Well, I did not start my morning off very well. I forgot to check the weather before I left and did not realize it was 7.5 degrees Celsius, or for you people back in the States around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. I only had on a long sleeve t-shirt and jeans while the rest of the gang all had jackets. While I was cold for the majority of the day, I am determined to learn from this and not make the same mistake again.
After taking the tram we arrived at the University of Augsburg. My first reaction was “Wow”! This university is amazing. It was so clean, modern, and hip that I was just blown away. Walking towards the room where we were to meet our German counterparts (which by the way is specifically designed for exchange programs only), we walked across a nice little bridge which I thought was very cool to have as part of the campus. In the little pond I even spotted a Torii (which I forgot to ask one of the students why it was there but next time I see them I will ask). The biggest difference that I noticed was the number of bicycles. There were bikes everywhere, literally everywhere. This is such a sharp contrast compared to back home as I see very few bikes being used.
Arriving at this classroom we were told that we would have around an hour and a half to create a brief presentation of our companies. I liked this idea as it is definitely a good way to bond with the German students because it forced communication and teamwork working in a time restriction. My group’s company is called Faurecia and my group consisted of Jeff, Michelle, Jess, Noemi, Alicia, Laura, and me. We quickly formed a game plan on how we were going to divide the work and then dove into researching the company. I noticed Alicia’s keyboard was different from my American one. Their Y and Z were switched and they had additional letters such as ä, ö and ü. After we finished up our work we presented and headed to the Mensa (the cafeteria).
This part of the day made me really jealous of the German students. This cafeteria was absolutely amazing. It literally had any type of food that you could want including Asian, Italian, American, and traditional German. There was a large selection of beverages and desserts too. It is so good that comparing it to Market Central would just be insulting to the Mensa. After marveling over all these options, I decided to pick the german dish because I wanted to experience all of the German culture. I also had the mashed potatoes which were slightly more buttery than those back home and I loved it. I decided to opt out of the Mezzo Mix which is similar to their Coke. I’m not totally sure how much it tastes like Coke because I never drink it back home but my classmates seemed to enjoy it.
After finishing that delicious meal we went on a campus tour given by the master students. We then split up into two groups and we started a scavenger hunt throughout Augsburg. The scavenger hunt was really long but it was a great way to see the city. My favorite part of the hunt was the end. At the end we were taken to a beer garden and were even given the opportunity to try non-alcoholic beer. We were given three beers and my favorite was the IPA. I just really liked how it tasted. I also noticed how unique the bathroom was. There was a tree with a built-in urinal!
Then we went to a nice Italian restaurant. I decided to order a pepperoni pizza expecting to have some pepperonis on my pizza but instead I got a bunch of peppers on it! I was not mad as the waiter did try to explain this to me but I just did not understand. Even though I do not like peppers the pizza was still very enjoyable. Lesson learned!