Conclusion

It is hard to put into words what the trip meant to me, largely because it is all a big jumble of emotions and it is impossible to know how the experience will have benefited me until it actually benefits me. Keeping that in mind, here are a few things I learned. I learned what…

5/17-Beginning of Goodbye

We are almost done with this wonderful trip. We got some veal sausage from an authentic restaurant. It was like a cafeteria except the food was actually good. Not only good but great. The mustard they gave us was the best condiment I’ve ever had. The sausage was white and you have to peel the…

5/16-Presentations (finally)

Today was the day! We finally finished everything up. We started the day by sleeping in quite a bit. We were tired in the morning but pulled ourselves out of bed to go to the University to meet with the German students and finish off our presentation prep. The morning was uneventful unless you find…

5/15-H&K: Even Deadlier?

H&K was our company visit for the day, and it certainly gave Kuka a run for its money. It is a company that produces a few products for BMW. They are one of BMW’s many suppliers giving them less than a 1% market share. They use injection-molding to make their products, a method that is…

5/14-Deadly Arms

We visited Kuka today. Kuka is a fairly well-known company that supplies their signature orange robot arms to companies all around the world, including BMW. They began with an incredible presentation with robots moving around different objects that projected videos about the company to us. The room was lit with orange flashing lights and any…

5/13-Dachau

Today was heavy, emotionally. We visited Dachau, the concentration camp. It was originally built as the blueprint for even worse death camps used across Europe later on. We woke up and got on the bus to the camp, a fair ways from our hotel. When we got there, I was taken aback by the natural…

5/12-Munich!

Today, we went to Munich, one of the biggest and most famous cities in Germany. We began with a bit of a train fiasco… We all piled onto the train in Augsburg but most of us had to stand and it was going to be around a 45 minutes ride. So, when the train stopped…

5/11- AccULMulation of a lot

Today, we got to visit my favorite city thus far: Ulm. Ulm is a small town located in southern Germany, with the tallest church in the world. The church, Ulm Minster, is a 530 foot tall Gothic cathedral. I know from experience now that it is pretty darned tall, because we spent our morning climbing…

5/10-Donuts and Church

Today, we visited a beautiful castle, Naushwanstein, near the Alps by the town, Fussen. The massive mountains towered over the spires of the castle built by the infamous moon king, a man named Ludwig II who was considered unfit to serve as the king who was also found dead in a river shortly after his…

5/9-Continental Tires and Much More

Today we visited the company my group is studying: Continental. We traveled to their production facility and were greeted by probably the best speaker so far. He was head on innovation at Continental and gave great insights, including a discussion of recent deaths in the automated driving industry. He talked about how Continental manages such a…

Bis zum nächsten Mal, Deutschland!

It’s been several days since I arrived back in the U.S. I kept putting off writing this last post because I felt that if I wrote it, it would assert such a degree of finality that I was not prepared to handle. I missed Germany, I missed the group, and I missed the adrenaline rush…

Post Trip Reflection

I cannot believe that our two weeks are over!  The time flew by and feels like it slipped right away from me!  While most of the group traveled back home today, I am staying an extra week in Germany to travel a little more and to visit a friend who lives in Dusseldorf.  While I…

Day 13: Our Austrian Adventure!

Today was last full day in Germany and also our free day.  We split up into different groups today, and headed out to different excursions – either to Nuremburg for a festival, Stuttgart to meet family, or Salzburg, Austria for the day.   I was in the group of 14 who got up early to catch…

5/8-Exhaustion Sets In

Today was just as full as yesterday. We began by visiting a carbon fiber company, SGL. They make material for the frames of some BMW vehicles as well as carbon fiber baseball bats, and all kinds of products for companies. Bikes, molds, you name it. Their technical presentation was a bit long and highly technical…

5/7-Experiencing Augsburg

We had another excellent day. We began by visiting the University of Augsburg and met our groups for the presentations we will be giving while here. We worked for about an hour on our introductory presentations and gave them to our fellow students. I was able to work pretty well with the students and we…

Day 13: “Casually Takes a Day Trip to Austria”

Friday, May 18 Today was the last day of the Plus3 Germany program, and we had it all to ourselves. There were no planned group activities for this day, and 14 of us actually wound up going to Salzburg, Austria for the day. We met in the lobby at 7:45 to walk to the Augsburg…

Thanks for the Memories

“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading” (Kazuo Ishiguro).   While writing these blogs, I had moments where I was unable to continue typing a story because I was laughing too hard at the memories…

Day 12: “Obama’s House”

Thursday, May 17 With the looming cloud of the final presentations behind us, it was time to have some fun again. We skipped the hotel breakfast in favor of a traditional Bavarian breakfast in the nearby small town of Baindlkirch. The restaurant we entered was not like any we had experienced thus far: it was…

Day 11: The Culmination of All Our Hard Work

Wednesday, May 16 We had a later start than normal today, but the first and only activity for that day would not take place until 5:30 PM: the final presentation. The majority of us went to the university, first to eat lunch in the Mensa, then to work on last-minute details of the presentations that…

Day 10: The Fate of Hörauf & Kohler

Tuesday, May 15 This morning we hopped on the street car at around 9:30 to go and take a tour of Hörauf & Kohler. This company specializes in injection molding and makes plastic parts for the automobile industry. The person who would normally give the tour in English was not there, so we had a…