Reflection

I loved this trip. It was the best first time out of the country I could have asked for. The food was great, the Germans were great, and the people I went with were great. There was some work, but not so much that I could not enjoy my time in Germany. I am really…

5/18-No Kangaroos in Austria

For our free day, a large group of us decided to go to Salzburg, Austria. First, we took a train to Munich, and then we got a train to Salzburg. As someone who had never left the U.S. until this trip, I was amazed at how easy it was to just visit another country. The…

5/17- White Sausage and Obama’s House

As it turns out, the village of Oberammergau is not Obama’s house. However, we did not let details like that stop us from calling it Obama’s house. Before we visited, we got a traditional Bavarian breakfast of weisswurst, white sausage, and pretzels. The weisswurst was interesting. You had to cut away the inedible skin, and…

5/16-Presentations Already?

When I woke up, I could hardly believe it was already the day of our presentations. I packed my bag with my presentation clothes, got breakfast, and went to the university with my group. There, we met our German students and went to Mensa for lunch. Once again, I was not sure what I was…

5/15-Worst. Company. Ever.

Hörauf and Kohler was our last company visit, and we did not save the best for last. 70% of H&K’s production goes directly to BMW, and the other 30% goes to BMW’s suppliers. They only do one thing, injection molding. They had a separate building for their older employees to work on products that do…

5/14-KUKA

We started our final week in Germany with a talk about German politics at the University of Augsburg. I had already learned most of the information both in high school German and in the Plus3 classes in the spring, but it was interesting to hear a German’s perspective. After the talk, we went to Mensa…

5/13-Dachau

Dachau was a very sobering experience. While I had previously read and learned about the Holocaust both in school and on my own time, nothing prepared me for actually seeing a camp. I learned on the tour that Dachau was not an extermination camp, even though it had a gas chamber and crematorium. While I…

5/12-Munich!!!

We got to sleep in a bit the day we went to Munich. Our train left at 9:30. Bayern-Munich was playing that afternoon, so the train was crowded with soccer fans. For whatever reason, we decided to get off the train at one stop and try to find another car with more space. However, none…

5/11-768 Steps

We had to get up early again to catch the train to Ulm. The first thing we did when we got there was walk to the Münster, the tallest church in the world. Outside, there was a large collection of Albert Einstein statues. They turned out to be for a fundraiser, but we did not…

5/10- I’m Going to Disney World?

We woke up early to go to Neuschwanstein. The bus left at 7:30. I managed to stay awake for some of the bus ride, and it was worth it. The view of the Alps as we approached the castle was amazing. When we got there, we walked over to check out the nearby lake. On…

5/9- More Than a Tire Company

We got to sleep in! We did not leave for Continental until 9:30, so I got an extra hour of sleep. Breakfast at the hotel was amazing (again). When we got to Continental, we were given name tags and a form to sign. In the presentation room, they had left out drinks and gummy snacks….

5/8-Visiting the Carbon Company

This was the day of our first company visit, SGL. As I had found out from Eric at the welcome dinner, SGL was our group’s company, so I had prepared several questions. Breakfast at the hotel was amazing again, and we left by bus around 8:15. As soon as the bus started driving, I fell…

5/7-Exploring Augsburg

So, this was my birthday. But I didn’t tell anyone. You know that awkward feeling when people are singing happy birthday to you? That’s how I feel, all day, every year. I woke up feeling incredibly refreshed. I got a solid eleven hours of sleep, which was much needed after the flight to Germany and…

5/6- Can I Sleep Now?

We landed in Germany around 6:00 AM. The airplane landed at a separate building from the rest of the airport, so we had to take a bus to get to customs. Even though I had only slept a couple hours on the flight, I did not feel tired. After claiming our bags, we found out…

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…