This morning we got up and set out to the University of Augsburg. The university is only a streetcar ride away from Königsplatz, making it easily accessible from our hotel. Right after we hurriedly got on, we saw the Augsburg director running franticly across the intersection in order to catch our same street car (don’t worry, he made it)! When we arrived at the university, I was immediately struck by how beautiful the campus is. Blossoming chestnut trees, art, and contemporary style buildings fill the campus and create a relaxing and peaceful vibe around the university.
Once at the University, Sonja and Dr. Feick held an introduction seminar for us and the German students that welcomed us to the program and explained our itinerary for the upcoming weeks. Following the introductory seminar, we met our groups for the company projects and created short presentations about our companies. My group presented on SGL, a carbon company that mainly produces carbon fibers for customers such as BMW. It was a really great experience to meet the German students who are in our group and to work on this presentation with them; it is interesting to see the differences between how the American and German students work and to join these two cultures together for the project.
After our presentations, we went to the Mensa (the university’s cafeteria) for lunch. We got lost on the way from the classroom to the Mensa and had difficulties finding students who could give us directions that we could understand; however, once we got there it was exciting because I was starving and because the mensa is basically a fancier and better version of market. They had about 8 different stations that we could go to with grilled chicken breasts, beef steaks, tiramisu, a fresh salad bar, freshly squeezed juices, and much more! Unlike market’s grungy basement setup, the Mensa was a fresh white room on the second floor with windows all around the cafeteria that also lent to the clean aesthetic of the place.
After our lunch, we went out to a campus tour and scavenger hunt led by the four German students who will be studying at Pitt in the fall. During the scavenger hunt that led us through the outskirts of campus and into the city of Augsburg, we got to know the two students who went with our half of the group and bonded with them over the competitiveness of the scavenger hunt. At the beginning of the scavenger hunt we asked a random group of drunk Germans boys to answer as many questions as they could; while an amusing experience, this tactic was probably a mistake as the “beer express” that kept running through to the group of guys led us to some wrong answers and lost points. Once we left the guys and were running to our next site, we ran right past our tour guide from the Fuggerei and got her to answer a few questions for us – cutting down on our time and making it a little easier for us. We ended the scavenger hunt at a beer garden and even though we waited for almost an hour for the other group to show up, they still won! My group was understandably frustrated with the results; however, we did win the picture reenactment of the sculpture in front of the cathedral, so in our opinions we were the real winners.
We went to dinner at an amazing pizzeria after the scavenger hunt and met back with Dr. Feick, Arielle, Sonja, and Simon there. I tried Spezi, the very popular Coke and Fanta mixture here, for the first time and loved it! I also had one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten – it’s called the Rusticana, and is a Neapolitan style pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, and gran parmigiana. The pizza was ginormous, but so good that I ate the entire thing, making me the only person to finish at my table (which never happens with me, as I eat slow and never finish)!
Once I had eaten as much pizza as I could, I walked my overstuffed-self back to the hotel with the group and have just finished prepping my bags and business clothes for tomorrow. We are going to visit SGL (the company that I am presenting on) and BMW, so we have a very full day ahead of us! I’m really excited for our company visits, especially to work with SGL and my group tomorrow and to visit the BMW Museum and see all of the amazing cars waiting for us in the museum.