Thank you, Lauren, for your account of your time abroad with AIB and the Texas A&M Health program!
"When I initially signed up to participate in a study abroad program with AIB, I had no idea the impact that it would have on my life. I was just excited to go to Europe and travel on the free weekends. Luckily for me, I was able to experience that and so much more.
By living with a host family and using public transportation to commute to school, I was fully immersed in the German culture and able to build life-lasting relationships with my host home family, program coordinator, and AIB student workers.
My host home parents were incredible human beings. I turned 20 in the middle of my program, and they made me a birthday picnic with cake and presents. I never expected to feel so loved and celebrated 5,000 miles away from home. My program allowed three weekends to freely travel in Europe, but I chose to stay in Bonn the last weekend to spend more time with my host family, and I am so grateful that I did! We biked along the Rhine River, hiked to see beautiful scenery, went to church together, attended an outdoor concert, and cooked barbeque at their son’s farm. That weekend in Bonn was my favorite of the whole trip.
Thankfully, the relationships didn’t end there. The AIB student workers were so friendly and always eager to help. My program coordinator was nothing short of greatness. He didn’t treat our group like we were his job, but he treated us as friends. The day our program ended, we all went separate ways to different airports and destinations, and he was officially off of the clock, but he stayed and helped everyone get to where they needed to be, even though his job didn’t require him and he wasn’t getting paid for it.
My time in Bonn exceeded all of my expectations; I never expected to love it as much as I did. I left with tears in my eyes and gratitude overflowing in my heart. Thank you, AIB, for the best five weeks of my life!"
Halfway through their adventure in Germany, Lafayette College German students found themselves on a week-long excursion to Austria. They spent three days in beautiful Vienna, exploring the historical and cultural metropolis, and then made their way to the „Wachau Cultural Landscape“, a valley west of Vienna with a picturesque landscape formed by the Danube river.
This is how student Dan W. experienced the excursion:
"Traveling to Vienna was a fantastic experience, as the city was beautiful and we were able to experience so much of the city in such a short period of time. One was able to immerse completely in Viennese culture, and it was incredibly easy to get around the city and see all of the noteworthy sites. Although I greatly enjoyed our time in the city, I personally think that the Wachau portion of our Austria excursion was especially wonderful. Specifically, the day on which we rented bikes was my favorite day of the entire trip thus far. We had very beautiful, if not slightly too-hot, weather the entire trip, and this day was especially beautiful. I love riding bikes, but I’ve never been able to ride a bike in such a beautiful place before. It was very surreal being able to ride along a path with mountains and ruins of castles on one side and the beautiful river and towns on the other. The vineyards which we biked through were also extremely beautiful, and the entire landscape we saw was just incredibly aesthetic. All of the stops we made along the bike ride were very interesting and scenic, and I learned a lot about the region while also having a lot of fun. I especially loved being able to hike on this day, as hiking and exploring/adventuring are some of my favorite things to do. The ruins of the old castle were very neat and cool to climb around on, and the view from the top of the mountain was incredible. Standing upon the castle, one was able to see the entire valley and all the way to the horizon in every direction. Overall, I loved the entire visit to Wachau, as it felt like a truly immersive and different experience as compared to what we have experienced thus far. I loved feeling separated from society and the city, and I especially loved being able to be so active and involved in nature."
The AIB summer programs are in full swing with some students already headed back home. However, a few programs are still on their summer study abroad adventure. The Texas A&M University Sustainable Communities program spent two days in Rotterdam to learn about green and sustainable practices.
This is how student Kyle M. describes the excursion:
“My trip to Rotterdam was just another great learning opportunity on this amazing month-long journey. Rotterdam’s skyline architecture, sustainability practices, and resilience measures are something like I haven’t seen before. From the simplest hostel to the twisting high rises, their design is something unique and beautiful. Green roofs and permeable surfaces scatter the landscape for rainwater capture, and bike lanes litter the landscape for a source of clean transportation. Finally, The Maeslant Barrier and other flood prevention actions like it can only be described as highly innovative and otherworldly in scale. Even the city itself and its people seemed very friendly and inviting with old town main streets that will remind anyone of home. Rotterdam has chosen to lead the way on these fronts and are a model for others to follow. There, the future is priority and that can be seen every single day. Whether it’s the social consciousness of its people or actions carried out by the city itself it’s apparent that longevity is the mission. Going green is just their tool.
Opportunities to see these sorts of places do not come often, and I’m beyond thankful for a university who partners with such an extraordinary program to give us these opportunities. Taking back what I’ve learned in my time here is a life-changing experience, and I can’t wait to share my newfound knowledge back home!”
PC: Tristan L. PC: Tristan L.
PC: Matthew U.
It is an extraordinary art installation: Hundreds of smiling Ludwig van Beethoven statues in green and gold fill Bonn’s Münsterplatz right now.
The artist Ottmar Hörl went against Beethoven’s trademark look of unhappiness and gave him a Mona Lisa smile, which we can appreciate!
By now more than 1000 of the statues have been sold already. The installation will be removed on June 2, so the AIB Ludwig will arrive some time in summer.
Read the full GA-Article about the art project here.
Hard to believe, but true: The Spring Term 2019 has come to an end and our students left last week after some happy/sad/emotional farewell events. Thank you to all our spring students for a great term and we hope to see you again!
Texas A&M Bioscience Penn State Landscape Architecture
Texas A&M VIZ
LMU Theater Lafayette Engineering and LMU Science