Today was the big day. It was time to present our presentations for our corresponding companies. The time to present wasn’t until 2 PM, so the teams (made up of German and American students) had up until then to prepare any last minute details.
My team decided to meet up at the University at 11:30 AM. Knowing this, I was able to sleep in till about 10 AM. I grabbed some breakfast, packed my bag a little bit, and then got going to the University. I had to take the tram in order to get there. The ride was about 15 minutes long, which was pretty fast in my opinion.
My group decided to meet at the library. What was interesting was that you had to leave your backpacks and bags in lockers outside of the library. Whatever you wanted to bring into the library you had to put into baskets. You were also not allowed to bring in food and drinks. My teammates were Nick, Isabella, Eduardo, Kevin, Lara, Ivo, and Josy. Lara, Ivo, and Josy were our german students. They were so helpful in terms of getting us around campus, as well as introducing us to Canva to use for presentations.
After we had ran through our presentations, it was about noon. It was time for some lunch! We ate lunch at the cafeteria. It was vegan Wednesday in the cafeteria, so everything was fake meat… It was okay, but I was fooled when I grabbed what I thought was chicken. I also grabbed some salad, which was very delicious. Even though I wasn’t 100% a fan of the food, I think the food system was pretty different to our food system at the dining halls at Pitt. For example, the cooks and lunch ladies were the ones who served the food to you, but not even on your plate. Everyone was to gran a lunch tray. From there, the lunch-ladies would serve food on plates or bowls (depending on the food). Those plates and bowls would then be placed for you to grab from there. So, we were essentially grabbing the plates already with food. I don’t think I loved this because I wasn’t able to pick the serving size I wanted, but also sometimes some plates would have two foods on there, and I would really want one thing, but not the other. After we got the food, we would “check out” versus our tap in system prior to getting food at Pitt.
Once we got our food, we sat down in the seating area with our fellow groupmates. Getting to have lunch with the german students made me realize how lucky I was to have been able to have met them. I will always value this trip, and the friendships I made.
Post-lunch, we headed over to the room where we were presenting! My group was up first (for Hoerbiger). I felt nerves before I presented, but once we got going, it was smooth sailing. Unfortunately, after we finished presenting, my friend Isabella felt pretty sick. I went with her back to the hotel, and got to enjoy some free-time.
I decided to go on a quick little run at a park nearby our hotel called Wittelsbacher Park. It was really cute, and had the perfect trails to run or bike in. I noticed how big biking in Germany was all around. The focus all-around on the biking lanes was very big, and throughout the trip, we were always told to stay out of that lane at all times. I think biking is a great way to get-around, and it made a lot of sense because parking with cars seems like a hassle in Germany. Besides the biking, I really enjoyed running through the park because where I usually go, it’s more next to the road so I encounter a lot of cars on my runs. The change in scenery was really refreshing.
On my run, I stopped at this beautiful lake, with a fountain in it:
After my run, I went back to my hotel and changed to be able to make it to the goodbye dinner just in time! We ate dinner at Ratskeller, which was in the basement of the political building, if I recall correctly. It was very dark-lit, but the food was very enjoyable. The home-made salad was delightful, and I got to eat with the chaperones of the trip.
Following dinner, I went back to my hotel and enjoyed some time with my friends to wind down. It was really nice to connect not only with the students, but the chaperones as well. I think part of this trip and college in general is to help us grow as adults as well. I really appreciated how the chaperones handled the trip in that aspect. There was a perfect balance of helping us out with instructions/taking a lot of the planning out of our hands and the students being able to explore the city on their own.