Free Webinar – “A Most Unusual Election: How the German Party System Works, and How it Led to the Results of the September Federal Elections – the First of the Post-Merkel Era”

by Dr. Janine Ludwig

In this webinar, Professor Janine Ludwig will explain the German party system and its complicated voting system. She’ll discuss what the parties stand for, which coalitions they normally prefer—conservative-liberal, red-green or grand. Then she’ll recall the thrilling events of a rollercoaster election campaign, in which three chancellor candidates and their parties gained and lost up to 10 percentage points in the polls, following severe mishaps. Finally, she’ll analyze the election results and why, for quite a while, it was not certain at all who would govern the country in the future. The only thing everyone was sure of was that it would be a new kind of coalition that had never been tried before and that, for the first time, the smaller parties would dictate who would become chancellor.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 10 a.m. Eastern time (16 Uhr/4 p.m. in Germany).

The WG Search

by Brendan Harlan ’22

Ever since I started planning to study abroad in Bremen, I wanted to live in a Wohngemeinschaft (WG). WG’s are shared apartments. From info sessions, professors, and conversations with other students who had or were studying in Bremen, I heard about the benefits to living in a WG. Mainly, your roommates can help you with learning German and immersing yourself in the local Bremen and Uni communities (if you choose to live with fellow students).

If you’re a student interested in studying abroad in Bremen, you will receive resources in the lead up to your time here to help you find a WG. However, another great resource in the meantime is another post here by Liam Pauli ’21. I hadn’t actually read Liam’s blog post before coming to Germany, yet somehow I actually found myself living on the same street that he did during his time in Bremen. I also used wg-gesucht to find a WG with a specific focus on finding a WG with a furnished room and fellow students living there.

I don’t know if it was just the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic or the fact that I’m only here for a semester or if it’s just normal, but I had a challenging time finding a WG. I applied to roughly 20-25 WG’s, received 8 responses, was invited to interview twice, and was finally offered a room in one of the WG’s who I interviewed with. It was an admittedly frustrating and time-consuming process, but I am quite happy with the WG I found and glad I put the effort into finding it.

Located in the Studentenwohnheim on Vorstraße, I’m just a 15 minute walk from the Uni campus and 5-10 minutes away from two different tram stops that can get me into the city center. I’m subletting from a Uni Bremen student that is currently on their own study abroad trip and I have three flatmates that are also students. Our current “thing” is watching the German TV show Tatort every Sunday.

Echoing what Liam wrote in his post and what other past Dickinson-in-Bremen students have said, I would wholeheartedly recommend living in a WG here. The search can be frustrating, but the results are worth it.

Photo credit: Durden Dickinson Bremen Program