In the early hours of Wednesday morning, a small group of AIB students bundled themselves in scarves, coats and gloves, and set out into the city streets towards the train station, where they boarded a train to Düsseldorf.
Meanwhile, it was evening in America. But this was not an average evening: the whole nation was on edge for this consequential moment. The biggest event in America had arrived once again. A new President was about to be elected. Would Hillary succeed in breaking through her setbacks and make history as the first woman president? Or would Trump do the unthinkable, defying all conventional political wisdom, and achieve victory? As this group of students got to witness, not only was America on edge about this decision. It was a consequential moment for the Germans as well.
The U.S. Consulate General invited AIB to bring a group of students to attend the American Election Breakfast in Düsseldorf, where the election results would be broadcasted and analyzed by political, economic and cultural experts. When the students arrived at the event, they were delighted to be welcomed with a truly American breakfast! There were eggs, biscuits, bacon, and desserts – and coffee, of course. Shortly thereafter the entertainment began, as they watched the results come in live, state-by-state. At last, the decisive moment came: Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
Each of the students naturally had their own opinion about the outcome of the election, but there was one thing about which they all agreed: the breakfast was delicious!
Dear AIB Friends & Family,
we are happy to announce two wonderful reasons to celebrate.
Our new Website is finally online and we hope you will have fun browsing.
We are happy to kick-off our News & Events feature with celebrating an important anniversary: Happy 25th Anniversary to our New Europe Program!
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the AIB’s cooperation with LMU, we received a great surprise: Sister Mary Beth Ingham visited us to celebrate with our students. Sister Mary Beth Ingham is a long-time LMU Philosophy professor. She continues to serve the academic community in various capacities, including her service as a member of LMU’s Board of Trustees. Inspired by her own experiences studying abroad, Sister Mary Beth drew from those experiences and began to design the Bonn New Europe Program with AIB in the late 1980’s. In the Fall semester of 1992, the first 15 students began the program. The New Europe Program is the longest-running study abroad program at LMU and just went through a little makeover: Along with modifications in the course concept, the name of the program changed into Business Arts & Communication Program.
For 25 years, this program has continued to uphold the mission statement Sister Mary Beth Ingham and the AIB formulated many years ago, and we will continue to do so with the new name:
The Business Arts & Communication program educates the student as a whole person in an environment that brings together challenging academic, professional and cultural components within an international setting.
Here are some pictures and a video sequence for you to see the students celebrate this wonderful anniversary with Zwiebelkuchen (German Onion cake), and a big anniversary cake. Thanks everyone for your warm wishes and thank you, Sister Mary Beth, for all the energy and effort you put into the program and for coming back to Bonn to celebrate with us!
Our landscape architecture and urban planning students from Texas A&M and Penn State University took an excursion 66 km northwest of Bonn to a site called Metabolon. Metabolon is a redevelopment project that has transformed a waste disposal site into an educational and recreational facility, bringing a positive public purpose to an otherwise negatively-perceived space. It also functions as an innovation site for material conversion and sustainability techniques.
Following the educational part of their excursion, it was time for recreation: the students ascended the seemingly endless stairway leading to the top of the landfill. As one of the students described it, "It feels like we're climbing the pyramids right now." It was a long climb, but it was certainly worth it.
On the top of the landfill, visitors find a playpark to enjoy as they overlook the beautiful view of the Lindlar region. Some of the students relaxed on the built-in seating areas, others jumped on the miniature trampolines, and many took great photos. A brief presentation by the tour guide followed, and then it was time to begin the descent and return to Bonn.
At Metabolon, the students had a unique opportunity to engage with ideas about the multiple uses of space, issues of public perception and the management of that perception, sustainability in multiple forms of waste disposal, and the challenges and rewards of opening private industrial areas to public visitation – all while having a blast!
Landscape architecture and urban planning students from PSU und TAMU collaborate in creating pieces of public art.
AIB strives to provide interdisciplinary programs for our students that bring them into collaboration with professionals and practitioners, encouraging them to think critically and creatively across disciplines.
From September 13 to the 16th, students from Texas A&M and Penn State University engaged in an art workshop that exemplified these goals. The workshop, entitled "3.94 Kilometers," brought landscape architecture and urban planning students from both universities into collaboration. Their assignment was to create a piece of public art, within a 3.94 Kilometer strip along the railway tracks.
Working together in groups of three or four, the students surveyed the area for a "point of interest" in which to construct their project. They then created an artistic piece to modify that public space. Finally, they implemented their art piece, recorded it and projected the recording through AIB's window back into public space.
Thorsten Goldberg, an artist who specializes in art in public space came in from Berlin to lead the workshop. The workshop, he said, was designed with the intention of helping the students "experience a more open approach, another way of working with public space, another possibility to interact technically, but also with the people." He added:" I hope they will see in the end that experimenting or playing with a situation has nothing to do with childishness or with being ridiculous. But looking at things from another angle, and truly questioning what is given, leads to new answers, or leads to new tools. And this is what's needed. This is what I hope."
AIB landscape architecture faculty member, Bruno Röver, urban planning professor June Martin from Texas A&M University an Marina Thelen, AIB's TA, worked with Goldberg in offering guidance and feedback to the students throughout the workshop. The workshop was a resounding success. As one of the students from Texas A&M, Colin Moffett, reflected, "This workshop taught me not to be afraid to let my creative side flow. Even if it's abstract, that’s okay. Even if it doesn't really make sense at first, it doesn't have to make sense to everyone. You know, it just needs to be yours, and it needs to fulfill a purpose. And if it fulfills that purpose−that's what it's created to do. And that's it. That's enough."
Loyola Marymount University film students had the opportunity to develop their own creative scenes using a simple script with infinite possibilities. Titled "Ice Cream," this script consists of one character that wonders why the second has not brought him back ice cream from the market. The fact that the script describes a quite short and mundane exchange between two people makes it all the more challenging for students to come up with interesting characters and backstories to make a good short film. Before this assignment, the LMU students had two opportunities to film different versions of the scene while taking turns recording sound, working the camera, directing, and acting. After critiquing each others' work, the students were instructed to take the script one step further. Rather than just one scene, Professor Andrew Hood suggested that the students split up into pairs to construct a longer film that was able to incorporate the "Ice Cream" script as well as feature a clear beginning scene, middle scene, and concluding scene to tie in a relevant backstory and additional information about the two characters. Luckily, the film students were able to work with amazing German theatre students from Alanus University (Alanus Hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft) so that they could stick to their work behind the camera as directors and cinematographers. Instead of only functioning as actors, however, the German students were also producers of the films that they were a part of. On their first day meeting the pair of Americans they'd be working with, the German students immediately contributed ideas for locations to shoot, costumes, and important qualities of the characters they would soon be portraying. Because it was most of the actors' first experiences in front of a camera, it was an exciting and challenging assignment for everyone involved. From a couple plagued with the effects of alcoholism to an uncomfortable encounter between a boss and an intern, the students were able to come up with varying situations in which the "Ice Cream" scene could unfold. Two days of shooting left each group with enough footage to pull together some good short films that each could be proud of. A screening of the assignments was held on Friday, September 16th so that each filmmaker and actor could watch and learn from the work of his peers.