Our time in Nairobi included visits to several local villages and shops, two days shooting at a local standards and testing laboratory, and the highlight of our trip was a safari in Nairobi National Park (20 minutes outside of the city), where we saw zebras, giraffes, lions, hippos, antelope, buffalo, and more (so cool)!”


“It was really amazing to be given such an opportunity. Not every student can say they’ve gone to Africa to help make a film, so I just feel really grateful to both AIB and PTB for the experience. There were definitely some real-life learning experiences along the way, and I personally took a lot of valuable insights away from it all, but most of all it was an honor to be included in such an adventure.”


“Neither of us had done video work in Africa before, and it was most definitely a learning experience! We were met with some skepticism as foreigners walking around with our camera equipment, and so we had more trouble than we anticipated finding local people willing to speak on camera. This was an important lesson to learn so that we can prepare for similar barriers like this on future film excursions. That being said, the Kenyan people we got to know were very warm and charismatic, and we learned a lot in the process, both about quality infrastructure and life in Nairobi. We returned to AIB having gained experience, connections, and insight, and we are certainly thankful for the opportunity!


 Thank you!


- Taylor Zann (AIB alumni film student 2014) and Sarah Franke (AIB alumni film student 2013)





Taylor Zann, Sarah Franke



American Students Help Protect Local Species

American Students Help Protect Local Species

On February 8th and 9th, eighteen students from Loyola Marymount University’s Science programs partnered with the Biologische Station Bonn/Rhein-Erft to help restore and protect the hills in the south of Bonn. These students were studying abroad at the Akademie für Internationale Bildung in Bonn. Thanks to the Sparkasse KölnBonn and their financial donation of 2800 euros, the LMU Science students gave a helping hand in any way they could. This experience taught them many things about sustainability projects in Bonn such as the trimming of Head Willows and protecting Wall Lizards.

While one group tore down and rebuilt fences, the other group did raking in a pit area. The raking was needed in order to clear off the leaves and debris from the hills in the area. These hills are used in the summer as a habitat for lizards. These particular lizards need sunlight in order to control their body temperature. It was amazing to see the difference after raking the entire area. The hills were cleared of excess branches and leaves and the whole site was ready for the sunbathing lizards.

During the biostation project, LMU students assisted with the replacement of 5 fences. The fences are located in pastures where goats and sheep graze during the summer.  These fences are designed to protect certain bushes and trees from the grazing animals.  It is important to protect these plants because they provide habitat for certain bird species that are important to Bonn. The first step when replacing fencing is to remove the old fence.  Then new holes were drilled into the ground at 1.5 meter intervals.  These holes hold long fence posts that are pounded into the ground using a device called a post hammer. Next, the new fencing is unrolled and held against the fence posts at the proper height for installation.  It is important that the fencing does not touch the ground when installed so water does not seep up and cause damage to the wooden posts.  The fencing is attached to the fence posts by drilling screws through the wooden slats in the fencing to the fence posts. The fencing is secured temporarily with twist ties in a few places.  This is important so Biostation workers can access the plants within the fencing for maintenance later.

On Day 2, since the raking was completed, a group of students went around the same area of the pit to clear out large wooden debris. This involved checking the fences along the walking paths for their stability. If the portion of the fence was not stable, it was knocked down and carried to a collection site that would be picked up at the end of the day. Some of the fences were already knocked over which made it easier to clear the wood. Larger logs along the path were also cleared and any unsafe debris that would cause harm to the visitors to the area. The broken fences were a big issue to the surrounding habitat in the area. Since there were no fences, the visitors would walk along grasslands and hills that were a part of the natural landscape and disturb the habitats of the animals. The Biologische Station stated that the fence would soon be rebuilt since the broken areas were now cleared.

The second project completed on day 2 of the Biostation Project was continuing to build the fencing that was started on day one.  This required lots of heavy lifting and lead to sore arms and blisters the next day.  But it was all worth it when the fencing was completed and they could see their hard work come to fruition.  The primary goal of the fencing was to protect the trees from sheep that grazed the land, as the trees are home to birds’ nests. With the project financed by Sparkasse KölnBonn, the LMU students had two fun-filled days of hard work and education about sustainability programs in Bonn, not to mention plenty of bonding.

Check out the video on the Biostation Project here.




Katherine Wright, Kaitlyn Chadwick, Colleen McLamb



AIB Big Event 2017

AIB Big Event 2017

For the fourth time already, AIB students and staff engaged in the AIB Charity Day. Together, they seeked to say Thanks to the Bonn Community on Saturday, March 25th through many voluntary projects across the city. This year, the students campaigned for the central store of donations in kind (especially for refugees), for the “Grüne Spielstadt Dransdorf”, for a retirement home in Bad Godesberg and for the community garden “Pennenfeld”.

The idea originates from students from the Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, which is organizing the “Big Event” every year – based on the motto “A big day, a big thank-you, a Big Event”. On this day, thousands of students demonstrate social commitment for the community altogether.

The primary concern of the Charity Day – in addition to the aid projects – is to involve our students in the local structures in Bonn, to get in touch with community members and to support projects for the young and the young at heart that span generations.

The General Anzeiger, a regional newspaper here in Bonn, reported on the charity efforts. Check out the article here (German only).
The official AIB Big Event 2017 video is available here.

On Sunday, April 2nd many students also took part in the Bonn Marathon together with the AIB staff. The donations from sponsors were used to support our partner organization in South Sudan, the Marol Academy for underprivileged children.

Being part of the Texas A&M University's BIG Event was a great honor and we cannot wait for next year to participate again.







AIB Team



Theater/VIZ Festival

Theater/VIZ Festival

Virago Alala!

(English information see below)

Über das Stück:

Amazonen, Druiden, Syrer, Kelten, Abolitionisten, Apachen und friedliche Widerstandskämpfer der Weißen Rose... mutige Viragines (Frauen mit verstärkt maskulinen Geist; weibliche Krieger) aus der ganzen Welt und der gesamten Geschichte treffen in einer anderen Dimension aufeinander; in einer Welt ohne Raum und Zeit, nur mit Sinn und Liebe. Jede von ihnen bekommt die Möglichkeit, wissentlich ein Leben voller Schmerzen und Qualen für die Allgemeinheit zu führen, um damit andere zu retten, den Schwachen und Vergessenen zu helfen, die Unterdrückten und Verfolgten zu befreien... Werden sie diese Herausforderung annehmen? Würdest Du es tun?

Konzeption und Arrangement: Diane Benedict
Regie: Diane Benedict & Marcus Violette
Choreographie: Marcus Violette & Skaska Thylmann
Musikarrangement: Michael Barfuss
Kostüme: Jorinde Thlymann
Licht: Stephan Kraske
Percussion: Roberto Hurtado Salgado

Eine Kooperation der Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles und der Akademie für Internationalen Bildung Bonn.

27. April / 20 Uhr Premiere – Einlass & Vernissage ab 19 Uhr
28. April / 20 Uhr
29. April / 14 Uhr

Theater im Ballsaal
Frongasse 9
53121 Bonn-Endenich

Kostenlose Tickets hier online buchbar. (Einlass nur mit Reservierung)

Weitere Informationen:

Parallel zum Theaterstück, als Ergebnis einer interdisziplinären, programmübergreifenden Annäherung an ein gemeinsames Thema, haben Studierende des Fachbereiches Visualisierung der Texas A&M University in Zusammenarbeit mit der Akademie für Internationale Bildung ihre eigene Definition von „Heldinnen“ gefunden und zeigen ihre multimedialen Semesterarbeiten im Foyer des Theater.

Die Studenten haben sich intensiv mit dem Begriff der Heldin beschäftigt und durch kritische Hinterfragung Themen wie Courage, Gleichberechtigung, Gerechtigkeit und Aktivismus beleuchtet.

Lassen Sie sich auf eine Reise durch Zeiten, Räume und Geschichten mitnehmen; und stellen Sie sich dabei selbst die Frage: was macht einen Helden, was macht eine Heldin für mich aus?

Die Ausstellung ist an allen drei Aufführungstagen zu sehen und öffnet jeweils eine Stunde vor Vorstellungsbeginn. Die Ausstellung ist kostenlos und öffentlich zugänglich; für das Theaterstück benötigen Sie eine Reservierung (hier buchbar).

Konzeption: Stephanie Brandt, Sonja Weber und Studierende der Texas A&M University



About the play:

Amazons, Druids, Syrians, Celts, Abolitionists, Apache Indians, and peaceful resisters from Die Weiße Rose… courageous Viragos (women of masculine strength and spirit; a female warrior) from all over the world, and throughout history, meet in another dimension, a place with no time or place, only purpose and love.  Each is given a choice to knowingly accept a life of pain and suffering for the greater good… saving others, helping the weak or forgotten, freeing the oppressed or persecuted… Do they accept? Would you?

Conceived and Arranged by Diane Benedict
Directed by Diane Benedict & Marcus Violette
Choreography by Marcus Violette and Skaska Thylmann
Music Arrangements & Direction by Michael Barfuss
Costumes by Jorinde Thylmann
Lighting by Stephan Kraske
Percussion: Roberto Hurtado Salgado

 A cooperation with Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles and the Academy for International Education Bonn.

THU April 27 / 8 PM Opening Night – Admission & Vernissage from 7 PM
FRI   April 28 / 8 PM
SAT April 29 / 2 PM

Theater im Ballsaal
Frongasse 9
53121 Bonn-Endenich

Free tickets available here. (Admission only with reservation.) 

More Information:

In addition to the theater play, as a result of an interdisciplinary cross-program approach to an overarching topic, students from the Visualization Department at Texas A&M University in collaboration with the Academy for International Education found their own definition of “Heroines” and will be presenting their multimedia semester projects at the theater’s foyer.

The students took a closer look at the notion of heroine while asking themselves critical questions and intensively investigating related themes such as courage, equal rights, justice, and activism.

Led by the students designs, go on a journey through time, space and stories; and expose yourself to the question: what defines a hero or heroine for me?

The exhibition is accessible on all three performance days and opens one hour before the Theater performance. The exhibit is free and open to the public; in order to see the theater play, prior reservation is necessary. Free tickets available here.

Curated by: Stephanie Brandt, Sonja Weber und Visualization students from the Texas A&M University







APRIL 29, 2017 - 4:30 PM / 16:30 Uhr

Our Bac and Science students from Loyola Marymount University warmly invite you to this year’s Farewell Church Service of the Spring 2017 semester at Namen-Jesu Church in Bonn.

The church service will be prepared by the students as a project of their theology course. The church will also give space for an exhibition of the student’s art projects.

We are looking forward having you and celebrating the end of the semester together!

Invitation (english)


Unsere BAC und Science Studenten der Loyola Marymount Universität laden herzlich zum diesjährigen Abschlussgottesdienst des Spring 2017 Semesters in die Namen-Jesu-Kirche, Bonn ein.

Der Gottesdienst wurde als Projekt des Theologiekurses von den Studenten selbst gestaltet und ist gleichzeitig Ausstellungsort einiger Kunstprojekte der Studenten.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihr Kommen und einen schönen gemeinsamen Ausklang des Semesters!

Einladung (deutsch)



AIB Team


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