“Would you like to discover the most beautiful corners of Bremen from home, visit our parlour from your couch or take a stroll through the winding Schnoor? Would you like to take a virtual tour of the museums and knowledge worlds or sail on the Weser?”
Famous Schnoor quarter
If so, then you should definitely take a look at the Visit Bremenwebsite. There you will find lots of amazing videos, information, 360-degree tours of Bremen, as well a guided visit of the City Center. Pierre will take you on a tour of the Marktplatz square – known as Bremen’s ‘Gute Stube’ or ‘drawing room’. But what else can be found at the historic marketplace? Get ready for some surprises!
At the University of Bremen, the Hochschulsport provides many fitness classes for students to take for a relatively low price. Dickinson will also reimburse you up to a certain amount to take these courses. You can see a list of past/current course offerings on their website, as well as when registration goes live for the upcoming semester. They offer several styles of dance, martial arts, team sports (volleyball, rugby, etc.) and yoga.
I took a Modern Jazz course this semester, where I got to meet several other Uni Bremen students. Our class had the opportunity to perform at the Breminale, a music festival in Bremen. The class focused on learning a few combos, as well as an entire choreographed dance.
While the Hochschulsport classes provide many options, they do follow the semester class schedule (generally the lecture period), which means the courses won’t run the entirety of the time you are in Bremen. For me, I arrived in February and left in August, but the Modern Jazz course only ran from April through July. Since I still wanted to dance/exercise for the entire semester, I found an independent ballet studio in the city. There are a lot of dance studios throughout Bremen, but the one I settled on was polkadotBallettStudios. I found their prices fair and the staff helpful. They offer modern and hip-hop classes as well, but they are primarily a ballet studio. I signed up to take classes twice a week, and really enjoyed it! I got to learn some new German vocabulary, as well as meet people my age who don’t study at Uni Bremen.
If you’re interested in a particular style of dance, I do recommend researching all of your options in Bremen, as there are many studios in the city.
Last week Evan and I were delighted to attend Theater Bremen’s performance of the classic German musical play “Die Dreigroschenoper” (The Threepenny Opera), written by Bertolt Brecht with music composed by Kurt Weill and first performed in Berlin in 1928. This was our first time attending a theatrical performance in Bremen. Having only read a brief synopsis of the narrative beforehand, we came to find that the production was much less of what one might expect from an opera but rather a musical supported by a modestly sized jazz ensemble (with no conductor!). I wouldn’t call myself an avid musical goer, but I was enthralled by the lively assortment of characters and fantastic music.
Adapted from an 18th-century English ballad opera, “Die Dreigroschenoper” tells the precarious love story between the antihero Macheath (Mackie Messer), a prominent gangster, and Polly Peachum, whose father controls the beggers of London and is determined to put Macheath in prison after the two become married (not to mention tying the knot just days after meeting for the first time!). I was immersed as soon as the curtains opened silently to reveal a rugged wooden floor with a steep slope and the beggars laying in darkness.
I was stunned by the singing voices of Polly and Macheath, whose dialogue and ballads easily stole the stage whenever they appeared. In between these moving scenes Evan and I couldn’t help but chuckle at every move of the corrupt chief of police “Tiger” who broke the fourth wall by having a short interaction with the drummer, breaking one of their cymbals. I also found it heartwarming that since it was the last performance of this production, the director bade thoughtful farewells to several cast members leaving the theater company. Later that evening I couldn’t help but hum ‘Die Moritat von Mackie Messer’ to myself.
As part of the GISEB (Globally Integrated Semester on Entrepreneurship 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 Schlachte, 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.”
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!
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.