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.
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!
The Texas A&M Bioscience students’ project with Enmodes is underway. Last week, Tim Kaufmann and Ralf Borchardt from Enmodes again visited Bonn. This time, Dr. Jeremy Wasser gave a brief overview of the students’ work and then gave the students the opportunity to summarize each of their five preliminary designs. The Enmodes representatives had the chance to ask questions and give feedback on each of the designs, which opened a discussion that furthered the students’ understanding of the project and what issues their designs might have in real-world application.
To design something for real-world production and use is not a task undergraduate students usually have the opportunity to participate in, especially not to the capacity that this project allows, so they are very excited to continue to work with Enmodes. Kaufmann and Borchardt were pleasantly surprised with the direction that the students have taken the project, and are excited to see the final three device designs that will be presented in Aachen in late April.
The AIB Charity Day is an opportunity for our US-American students to become actively involved with charity, by doing volunteer work in Bonn.
Because of its big success in 2014, when it was done for the very first time, we would like to take action again and do good. Sixty of our spring semester students, have already signed up to participate in the AIB Charity Day to thank the citizens of Bonn for their hospitality. The idea originates from students of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, who organize such a Volunteering Day every year. According to the theme 'One big day, one big thanks, one big event' thousands of students are volunteering across the city and the community for the good cause. With the AIB Charity Day, the students will get the opportunity to say 'Thanks' to their host city Bonn, while the organizations and institutions will get a motivated and helpful volunteer for a day. In addition, we also aim to support the students' participation and integration into the local community. Our students from Texas, California and Pennsylvania are currently looking for ways to engage themselves. This can cover all kinds of areas which relate to volunteer work – cleaning, gardening, helping out around the house and much more.
Are you looking for help and need motivated volunteers? Do you have a project we can support you with? We are looking forward to hearing from you!
At the close of this year's spring term at the Akademie für Internationale Bildung (Academy for International Education AIB) the LOSt ANGELeS Ensemble from Loyola Marymount University, L.A. presents the play „On Borrowed Time“ at Theater Marabu in Bonn-Beuel under the direction of professor Diane Benedict.
AIB cordially invites all interested townspeople to come to the premiere on April 30 at 8 pm. Additional performances will take place on May 1 at 8 pm and on May 2 at 2 pm at Theater Marabu in Bonn-Beuel.
About the play:
The year is 1917. The United States has officially entered the conflict of World War I, women have gained suffrage in New York City, flappers and gangsters meet at local speakeasies, and a strange new element has been discovered by Dr. Marie Curie: Radium. It is being hailed as a modern miracle elixir that will cure cancer. As the war continues, demands for radium skyrocket and young girls from Orange, New Jersey begin working at the United States Radium Corporation as dialpainters to help their families in the economic crisis. They paint the numbers on watches and clocks with luminescent paint made from Radium, and the United States Radium Corporation generously donates their excess radium dust to the local community sandboxes to 'keep our children healthy!' This so-called „miracle elixir“ is being ingested daily by the dialpainters as they use the 'tipping' method by putting their brushes in their mouths to get a fine point. Slowly – and horrifyingly – the dialpainters become increasing ill, and one by one, die from Radium poisoning. The company, for which they've worked for years, and put their blind trust in, now will do anything to cover up the truth that Radium is killing their workers.
Sick with radium poisoning, with only months to live, their jaws and bones slowly disintegrating, the dialpainters muster the courage to take their case to court in the first landmark case of United States industrial reform.
For booking tickets please send an E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0228 - 33 88 39 20.
We would be happy to welcome you on one of the three evenings at Theater Marabu.
The LOST ANGELeS Ensemble together with the AIB-Team are looking forward to seeing you!
DOWNLOAD FLYER: borrowed_time.pdf