Welcome Back With Fulbright!

Herzlichen Glückwunsch to Rachel and Ezra!

Rachel and Ezra happy.

by Dr. Janine Ludwig

As we learned today, two of the students who had spent the academic year 2014/15 in Bremen, will return to Germany on a Fulbright scholarship: Rachel Schilling ’16 and Ezra Sassaman ’16.

Congratulations! Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

We look forward to seeing you again in Bremen…

This announcement continues a long line of successes our students had with applying for this prestigious scholarship as well as for the renowned DAAD scholarships.


Poland Excursion March 2016

Art exhibition along the city wall of Kraków.

Art exhibition along the city wall of Kraków.

Kraków Old Town

Our Dickinson-in-Poland excursion was very diverse and well-planned. The schedule provided us with friendly and knowledgable Polish tour guides who made sure we were not walking through the old and historical cities without knowing what we were walking past. I found the group walking tour of Krakow to be especially interesting and also helpful. Thanks to the tour, we were given a good overview of the different areas of Krakow and we never needed to use a map in order to refind those places to which we wanted to return. Despite trekking through the one day of not-so-great weather, the tour introduced us to the most beautiful and most historical of Krakow and I enjoyed every minute. Ultimately, despite having spent only a few days there, I felt as though I received a good sense of how the city was shaped by hundreds of years of history and tradition, an understanding that cannot be neglected if one is to really feel as though any foreign city has become a temporary home. >Carol Rynar ‘ 17<

The Wawel Castle

One of the highlights of this excursion was the beautiful, historic centrum of Kraków, the Old Town Market Square or Rynek Główny. One of the largest historic market squares in Europe, the unique and lovely spot contains an underground archeological museum, the ornate and awe-inspiring St. Mary’s Basilica, a line of shops and carriages, hundreds of flocking pigeons, and the Jagiellonian University class where we had our interesting lecture series. We were especially lucky to experience this vibrant city around Easter with a charming Easter and spring-themed market on the main square. >Helen Schlimm ‘ 17<


One of our first days in Poland, we visited the city of Gdansk, which involved a three-hour train ride from Warsaw; a far but worthwhile journey. We met with our tour guide outside the train station, who led us towards the shipyards where the Solidarity movement grew its roots. We walked under the gate where Lech Walesa shared the news that a deal had been made with the communist government in 1980. We entered the museum to learn of the events that led up to that critical moment. Through interactive dioramas, props and photographs, we learned about the struggle against communism and martial law and the numerous political uprisings that took place because of that struggle. We saw the original 21 demands of the 1980 shipyard demonstration handwritten on old plywood, which led to the creation of the first trade union. I learned a lot about Polish history and am really appreciative of the opportunity to have seen this great historical city. >Phoebe Allebach ‘ 17<

The famous Gate No. 2 at the Gdansk Shipyard.

The famous Gate No. 2 at the Gdansk Shipyard.

Vienna Calling – Excursion 2016

Schönbrunn – Sehr schön indeed!

Whole group Schoenbrunn

From left to right: Ira, Phoebe, Carol, Helen, Janine Ludwig

We were really lucky to experience the Schönbrunn Palace on the sunniest day of our excursion! Only a twenty-minute train ride outside the city center, this absolutely stunning palace and gardens really lives up to its name with an unbelievable self-guided tour through the regal halls and rooms of the summer home of the Hapsburg Emperors and Empresses, most notably Maria Theresia and Elisabeth “Sissi”. From finely enameled wallpaper and portraits to bejeweled mirrors, chandeliers and furniture it was really exciting to experience the wealth of the empire and imagine living in a time where one might actually attend a ball in the great hall. The gardens and grounds were also gorgeous and provided an awesome view of the city from the short hike up the hill! >Helen Schlimm<

4 students in Schoenbrunn

Schönbrunn Gardens: Ira Lauer, Helen Schlimm, Carol Rynar, Phoebe Allebach (from left to right)


The National Library

One of my favorite experiences on this trip was our visit to the national library. Thanks to Austrian National Libraryour program, we were given this unique opportunity that we would not have otherwise had, had we just visited on our own. (It was incredibly satisfying to be ushered behind a red velvet rope to an off-limits section of the library for a closer look at the books while normal tourists watched jealously on.) We were given a private tour by a very knowledgeable and friendly professor, who gave us a thorough history of the library building as well as of the books. We began outside the doors with a description of the library’s impressive exterior before we headed up the Stiege (a new regional German word was learned on the way up the stairs) and I was able to use the same key Maria Theresa used during the 18th Century to open the large library door into one of the most beautiful and priceless rooms I have ever seen.

Students looking at Luther Bible

Students looking at an original Luther bible from the 16th century, adorned with paintings from Lucas Cranach the Elder!

We learned how to read a bit of the symbolism painted on the impressive ceiling fresco before we had the opportunity to actually read (and handle!) two texts from the Habsburg collection from the 16th Century. Vienna is a city full of history, that fact can be grasped easily enough just by walking down the street, but to actually hold in your hands a document so incredibly old and so carefully cared for helped me to appreciate how valuable such history is and how concerned Vienna is with conserving it. From the Schatzkammer to the Kunsthistorisches Museum even to the Kaisergruft, it is obvious the Habsburgs liked to collect priceless artefacts, but I think it is safe to say that the Nationalbibliothek contained Vienna’s most impressive collection. >Carol Rynar<

One of the best experiences of my time in Vienna was our city tour. Vienna is such an old and beautiful city with nearly 1000 years of history. Walking through the city’s streets lined with architecture from Baroque to Art Nouveau was out of the world and will be a life-long memory. >Ira Lauer<

Academic substance

The Habsburg Crown - made of chocolate and marzipan

The broader theme of this excursion is German-Austrian history and culture from the middle ages until today. In three introductury lectures, I lead the students back to the origins of what is “German,” (an umbrella term coined by Tacitus) and why we are named after different tribes in other languages, like “Allemannen”, a.k.a. Swabians or “Deutsch,” stemming from “theodisk” which actually means belonging to the people / folk-like. From the defeat of the Romans in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest through the migration period, we follow the emergence of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, from Charles the Great (800) to its dissolution after the Napoleonic conquests (1806) using historic maps and documentaries. At the same time, we track the rise of the Habsburg dynasty from 1273 until 1918 and the overlapping of the Austro-Hungarian k.u.k Monarchy, later the Austrian Empire (1804-1918) with the German Empire (1871-1918). Backed up with this information, the students can better understand the museum exhibits and grasp the importance of Vienna as a former political and cultural center of Europe. And additionally, we indulge in the imperial glamour and the culinary abundance of this beautiful city. >Dr. Janine Ludwig<