GIS on Entreupeneurship in Bremen – Reflections from Kayden Tucker and William Giguere

“I thought the program was phenomenal. German culture is full of some of the most friendly and innovative minds that I’ve ever come into contact with. From the heightened level of sophistication seen in the Mercedes Benz factory to the attention to detail in the art of brewing beer- I learned so much about business abroad here and I’m super grateful for all of the experiences I had the pleasure of enjoying while abroad!”
(Kayden Tucker ’22)

“My time in Bremen, Germany with the GIS program was for sure a time to remember. The Dickinson Program and students currently studying abroad were extremely helpful in preparing us and making a country I have never been to feel like home for two weeks. I was amazed at learning the German culture and learning a bit of the German language on the side. As I had never been to Germany before, I had a wonderful time taking in every experience. Our time visiting local businesses was very eye opening into the global markets and the ways COVID-19 altered business outputs/operations.” (William Giguere ’23)

Photo credit: Durden Dickinson Bremen Program

Globally Integrated Semester on Entreupeneurship in Bremen – Reflection from Sierra Stevens

As part of the GISEB (Globally Integrated Semester on Entreupeneurship in Bremen) program, we recently had the pleasure of welcoming some great visitors to Bremen! Check out these wonderful photos, taken by participant Sierra Stevens! Stay tuned for more photo and video content!

This is what Sierra had to say about her 2-week stay in Bremen:
“I was initially very nervous about traveling to Germany. Not only had I never traveled out of the country, but I also didn’t know any German. Sophie’s expertise (an exchange student from Bremen University) calmed my nerves a bit, but I was still anxious about the trip.
However, the minute I landed in Bremen and boarded the tram, I knew it was going to be an incredible trip. Everyone was incredibly welcoming, kind, and understanding about our lack of knowledge concerning the German culture and language.
The food, despite its surprisingly low cost, was incredible. I am a very picky eater, but I didn’t have a single meal that I disliked. Even the cafeteria food at the University of Bremen was delicious. The Dickinson-in-Bremen program treated us to a number of meals at luxurious restaurants and cafes, assisting us through our interactions and ensuring we acted in a respectful manner.
The program assistant and academic director of the Dickinson program in Bremen were especially helpful. Leandra handled our large, occasionally rowdy, always tardy, group with ease. She treated us as friends and offered earnest recommendations daily. I am thankful for her friendliness and diligence. Dr. Ludwig was equally as supportive, giving us informative lectures on German entrepreneurial history, the country’s opinions on America’s contemporary issues, and instructing us on how to behave in a “German” way. She was always enthusiastic in answering our many questions and was clearly passionate about her job. She truly wanted our group to have a wonderful experience (and that we did).
Our itinerary was packed with business visits and informational sessions, with plenty of free time mixed in. Some of the highlights included a tour of Mercedes Benz, a visit to Beck’s Brewery, meeting with members of the Bremen Senate, the Emigration Museum in Bremerhaven, exploring the restaurants and gift shops in the Schnoor and the Schachter, as well as our trip to Berlin.
There is plenty more I could say about the experience, but I will end it with this. I had an extraordinary time in Germany and I will definitely be back. This trip is one that I will remember forever.”
Photo credit: Durden Dickinson Bremen Program

Bremen Night Run

by Mac Tambussi ’23

On Friday, May 21st, Nick and I decided to participate in the Bremen Nachtlauf. The Nachtlauf translates to night run, which is a city-wide event, where many people in Bremen choose to run a 5K, 10K, or a half marathon. Nick and I decided to make a bold move which was to run a 10K. I personally have never run that much in one run before. And I for one can say I am not the best runner in the world. My rugby coach once said : “You’re a tackling machine, but you have the speed of a trashcan.” So, I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous, but I was also excited.

For two weeks before the event, Nick and I decided it would be in our best interest to train. Each day we would tell each other how much we ran that day in preparation for the event. Soon enough, it was already game day. The weather was terrible. Super windy and rainy. Earlier in the day Nick and I made another bold move, which was to attend rugby practice. And almost immediately after rugby practice, we had to run the 10K.

The race was accelerating. We ran across a majority of Bremen. Even though I have been here already for almost 4 months, it was nice to get another tour of Bremen. It was one of the most physically challenging things I have ever done and I am proud to say that both Nick and I were able to complete it. Nick may have edged me out by a little bit, but I would say it was a pretty good competition.

After the race, our friend Andrew was there to cheer us on and celebrate with us. We had some beers and then headed home, where I treated myself to a homemade Philly Cheesesteak. This was also another awesome experience that I will never forget and I don’t think this will be my last 10K I run!

Photo credit: Durden Dickinson Bremen Program

Werder Bremen Parade

by Mac Tambussi ’23

The Werder Bremen parade was electric. For those who don’t know: Werder Bremen is the soccer team in Bremen that previously competed in the 2. Bundesliga. Last Sunday, for the final game of the season against Jahn Regensburg, they decisively destroyed Jahn Regensburg to obtain second place in the 2. Bundesliga, therefore getting promoted again to the First League!

Originally, I had intended on attending the game in person, but unfortunately, something went wrong with my tickets, and I wasn’t able to attend. Luckily, I, Nick, and Amanda went to one of our favorite local bars, Oililio, to watch the game. We had a blast watching Werder Bremen win and having a few beers!

After the game had ended, we decided to take the tram to the Bremen city district “Viertel” (“Quarter”) to see if the city was celebrating. It was an all-out party, with what I imagine most of the city of Bremen celebrating. It was awesome, everyone was singing, dancing, having beers, and there were even the occasional fireworks set off.

Later in the night, people started moving towards the end of the Viertel and we were not entirely sure why. It soon became apparent though because the entire Werder Bremen soccer team was coming through the city on a bus celebrating. They were having the times of their lives! After many hours of celebrating and meeting new friends, we all called it a night and headed back home. It was truly and electric experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Photo credit: Durden Dickinson Bremen Program

Reflections on My Semester Abroad in Germany

by Brendan Harlan ’22

I wanted to get a tattoo while in Germany, but instead I got my COVID-19 booster shot.

That’s really not a sentence I ever envisioned myself saying when I dreamt of going abroad, first as a prospective Dickinson student and then as a first-year and sophomore pre-pandemic. However, like everyone else in the past two years, what I dreamt of and what I experienced were two very different things. I’m glad that I got the chance to spend 21 weeks in Germany though, across a stretch of time that saw the country choose its first new Chancellor since 2005 and weather a second winter of a global pandemic.

At Dickinson, I’m majoring in International Studies and in German, but my experience out of the United States amounted to less than a week spent between Victoria in British Columbia and a jaunt across the New York-Canada border to see the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Flying in and out of the Frankfurt airport represented the first and second international flights of my life.

In Heidelberg, Berlin, Bremen, and all the other places I visited in Germany, I enjoyed the feeling of being somewhere vastly different than my usual haunts in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. I loved walking through the Bremer Altstadt, up the winding roads leading to the Heidelberg Schloss, around the Brandenburg Gate, and up countless stairs to get views overlooking Köln, Leipzig, and Dresden. I listened to a choir perform in Leipzig’s Thomaskirche and to trumpet sonatas performed in the Bremer Dom. And amongst other places and things, I also looked for scenes where old things and modern things were next to one another, like the cranes towering over Hamburg or the City-Hochhaus tower looming over the New Town Hall in Leipzig.

Oftentimes in city centers in Germany, if you sound like an American tourist, people will respond to you in English. However, I’m quite proud that the grocery cashiers and coffee shop baristas rarely switched from German when talking with me. I became confident enough with traveling by train and tram too, that, multiple times, I was approached with questions about directions and train arrival times and whether certain tickets worked with Deutsche Bahn or not. I usually stumbled through my German responses, but I always felt flattered that at least it seemed like I was from around there.

I also ate a lot of great food and pushed myself to avoid any US-based fast food (except that one chicken sandwich from McDonald’s that tasted better than any McDonald’s I’d had before). I developed a love for cappuccinos, Schnitzel, Döner, and Radler. I collected souvenir mugs from four different Christmas markets. I experimented with multiple ways of how to make home fry potatoes, which jam to buy for my traditional German bread, and how to best budget my Euros between Aldi, Rewe, and the other grocery stores. I figured out how to get free COVID tests in the Winter too, as cases rose and 3G rules became 2G rules.

What I most appreciated about my time abroad, though, was the separation from my normal life and usual perspective on things. It was a double-edged sword, as I did find being away from my usual support system quite difficult, but I also learned about myself as I was able to view my life in the US from an almost third-person perspective. I thought a lot about how I’d ended up in Germany, how I’d become who I am, and what I want next from myself. In my classes, I learned about the last century of international relations from a German perspective, discussed the history of the relationship between Germany and the US, and examined the histories of immigration and the social welfare state within Germany.

I also met a lot of people, including people from Germany, Austria, Vietnam, India, and Alabama. I had great conversations about cultural differences such as how Uni Bremen differed from Dickinson, went to a science talk auf Deutsch in a bar, made German food with my roommates for a Christmas dinner, and attended a Werder Bremen game in the fans’ standing section behind the goal. Since I went to see Werder Bremen play, on the day that both their head coach and assistant coach resigned due to fake COVID vaccination cards, they’ve risen from 11th in the 2. Bundesliga table to 2nd with four games left to play.

Throughout my time abroad, I took a bunch of photos and expanded my knowledge of popular German music. I also developed a closer relationship with my parents, despite being an ocean apart. I hosted my girlfriend, who I originally met in a German 101 course, for Christmas break, and showed her around Bremen and Heidelberg. And, lastly, I learned how to wear a scarf properly, bought a turtleneck, and once walked over an hour from the city center to my WG in the dark with my roommates after we accidentally missed the last tram of the night.

So, I may not have a tattoo from my time abroad in Germany like I originally wanted, but I did do a heck of a lot and have memories just as enduring as a tattoo. I’ll just have to return at a later point to get that tattoo. Bis später, Deutschland.

Photo credit: Durden Dickinson Bremen Program

Favorite Sights in Vienna Part 3

by Amanda Sorensen ’23 and Mac Tambussi ’23

“I really enjoyed the architecture throughout Vienna. The Nationalbibliothek, Stephansdom, and Schönbrunn Palace were absolutely stunning, but what I loved most was wandering through the small streets and stumbling upon beautiful churches and colorful facades of beautifully constructed buildings.” (Amanda Sorensen)

“Vienna was awesome. I have always heard and learned about how beautiful Vienna is, in class, movies, and books, but I they really don’t do it justice. Vienna took my breath away. It had a rich history with the Habsburgs and have a beautiful skyline and architecture. I really enjoyed trying traditional Wiener Schnitzel. What I enjoyed most of all, which came as a shocker to me, was the opera. The show was called “Die Entführung aus dem Serail.” Despite our not-so-great seats, I thought the opera was electric. Vienna really was an awesome excursion!” (Mac Tambussi)

Photo credit: Durden Dickinson Bremen Program

Favorite Sights in Vienna Part 2

by Kathryn Baker ’23 and Nicholas Rickert ’23

“My favorite part of our Wien excursion was exploring Prater Park! It is a large amusement park that is open 24 hours. One of the most famous landmarks in Wien is the Wiener Riesenrad (ferris wheel). We rode the Riesenrad and saw some of the most beautiful views of the city. After riding the Riesenrad, some of us walked around the park and got some food. I ate another Schokoapfel (apple covered in chocolate) and ice cream. I was surprised at how many ‘scary, haunted’ rides there were at Prater, there were at least five! Overall this is one of my favorite memories.” (Kathryn Baker)

“Trying regional dishes and the enjoying unique local atmospheres in restaurants always leave me with positive and lasting impressions of a foreign city, and Vienna was no exception. Our group had the pleasure of being taken to dine in excellent traditional restaurants as well as Vienna’s famous ‘Cafe Demel,’ where I fell in love with a sweet dish called ‘Kaiserschmarrn’ which is like a pancake but much more delectable. Other highlights for me were the Viennese potato salad, Goulash, and of course Wiener Schnitzel. Combined with the lovely decor and a fine selection of beer, I don’t think I’ll be able to forget the restaurants!” (Nick Rickert)

Photo credit: Durden Dickinson Bremen Program

 

Favorite Sights in Vienna Part 1

by Shannon Vogel ’23, Andrew Irvine ’23 and Evan Bates ’23

“The National Library was my favorite place we visited. The architecture and the amount of books felt straight out of a movie, and fit my dream image of the perfect library (complete with bookcase doors!) It was also interesting to learn that it was one of the first German language public libraries.” (Shannon)

“On the first day of the excursion in Vienna, the group visited the Schatzkammer (Treasure Chamber) of Austria. Within the chamber lay centuries’ worth of priceless artifacts from various points of Austrian history. Some of the items included were coronation robes, tapestries, ceremonial swords with their sheaths, reliquaries of various saints and of religious items, and of course the crowns of various Holy Roman Emperors. Unfortunately, the Imperial Crown, believed to have been made for Otto I. (the Great) around 960 and later painted into a picture of the earlier Charlemagne (Karl der Große) who was crowned in 800, was off display for research purposes. Regardless, the treasures of Austria were an astounding journey through a millennium of history.” (Andrew)

“One of my favorite attractions in Vienna might have been the Kaisergruft (the imperial crypt of the Habsburg family). It was certainly odd to walk amongst the sarcophagi of ancient rulers but the sheer opulence and uniqueness of each coffin struck me. I think of all the decorations on the coffins, the skulls and figures were my favorite. They were wonderfully macabre, sometimes with wings or the cast crowns of their long since fallen domains. I was also quite interested in the fact that the family separated their organs to send to their family or original kingdom like the heart container in the picture here. The biggest coffin was for 2 rulers and was so large it had it’s own room and had to be lowered from the street above and the roof built above it. There are even modern burials here with one even from 2011 I believe. Certainly a lovely visit for those who love skulls and grim things. I heartily recommend.” (Evan)

All pictures taken and provided by students or Dickinson staff.