Well, here I am. I am currently in my home in good ole’ Pennsylvania. To say I am missing this trip is a major understatement. I went from having loads of fun everyday in Germany to working five days a week. Not cool. Anyway, I have been home for a little bit now and I have had a lot of time to really reflect on this trip.
I want to start off by talking about the group, and the Augsburg students. The relationships I formed during this experience is something I don’t think I ever expected. We all were not very familiar with each other coming into this trip. However the night in Pittsburgh before we left really connected most of us. We decided that, instead of getting sleep for the early flight the next day, we wanted to catch a late night Doctor Strange movie. This really brought a lot of us together and we all learned more about one another. This continued throughout the entire trip and I just started to feel very comfortable with everyone. The German students, I will miss them tremendously. All of them did such a great job letting us loud Americans come in and work on projects with them. Not only that but talking to people like Maxi and Niko was probably one of my favorite things to do on the trip. Hearing about how their lives were in Germany and what they thought about America was very interesting to me. It is crazy to think, after spending so much time with this group, that I wont be seeing a lot of them for a long time. It makes me very sad to think about, because I would trade everything to be sitting on that bus again with everyone in the group.
I also wanted to talk about all the things I will miss about being in Germany, and the things I might not miss. First thing on that list is the buildings and views. It seemed that everywhere we went had the most beautiful architecture. Not only that but literally everywhere had a good view, there was not one place where I thought, oh this is ugly. Not one. However there are some things I won’t miss. At the top of the list, water with bubbles. This in my opinion was just not good at all. On top of that water was not free at restaurants, which really burned a hole in my pocket. One last thing that bothered me, they don’t cut their pizza there. I was surprised when I saw this but they basically leave it to you to cut which was very interesting to me.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about what we were actually learning about while in Germany. Coming into the trip I did not know much about any of the companies in the Automotive Industry that we were focusing on. BMW was the only one I knew. However, after taking lots of time on each different company throughout the first week, I was able to get a huge grasp on how the automotive industry truly is in Germany. I also noticed how much hospitality each company showed for us, as we were always greeted with drinks and pretzels. It was something I was not expecting but I greatly appreciated from all the companies. Learning how everyone plans to transition into this new era of autonomous driving or electric vehicles was something that grabbed my attention the most. This was an area I was very intrigued to hear about in everyones presentations as well. Overall, I am very proud to say I experienced all these company visits and that I was able to broaden my understanding about the automotive industry while on this trip.
I just wanted to give a huge thank you to all of the faculty involved on this trip. Especially Dr. Feick. Dr. Feick did an outstanding job preparing us for this trip, and also planning out the whole thing. I am very grateful for the entire trip and I just wanted to say thank you for everything, even with the issues with COVID, he was still able to plan it all out. So thank you everyone! This is Jason, signing off on my last blog post! Thank you to everyone who read my blogs, and I hope maybe one day I can go back to Germany and see everyone again!