how can I say this... Ich liebe dich! But really, I truly love the time I have spent here and I will miss you dearly. Although we were only here for a short four months, I can definitely say that I have made some of my best memories here. This was my first time in Europe and I was so scared to leave my family and the security I felt at home, but I was determined to explore the world and you welcomed me with open arms.
You introduced me to so many amazing people at AIB, my host parents, the wonderful people from my program, and the culture of Germany. Nothing could have prepared us California kids for the "harsh" winter but it was definitely an experience and I'm glad I got to witness the changing of seasons for once. Cold winters now make me appreciate spring so much more! And when spring hits, Germany is beautiful!!!
There have been so many days where I just stop running or walking to admire the landscape before me. It's just so green and the clouds are like a work of art. The language barrier was another thing that was hard to prepare for, but we all made it through the awkward encounters. Now, I can sufficiently order food in German, with about an 80% success rate. I will definitely miss the bakeries, bratwurst stands, and Döner stands around every corner. I will also miss the ease of traveling to different countries. I can see why Germans travel so much, because they have easy access to almost all of Europe! Traveling to so many countries has been super exciting and world travel is now my reality. Thankfully, being abroad has shaped me in new ways.
I have learned to go out of my comfort zone and to be confident in travelling and meeting new people. I now know how to travel on a budget, travel tricks, and to be open for adventure. When I return home, I plan to appreciate California weather, continue learning languages, and heighten my sense of adventure. I will continue to work hard so that I can come back to Bonn and Europe once again. Thank you Bonn for making all these memories and connections. I will see you again soon. Tschüss!
And the Going Green Award goes to...
PennState Students host Going Green - Education for Sustainability Project Presentations at the Ministry of School and Further Education NRW.
On Tuesday, our AIB landscape architecture students Jack Hall and Hailey Rohn had the opportunity to moderate the final event of Going Green - Education for Sustainability 2016, an initiative aimed at engaging school students in projects focusing on sustainability and the environment.
No need to be nervous: they were well prepared.
Groups from five different high schools presented their projects, ranging from tips on how to conserve energy, to developed research on the virtual water consumption in the food we eat. The schools attending were Gymnasium der Stadt Alsdorf, Bert-Brecht Gymnasium Dortmund, Gymnasium Essen-Werden, Städtisches Gymnasium Gevelsberg, and Fachoberschule für Gesundheit und Soziales Kreisberufskolleg Brakel. The students presenting their projects ranged from 5th to 10th grade.
Jack and Hailey, as moderators, both did a great job providing an American perspective on many of the issues presented. Their insight into the roles of landscape architects in the sustainability movement was very much appreciated by the german school kids as well as the attending US Consul General Michael Keller and Ludwig Hecke, State Secretary in the Ministry of School and further Education.
The highlight of the event was the award ceremony at the end of the presentations: Keller and Hecke awarded all groups with prizes. Two projects received a cash prize by the US Embassy Berlin that will go toward environment-friendly improvements to their school.
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Happy World Earth Day from AIB!
Today we are doing our share for this important day through joining forces with a non-government run gardening project called Cologne Neuland. Cologne Neuland was founded in 2011 to support education, environmental protection and social engagement. Basically, it is one huge garden, where the community and participants can use the space to grow food, spend time and come together. The area was left to fallow, and Cologne Neuland can use it until the city makes further plans for it.
As long as people take part in the project by looking after the boxes and helping the community, they are allowed to take whatever they want from the public planter boxes and enjoy some delicious veggies. But it's more than just vegetables! There is even an arrangement of bee hives that is being cared for.
Cologne Neuland is a trendsetting project, showing that even in a big city such as Cologne, nature can be right around the corner! It brings the community together and gives the area, which has not been used between 2008 and 2011, a GOOD purpose again.
We, the students from AIB, built our own community planter box in Cologne Neuland this week. It was great participating in the project, learning about how the association works and how they manage everything.
We can't wait to see what's going to grow in our planter box! We wish all the best to Cologne Neuland, silently hoping that the city will not use the area any time soon.
More under: NEULAND
We say Dankeschön!
This is a big thanks to all students, faculty and staff who signed up for the Charity Weekend: The International Big Event and /or the Bonn Marathon!
Our Marathon Runners deserved some rest after crossing the finish line, they were fast!
And guess who came out fastest: do you recognize her?
Our partner in South Sudan, the Marol Academy appreciates your effort very much: the money that you guys helped to raise will go into the fund to construct a new large 3-room classroom block, which is now built up and likely to be completed within another month. This new building, once completed, will be used for secondary school this academic year.
And what would the Bonners have done without your great help for the International Big Event: a "green" playground was built, school yards cleaned and painted and you did so much more. Check out our International Big Event video to see everyone at work
Read more about the International Big Event in our Local Newspaper Bonn General-Anzeiger: General-Anzeiger: 100 American students volunteer
21 brave and sporty AIB students, faculty and staff teamed up to participate in the 2016 AIB Charity Run on Sunday, April 10 - as part of the annual Bonn Marathon - in order to raise money for AIB's affiliate Marol Academy in South Sudan.
Under sunny skies, six students courageously ran a half marathon of 13.2 miles, whereas the others formed relay teams covering the full marathon distance of 26.4 miles. All of them were carried on by the fantastic atmosphere in the city, with thousands of Bonners cheering on the sides of the streets.
In the end, all runners managed to cover their distances in great times and with a lot of fun.
And equally important: A total of € 750,- was raised towards Marol Academy to support their efforts in providing education to children in distressed South Sudan.
So - all around this event turned out to be a great success!