After a long night of well-needed rest, I began my first official full day in Germany. To start the day we hopped on the tram for the first time (Port Authority take notes) and headed over to the University of Augsburg. Honestly, I’m not sure what I expected but the university was so beautiful. The green space was amazing and it was overall such a peaceful place, they even had a university cat. It was interesting because I had never been to a university outside of the United States so seeing the campus and how it compares to American universities like Pitt was of great interest to me.
After arriving we had our first presentation with the German students and honestly, it was a lot more seamless than I thought it was going to be. We were quickly able to divide the project and designate who would research and present certain parts. We really had no issues other than not being able to connect to the wifi but other than that everything went pretty smooth, especially for a very quick turnaround. I did learn that the laptop keyboards are different in Germany. I was typing on the other students’ laptops and kept hitting the wrong letters until I realized there was a different placement of some letters. The presentation went well and we moved on to lunch at the Mensa and the campus tour. The food was actually pretty good for a university dining hall, I think they have the Eatery beat. The campus tour was nice and very scenic. I felt more like I was in a park than at a university, I could only imagine going to school there. We then moved on to the scavenger hunt which was one of the most exciting parts of the day.
The lovely German students took us around the city and showed us sites like the Cathedral, the Town Hall, and lots of fountains. It was really cool seeing the history of the city and taking pictures with my team everywhere we went. Unfortunately, we did not win the scavenger hunt but we would like a recount. Despite coming in third, the scavenger hunt was a great way to explore the history of the city.
We ended off the day with another dinner with the german graduate students, this time at an Italian restaurant. After seeing the chef when I walked in, I knew the food was going to be good. I learned that pepperoni had a different meaning in Germany and if I wanted actually pepperoni I needed to order salami pizza instead (Shout out to Simon for stopping me from ordering veggie pizza). I had a really good conversation about soccer with the German students and it was great to find something we both enjoyed very much. I spoke about a lot of players and the different leagues with Simon, who was luckily a Messi fan just like me, and some of the other German students integrated into the conversation as well. They were so passionate about soccer, especially the local German teams which they said they prefer to support rather than the larger teams that win the league every year. After a great long conversation about soccer which I will never pass up, I headed back to the hotel after a long day in the sun.
A toasty Sydney