Day 2: Gaining Our Bearings

Waking up at 7 am doesn’t seem that bad especially considering that I went to bed at 9 pm the previous night. At the University of Augsburg, we finally got to meet with and work with all of the German students in our group. I was very surprised that we only had an hour to make and prepare our presentations, but it turned out to be plenty of time. We found a nook in the Business building and got to work. We found out a lot of information about our company H&K, regarding their products, processes, and business model. But more importantly, we got to know the German students more, which was a great time. One thing I noticed was that the German keyboards are different from the conventional American QWERTY keyboards. It’s the smallest things that are different sometimes between countries but these small idiosyncrasies help to define a culture and a people.

The presentations all went swimmingly and both groups of students did a good job. One funny thing happened during the presentations. A sensor outside of the room must have sensed that the sun began to shine on the side of the building and the blinds began automatically to close. It startled me initially but once I figured out what was happening, I found it fascinating. Some inventions like that would be really useful to have in the United States. I have never seen anything like that in the US before.

After presentations we were rewarded with coupons for “mensa,” the University of Augsburg’s dining hall. We were given the vouchers and sent on our way except… we weren’t told how to get to mensa. We wandered around, asking am occasional student if they could point us in the right direction, and it took three times to finally find our way to the right place. Needless to say, by the time we got there, we were all very hungry and ate mightily.

Afterwards, we got a tour of the campus and saw a canal running through campus and saw the recreation park, which I was ecstatic to find it contained a rock climbing wall and a frolf course in addition to the more traditional sports fields. Then, we split up into two teams and began a scavenger hunt around the city of Augsburg. Our hunt took us into two crypts under churches which were slightly creepy and also interesting. My personal favorite part of the scavenger hunt was when it told us to recreate the poses of people in a statue. My group got very into it. Some group members were humans, some were fish, I was a dog, and one person was even a tree. At one point, since we were ahead of schedule, we stopped and got ice cream in the town square, which I heartily enjoyed.

At the end of the scavenger hunt, we made our way to a brewing company and tried three kinds of non-alcoholic beer, none of which were very appealing to my taste buds. Nevertheless, it was a fun experience and after we were done, we all rode down a slide that was near the brewing house.MerkelG24

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