Second day in Germany and the first thing on the agenda was going to the University to meet all of the German students. I was not able to meet my Audi group at dinner the night before so I was excited to finally see the last three members of the group. Before we had to leave I ate breakfast and got my first cappuccino of the day. We gathered in the lobby and began our walk to the tram. One of the strangest things to get used to is how quickly the walk signs change. The light turns green and within 5 seconds it flashes red. Every time we walk across the street roughly half of the group makes it across and then the second half suddenly has to sprint to not halt car traffic. On the tram ride I met the first German student in my group, Fiona. We all got off the tram together and made our way to the international building for our first meeting.
Everyone filed into the room and it was clear how new the building was with the potent fresh paint smell. We got our first introduction from the German professor, Mikail. Soon after it was time to get to work on our first presentation. My group consists of Alex, Joe, Ryan from Pitt and Fiona, Editha and Kilian. We grabbed a table in an open space that reminded me of a newer version of the main floor of Posvar. The first problem to overcome was using the German computers. I did not bring my computer so we decided to use Fiona’s. The three German students explained how they do not have presentations often and barley use PowerPoint. Alex and I decided to attempt to use the German keyboard and get to work on the presentation.
It was surprisingly natural to collaborate with all seven of the group members. Every person brought in different knowledge about information that should be focused on. As everyone began to research Audi and understand key factors about their company our presentation began to come together. When there was about an hour left of time to work we became slightly distracted because we had not gotten the chance to get to know each other yet. They asked us about our majors and our lives in America and I wanted to get to know more about their schooling system and the work they do. Once we realized we were running short on time we put the last couple of slides together and wanted to practice our whole presentation once. We went through it until the last possible second and then made our way back to the main meeting area. I was happy to realize we would not be the first group to present. Fiona was getting nervous because she has never given a formal presentation before. I tried to talk to her to help her to relax and just present the best she could. After all five groups went, we filed to the Mensa Hall to eat lunch. Although their food system is more organized and held in an open well lit room, it is still the same basic concept as at home.
Following lunch we met with the four master students that will be studying at Pitt in the Fall and began our scavenger hunt around Augsburg. Whenever I have had the chance I talk to the German students to try get a true feel for their culture. Milad and I discussed different cities he had visited such as Chicago, Dayton and New York City. He was very knowledgeable about these cities and had very similar opinions that I have always had. We traveled through similar landmarks as the first day but searched for dates and small facts that I had not payed attention to before. The scavenger hunt was very organized as I expected because of the German culture. It was a good dynamic of learning more about Augsburg and being able to ask Milad and Christina any questions that popped in our minds throughout the day. We got to take a lot of fun group pictures to get more points for the game, but I’m sure people spotted the American tourists pretty quickly. We finished up the scavenger hunt visiting a brewery and then went on to Dragone for our Italian dinner. We wrapped up the day with the closest authentic Italian food I have ever had and relaxed after our first full day in Germany.
Highlight of the Day: Gnocchi dish at Dragone