Great Atmosphere, great game!
Last night students and staff enjoyed the friendly match at Cologne stadium and cheered for both teams. Congratulations, U.S. Boys, you played the better soccer tonight!
As part of AIB's traditional „Charity Weekend“, thirty AIB students, instructors and staff participated in the traditional „AIB Charity Run“ (Bonn Marathon), on April 19, 2015, in order to collect donations for a good cause: the Marol Academy in South Sudan – and to finish the ominous 26 miles through Bonn's inner city.
Under sunny skies and cheered on by thousands of supporters on the sides of the streets, seven relay teams and one full marathon-runner finished their runs in great times and enjoyed their success at AIB's after-run party over some carb-heavy foods and other refreshments.
It was a great event for the students, AIB and Marol Academy, and a tradition that will certainly be held up in 2016!
Over 70 students from three different universities participated in the second International Big Event in Bonn, including 37 Aggies. Engaging in the Big Event with not only other Aggies, but also students from Loyola Marymount University in California, students from Penn State University in Pennsylvania, and German student workers was an incredibly special experience for the Aggies who were involved. The chance to give back to a new community in the Aggie style has uniquely enriched these students’ semester abroad.
On Saturday, April 18th, ten groups of students headed from out into their new community alongside German AIB student workers and American university faculty to thank the Bonners for their hospitality. The ten projects ranged from trash clean up and painting to yard work and gardening.
One project had a personal note for professor Arthur Gross-Schaefer from Loyola Marymount University. A tree was planted in a Jewish cemetery in the nearby city of Königswinter. The project involved not only the manual labor of basic landscaping care for the cemetery, but also a coming together of the students to hear Jewish prayers and hold a time of reflection. Rabbi Gross-Schaefer had the chance to share some Jewish traditions with his students, including giving them the opportunity to participate in the practice of leaving small stones on grave sites as a gesture of remembrance for the deceased. It was a powerful moment for the students and a unique educational opportunity for the faculty. The LMU students who participated on that project were excited to have started a tradition of their own: taking an oath to visit their tree anytime they return to the Rhineland.
Another culturally significant project involved cleaning up the grounds of the Bonner Godesburg, an ancient fortress in Bonn. Students there tidied the grounds around the tower with gloves and trash bags. One Aggie on that project expressed “finding a sense of accomplishment in a full bag” and an appreciation for working on such a project with students from the other universities. In a sentiment that sums up this semester abroad, the students also very much enjoyed the majesty of the ancient tower and the magnificent view from the top.
All of the students who served on a project team were more than happy to have given back to the community they have been living in for the past three months. But, it was especially impactful for the A&M students. Moments like the Big Event are what make Aggies proud to be Aggies, and sharing this tradition with a new community in a new country has made these Aggies very proud indeed.
The Spring 2015 Science Program from Loyola Marymount University joined efforts with conservationists and a volunteer nature protector group to save endangered frogs in the Bonn Rein Erft area. Their Biostation project was to build artificial ponds in the Beuel region to allow for the surivial of the frog reproduction in that region. The holes of the pond were first dug out before applying a tarp layer and gravel to the hole. At the end of two very tiring days, they constructed 3 ponds, and restored an old pond! Many thanks to the Science group and the volunteers!
Saturday April 18 - “Simply saying thank you” 70 US-American students volunteer for Bonn by taking part in the International Big Event 2015
This Saturday, our 70 American guest students will take action together to thank the Bonners for their hospitality. It is the second year that AIB will host the International Big Event to provide students with the opportunity to give back to the local community. The Big Event originates from Texas A&M University, our partner in College Station, Texas. (bigevent.tamu.edu)
In the spirit of the mission statement 'One big day, one big thanks, one big event' thousands of A&M students volunteer within the community once a year. It is the largest one-day, student-run service project in the USA. In 2014, the Big Event went international, for the first time and Bonn became the biggest project location outside the USA. By hosting the International Big Event, we aim to encourage our students to get involved with the local community. Among others, a clean-up project at the Bonner Godesburg (godesburg-bonn.de) is planned, as well as a gardening project at the Jewish cemetery in Königswinter. Our groups from Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas), Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California) and Penn State University (State College, Pennsylvania) are looking forward to meeting their project partners on April 18, 2015.
On Sunday, our students will participate in the Bonn Marathon. Not only will this be a great experience for students and staff, but they will actively help raise money for the AIB affiliated Marol Academy, an NGO in South Sudan that supports educational projects for underprivileged children (marolacademysudan.org). The donations will be used for new classrooms, education for the teachers and improvements to the educational program. We look forward to seeing all our students, faculty and staff on Sunday - either running or cheering!