The Landscape Architecture students from Penn State University had the unique possibility to participate in a garden-design competition at the Island Mainau in Constance and in Überlingen, where the “Landesgartenschau 2020” will take place. In the picturesque area of the famous Lake Constance, our students worked together with 27 German students from the University of Nürtingen designed 11 creative gardens within five days. It was a hard decision for the jury, but after long discussions they chose five projects, which will be built for the garden show next year, where more than 1 million visitors are expected. Here is how PSU student Frank M. experienced the workshop week:
“During the Design Charrette on Insel Mainau, I not only found a once in a lifetime opportunity to use my skills as a Landscape Architecture student, but also connected with German students who share a similar love for the design of the Landscape. The biggest challenge that my group members and I was concerned about was not a language barrier (thanks to their really good English!), but rather, the unique and immense task of designing our exhibition spaces. My biggest personal outcome was realizing how fast you can connect to like-minded people when a large design challenge like this is presented to you. This also holds true for my academic outcomes and it reminds me how important this collaboration is across people of vastly different cultures and mindsets.”
Trying to soak in as much of the European theatre culture as possible, LMU Theatre students found themselves in Zagreb this spring. For a whole week, they enjoyed various classes ranging from movement and voice to the production of masks during the day, and theater performances in the evenings. In the midst of the academic work, they were still able to make time for discovering the local foods and bars. Here is how LMU Theatre student Robert K. experienced the excursion:
“Croatia brought another facet to the acting process through body based experiences in class. The artists we worked with and watched tackled dark and difficult work with ease. Everyone we met was incredibly hospitable and wanted to show off their work and country. Zagreb is oozing with talented artists that understand the power and limitations of their art and body which strengthens their art.”
The LMU Science Program went to explore Germany’s vibrant capital Berlin, as well as the beautiful city of Dresden in mid-February.
To kick off the excursion, a bus tour through Berlin with all important sites was the perfect start after a long yet comfy train ride. Visiting the former concentration camp Sachsenhausen the following day was an impressive and reflective way of learning about the prosecution that the Nazi regime’s opponents had to undergo, and made the students more aware of Germany’s history – including the dark parts of it.
Since the program has a lot of Human Health & Sciences majors, a guided tour through the Charité Museum of Medical History was an absolute must and definitely one of the trip’s highlights. By learning how people had to suffer through surgeries and medical interventions without disinfectants, anesthesia or x-ray not too long ago, we were even more grateful for the medical standards we are presented with today.
The My Berlin Day was for the students to explore the capital on their own in small groups, and then present their freshly gained knowledge in the evening: a big success for everyone, with lovely presentations and lots of laughter.
Dresden was next on the list, and we took another train there the next day, after visiting the imposing home of the German parliament in Berlin: the Reichstag dome. Once arrived in Dresden and checked into our hotel, we made our way to the city center for a lovely group dinner right next to the famous Frauenkirche, which had been completely destroyed in World War II and impressively rebuilt in the 90s after the German reunification.
Going to the Semper opera to see “The Marriage of Figaro” was a culturally enlightening ending to a wonderful day.
After the city tour the next morning the students were perfectly educated about Dresden’s history, cultural life and architectural features, and ready to start their own weekend plans, most of them going to the capital of the Czech Republic: Prague. Three cities explored in less than a week – our students really are professional travelers!
From Belgium to France - Here are Lafayette Engineering student Cayla M.’s impressions from their excursion in February:
“Traveling from the small city of Bruges to the city of lights was such a unique experience. The city tour of Bruges was only 2 hours, where we learned about swans, small old buildings, and the important usages of canals. After half a day in the beautiful city of Bruges, we traveled to Paris. The city tour of Paris lasted three days, where we visited the Arc de Triumph, the Eiffel Tour, Notre Dame, an engineering museum, Champs-Elysées, and learned more about Marquis de Lafayette. There are beautiful canals in Paris as well but at a much greater magnitude than Bruges. Ultimately, visiting these two cities back to back complimented their similarities and differences in a way I would never have noticed.”
The "fifth season" is what they call Karneval in the Rhineland – and there is no better way to summarize this crazy time. Time functions differently, strangers dance on the street together, every single person on the tram wears a costume, and nobody cares about bad weather. With the last part our AIB students and staff got very lucky: Sunshine and very mild temperatures made joining a parade in February very easy. After meeting up with everyone at New AIB and getting ready we made our way to the other side of the river where the parade started. Here is how Bioscience Student Kevin G.experienced the day:
"We had been hearing so much about this holiday and I was so excited to finally be a part of it. On Thursday we got the chance to actually be IN the parade, instead of just watching it go by. It was so fun seeing hundreds of children and adults all dressed up in the most random of costumes and everyone was having a great time."