Celebrating Thanksgiving and 4th July in Bremen

by Stefani Zaharieva ’19

Over this past year, the Carl Schurz German-American club in Bremen organised two big events which we were able to attend. We had the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving and Independence Day with the German-American community of Bremen. 

The Thanksgiving dinner was on the fancier side and everyone dressed up. The meal was really good and even upon our arrival we were greeted with sugar cookies in the form of pumpkins and a glass of champagne. We talked with some of the German guests including students who were in their senior year in high school. So if you are coming to Bremen this coming fall and are sad to miss Cafsgiving as well as real Thanksgiving dinner with your family, don´t worry. The Bremen program has it all figured out and you will have the chance to celebrate this special day even abroad. 

The 4th of July was a casual celebration – a dinner in the style of picnic. We all brought food with us and shared. It was potluck style, and Molly and I brought watermelon since that is the perfect dessert for those hot summer days. We have been extremely lucky with the weather this past semester – a lot of sunny and warm days thanks to which we really started loving Bremen. Everyone was friendly and enthusiastic, and it was nice to have one last get together before everyone starts leaving. 

Vienna Excursion – Café Culture and Food

by Kyu Ri Hong

The first thing that comes up in my mind whenever I think of Vienna is coffee and food. There are so many options for good food and coffee and desserts in the city. While we were in Vienna for a little over a week, I was able to experience the café culture as well as try many traditional dishes. Upon arrival, we went to a traditional Viennese Restaurant called “Restaurant Vienna” where I ordered the Wiener Schnitzel vom Kalb. The Wiener Schnitzel is a deep fried, tender-hammered meat (it has to be veal to be called “Viennese;” if it is pork, it will be cheaper and only called “Schnitzel”) and is usually garnished with a slice of lemon. Depending on where you go, you could also get a side of potatoes, a mixed salad, or cranberry sauce. For dessert, I ordered a typical Viennese pastry: Apfelstrudel, and it usually comes with warm vanilla sauce and powdered sugar on top.

Ordering a coffee at a Viennese café is not as easy. For example, when ordering a latte, you should ask for a ‘Melange’ instead of ‘Kaffee mit Milch.’  To get the whole Vienna café culture experience, I went to a traditional café called “Hawelka.” When ordering a beverage at a café in Vienna, you are always served a glass of water with it, which I thought was great because usually in Europe, you have to buy your own glass of water; it is rare for people to ask for tap water. Hawelka is one of the oldest cafes in the city and is usually crowded with both locals and tourists, just like it was when I went to get my cup of hot chocolate. Nevertheless, the waiters were nice and the hot chocolate was delicious.

Orientation Week: Settling in

by Molly Burger & Kyu Ri Hong

 

IKEA Trip

An orientation week trip to Ikea is an absolute must. Sure, pretty much everything in your apartment is already from Ikea, but hey at least it all matches now. Maybe grab a carpet, some curtains, and a plant or something, and definitely don’t forget to pick up posters for your wall. I still somehow have yet to discover a store downtown that actually sells posters, so my room is basically a mini Ikea store at this point (which is awesome cause Ikea is awesome). Plus, although you’re not in Sweden, Germany is definitely a lot closer than the US, so maybe the meatballs or whatever food you like to get there is a little bit closer to the real thing (probs not but still).

Uni Orientation Events

You know all of those super random sounding activities in the orientation week that Verena told you about, like the Erasmus movie night, the city tour, and all of those bar crawls? Go to them! They’re usually super fun and are great opportunities to meet new people. You don’t have to go to all of them, but try to check out as many as possible. At the very least you’ll have a good time and get to know a new aspect of Bremen.

Explore Bremen

Christmas and New Years in Deutschland: the holidays from northern, to southern, to central GermanyExplore Bremen! Now’s your chance to just walk around the city for as long as you want before classes start. The sooner you get to know the streets, restaurants, bars and museums of Bremen the better and you’ll really feel like the city is yours. And now’s the perfect time to see the sights of Bremen, like the “Stadtmusikanten”, which I actually visited twice during the orientation week. Hanging out in the city during orientation week is a good contrast to the time you’ll be spending with other students getting to know the Uni Bremen and it’s a good amount of time you can spend at museums, concerts and the theater, all of which Dickinson reimburses.

Registration

Now that you’re in Germany, you have to make sure that you have your visa. There is also something called the Meldebestätigung, which is a proof of your residence in Germany. In order to obtain these two documents, there is an office on campus called the BSU. It is only open for a certain period of time on only Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays so there’s always a line. I highly suggest that you go and wait in line at least an hour before the opening hour and wait. I got there 45 minutes before the opening hour and had to wait almost three hours just to go through a 10-minute-long process.

Grocery Shopping

Life in Bremen will definitely be different from that at Dickinson. One of the biggest challenges (at least that’s how I feel about it) is having to provide your own meals. There definitely is an option to eat at the Mensa but I don’t have class every day, hence I’m not on campus every day. There are a few supermarkets nearby. For example, I mainly go to the REWE Supermarkt on Wätjenstrasse, which is two tram stops away. It’s close and convenient since it’s right by the tram stop. I also like to go to the market in the city which is open from 9:00-14:00. There’s definitely more fresh options of fruits and vegetables at the market.

Study Buddy

A study buddy is the best way to make a German friend. The university pairs you up with a German student that probably shares the same major (not necessarily in my case) with you or the same interests with you. You have to sign up for this online. It’s nice to have someone who you can practice your German conversational skills with and to meet up regularly just to talk or to explore more of Bremen.

Opening a Bank Account

In order to receive your monthly stipend, you’ll need to have a German bank account. There’s a bank called Sparkasse on campus that you could go to. It took me two weeks just to get an appointment here, so I suggest that you go to the bank as soon as you have your Meldebestätigung, since that’s one of the documents you need when you open a new bank account. The appointment lasts only 15 minutes and you get your credit/debit card, along with the pin to your card/s, in your mailbox after about a week.

Annual Report 2016-17

Another year has gone by. Another group of students has spent a year in Bremen and has gone back to Dickinson for their senior year. Please find our program report on what we did in this past academic year here:

Durden Dickinson Bremen Program – Annual Report 2016-17

 

Greetings from Bremen!

Janine Ludwig, Academic Director

Independence Day in Bremen

As every year, the Carl Schurz German-American Club (CSDAC) hosted a nice 4th-of-July party, gain in potluck and barbecue style. With wonderful weather, big burgers, and great guest, nothing could go wrong. Here are some impressions:

Bremen is fun?

by Lee Mottola

After a summer working in a picturesque Bavarian mountain town and a subsequent month in Munich during Oktoberfest it’s safe to say my threshold for fun has reached one of its highest points. With that in mind I was looking towards my next new start in Bremen with mixed feelings. Sure, I would be getting back to a university and all the excitement that comes from being around other 20 something’s in a country where even my little sister could legally drink, but Bremen isn’t exactly known for its party scene. Even among abroad options at Dickinson it’s pretty much ignored by anyone who isn’t pining for the self-torture that is learning the German language (I jest).

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Lee at the North Sea

After a few days of pre-orientation all the German students arrived and life began to spring up on the concrete and steel campus that I now call my own. The first week of orientation here in Germany is pretty much syllabus week back at Dickinson, except with even less classes. There’s also the small fact that before orientation week you haven’t chosen classes yet. The first two weeks are dedicated to trying every conceivable class you could have interest in. I personally started with 20 and ended with 4 and that is pretty normal.

That being said 20 courses in two weeks wasn’t going to stop me from having fun and if there was one thing I learned from being in Germany for months previous, it’s that if you want to have fun you have to make it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the language, if you’re on your own or nervous, just jump in and take a chance. That is what study abroad is about right? Anyways, German-syllabus week was flush with opportunities to jump in, from dance parties in a rented-out tram cart to bar tours throughout the infamous Kultur Hub of the Viertel anything and everything was on the table. There was also a very interesting underground Deutsch Rap concert mixed in much to my surprise. It all culminated in a trip for my fellow Politikwissenschaft first years to some sleep away camp outside of the city where we drank the obnoxious amount of beer provided to us by older students in the major and danced to horribly chosen playlists (also provided by the older students in the major) Sure, there was a lot of drinking but I guess that’s could actually be considered a German cultural event if you don’t think too hard about it. In that first week, I met almost all of the people, German, Polish, Italian or otherwise that are now my closest friends here. Throughout the summer and my time in Munich I never had that much luck meeting people. The difference between them? Here in Bremen I jumped into every opportunity I got and in the process I also figured out Bremen is pretty fun.

Wir sind Werder Bremen!

by Helen Schlimm

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Ira, Carol, Phoebe, Helen (fr. left t. right)

I don’t believe that a true German study abroad experience would be complete without attending a real soccer game and finding oneself in the middle of the beautiful madness that is this nation’s most beloved sport. The spirits were certainly high, and the stakes were even higher at the recent Werder Bremen game against Stuttgart, with a loss guaranteeing a drop into the second league for Bremen. Despite signs protesting Monday-evening games, excitement, tension and anticipation amongst the green and white fans filled the entire stadium. The next 90 minutes were action-packed, astonishing and thrilling as Werder flattened Stuttgart 6-2, and no Bremer could have been happier! Strangers were hugging strangers, everybody was cheering, chanting, singing and proudly holding their Werder scarves high! It was such an incredible atmosphere and a really fun game of Fußball to follow. The entire city was united by this win in that stadium, and it was so exciting to be a part of the soccer culture that is so fundamentally German. Werder Bremen Olé! Lebenslang grün-weiß!

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“Stoppen” – from left to right: Janine Ludwig (under the “O”), Ira (under the left “P”), Carol (betw. the “Ps”) Phoebe (under the right “P”), Helen (under the “E”)

P.S.: Eventually, in the very last game of the season, on May 14, 2016, Werder secured its continuance in the 1st league / Erste Bundesliga (“Klassenerhalt”) by winning 1:0 against Frankfurt. Hooray! “Nie mehr Zweite Liga!”

Fußball: Dickinson-in-Bremen at the Weser Stadium

Helen and Ira

On February 27, Dickinson-in-Bremen went to see Werder Bremen play against Darmstadt 98 (an ascender from the second league). Let’s say, the game was a little unfortunate – only a draw of 2:2… But we had fun nonetheless!

For the last couple of seasons, Werder has been having a somewhat bad streak in the German league called Bundesliga: Right now, we are on the so-called relegation spot, which means # 16 of 18 teams. The last two teams will be directly relegated into the second league (in exchange for their top two), and the 16th will battle the 3rd of the second league. Of course, we do not plan on doing that, but stay in the first league for sure. After all, Werder Bremen has a long history and tradition in the Bundesliga and is, in fact, the second best team in the all-time table!

"Lebenslang Grün-Weiß"

“Lebenslang Grün-Weiß.” The green # 14 is our beloved Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro.