Major receives American students who spend their semester in Bonn
The American students, who followed the invitation to Bonn's City Hall, never got tired of looking at the beautiful building. “I have walked past it quite often, but it is great to finally see it from the inside”, says Alex Franco from California. Since 1993, the Akademie für Internationale Bildung (Academy for International Education), located at Adenauerallee, facilitates study abroad opportunities for foreign in Bonn. About 80 students arrived to Germany three weeks ago and are going to stay until mid-May. It’s time to welcome them officially to Bonn.
In her welcoming speech, Major Gabriele Klingmüller emphasized the good relation to the United States. She chose the small chapel in the American village in Plittersdorf, a district of Bonn, as an example, which was a gift from Bill Clinton to the city of Bonn. She named “Bonn's five pillars”: science, economy and culture, and Bonn’s profile as Federal City and City of the United Nations.
Almost 400 students visit Germany per year and study for one semester at the AIB. The 80 newcomers come from different universitie located in California, Texas and Pennsylvania, and are enrolled in study programs like Theater, Landscape Architecture or Visualization. “These are the people who want to work at Pixar Animation Studios”, says Kristin Vosbeck, program-coordinator at AIB since 2011. Usually professors from America join their students in coming to Germany and continue teaching here.
However, even though the daily classes are held in English, Fenja Wittneven-Welter, program-coordinator and German teacher at AIB since 2007, attaches great importance to German language acquisition. Students take a German class at the AIB and practice their German at home with their local host families. Welcoming host families are always wanted, says Ms. Vosbeck. “The only requirements are a spare room, openness and a hot meal per day. We are still looking for host families this summer in order to house students for the Parlamentarian Partnership Program (PPP). The PPP is a cooperation between the U.S. Congress and the German Bundestag, which gives young professionals the chance to experience 6 weeks in Bonn before pursuing a yearlong internship in the electoral district of the delegates responsible. Fenja Wittneven-Welter and Kristin Vosbeck stress the importance of a good support system. Vosbeck, who has been abroad several times herself, knows of the ups and downs one can experience while studying abroad. She enjoys accompanying her students into independence. Fenja Wittneven-Welter emphasizes how important cultural exchange is to overcome stereotypes and prejudices.
Every year the students say thank you for the hospitality they receive by performing a Theater play at the Marabu Theater and by running an AIB Charity Day in April where they support non-profit organizations
The original article was written in German and printed in the "General Anzeiger":
Is there still Plague in Vienna?
Although the answer is obviously "no", the Texas A&M Biosciences students put aside reality for a few hours and took all preventative measures as they toured this ancient medical hub with their certified Plague doctor and tour guide, Dr. Schnabel. True to his character, this elusive guide made sure each student was properly immunized against the plague with the following three "tried-and-true" plague deterrents: a clove, some "urine" (which was actually the popular Austrian soda, Almdudler), and white vinegar.
As the students toured the city, they learned the history of medical development in Vienna and its contributions to the rest of the world, including the first mental hospital in Europe, an advanced medical school, and of course Sigmund Freud.