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AIB NEWS:
"Beauty from the top of a landfill"

Our landscape architecture and urban planning students from Texas A&M and Penn State University took an excursion 66 km northwest of Bonn to a site called Metabolon. Metabolon is a redevelopment project that has transformed a waste disposal site into an educational and recreational facility, bringing a positive public purpose to an otherwise negatively-perceived space. It also functions as an innovation site for material conversion and sustainability techniques.

 

Following the educational part of their excursion, it was time for recreation: the students ascended the seemingly endless stairway leading to the top of the landfill. As one of the students described it, "It feels like we're climbing the pyramids right now." It was a long climb, but it was certainly worth it.

On the top of the landfill, visitors find a playpark to enjoy as they overlook the beautiful view of the Lindlar region. Some of the students relaxed on the built-in seating areas, others jumped on the miniature trampolines, and many took great photos. A brief presentation by the tour guide followed, and then it was time to begin the descent and return to Bonn.

At Metabolon, the students had a unique opportunity to engage with ideas about the multiple uses of space, issues of public perception and the management of that perception, sustainability in multiple forms of waste disposal, and the challenges and rewards of opening private industrial areas to public visitation – all while having a blast!

written by Michael Burt

 

AIB NEWS:
"Art Workshop"

Landscape architecture and urban planning students from PSU und TAMU collaborate in creating pieces of public art.

AIB strives to provide interdisciplinary programs for our students that bring them into collaboration with professionals and practitioners, encouraging them to think critically and creatively across disciplines.

From September 13 to the 16th, students from Texas A&M and Penn State University engaged in an art workshop that exemplified these goals. The workshop, entitled "3.94 Kilometers," brought landscape architecture and urban planning students from both universities into collaboration. Their assignment was to create a piece of public art, within a 3.94 Kilometer strip along the railway tracks.

Working together in groups of three or four, the students surveyed the area for a "point of interest" in which to construct their project. They then created an artistic piece to modify that public space. Finally, they implemented their art piece, recorded it and projected the recording through AIB's window back into public space.

Thorsten Goldberg, an artist who specializes in art in public space came in from Berlin to lead the workshop. The workshop, he said, was designed with the intention of helping the students "experience a more open approach, another way of working with public space, another possibility to interact technically, but also with the people." He added:" I hope they will see in the end that experimenting or playing with a situation has nothing to do with childishness or with being ridiculous. But looking at things from another angle, and truly questioning what is given, leads to new answers, or leads to new tools. And this is what's needed. This is what I hope."

AIB landscape architecture faculty member, Bruno Röver, urban planning professor June Martin from Texas A&M University an Marina Thelen, AIB's TA, worked with Goldberg in offering guidance and feedback to the students throughout the workshop. The workshop was a resounding success. As one of the students from Texas A&M, Colin Moffett, reflected, "This workshop taught me not to be afraid to let my creative side flow. Even if it's abstract, that’s okay. Even if it doesn't really make sense at first, it doesn't have to make sense to everyone. You know, it just needs to be yours, and it needs to fulfill a purpose. And if it fulfills that purpose−that's what it's created to do. And that's it. That's enough."

     

AIB NEWS:
"Ice Cream"

Loyola Marymount University film students had the opportunity to develop their own creative scenes using a simple script with infinite possibilities. Titled "Ice Cream," this script consists of one character that wonders why the second has not brought him back ice cream from the market. The fact that the script describes a quite short and mundane exchange between two people makes it all the more challenging for students to come up with interesting characters and backstories to make a good short film. Before this assignment, the LMU students had two opportunities to film different versions of the scene while taking turns recording sound, working the camera, directing, and acting. After critiquing each others' work, the students were instructed to take the script one step further. Rather than just one scene, Professor Andrew Hood suggested that the students split up into pairs to construct a longer film that was able to incorporate the "Ice Cream" script as well as feature a clear beginning scene, middle scene, and concluding scene to tie in a relevant backstory and additional information about the two characters. Luckily, the film students were able to work with amazing German theatre students from Alanus University (Alanus Hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft) so that they could stick to their work behind the camera as directors and cinematographers. Instead of only functioning as actors, however, the German students were also producers of the films that they were a part of. On their first day meeting the pair of Americans they'd be working with, the German students immediately contributed ideas for locations to shoot, costumes, and important qualities of the characters they would soon be portraying. Because it was most of the actors' first experiences in front of a camera, it was an exciting and challenging assignment for everyone involved. From a couple plagued with the effects of alcoholism to an uncomfortable encounter between a boss and an intern, the students were able to come up with varying situations in which the "Ice Cream" scene could unfold. Two days of shooting left each group with enough footage to pull together some good short films that each could be proud of. A screening of the assignments was held on Friday, September 16th so that each filmmaker and actor could watch and learn from the work of his peers.

Written by Morgan Hinshaw


AIB NEWS:
Welcome AIB Fall Students!

On Saturday evening, September 3rd, the AIB officially welcomed its Fall semester students of 2016 with a barbecue party hosted at the old AIB located in Bonn, Adenauerallee 7. We are happy to welcome students from various programs including Landscape Architecture from Pennsylvania State University, Engineering, New Europe and Film from Loyola Marymount University and last but not least Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning from Texas A&M University.

The party kicked off a great start to an intercultural experience abroad. There was a great sense of anticipation among the students and it was clear they could not wait for the programs to begin. The atmosphere was thrilling and exciting. After the programs had introduced themselves to the staff and to each other, a blues band started playing and heating up the atmosphere. The lead guitarist was one of our staff members, Malek Tarhouni. It didn’t take long until he got everybody on their feet. Even the members of our host families, who are an essential part of our institution, joined the dancing.


In the end, the party was a great success and students from different programs and universities got to know each other and bonded. We wish all the new students a successful and memorable semester abroad in Bonn, Germany. We know that they are ready to explore not only Bonn but also many more valuable and interesting locations around Bonn and throughout Europe. The AIB students will meet different people and experience various cultures that will help each individual to expand not only their intellectual but also their intercultural mind.

Written by Alexandra Rosenberg (AIB Intern)

AIB NEWS:
Texas A&M visit Bacharach

When a new program arrives in Bonn, we believe it is important to have a bonding experience for the students, faculty, and program coordinators to get to know each other better. For the Texas A&M Architecture program (faculty-led by Dr. Elton Abbott) and Sports Business in Europe program (faculty-led by Dr. Paul Batista), this meant a trip to the picturesque Eifel Region of Germany. This region is situated on a low mountain range that encompasses both parts of the Rhein and Mosel rivers, known primarily for its world-renown Weisswein (white wine) and its many historic castles (which Dr. Abbott, professor of the Architecture program, believed would be inspiration for his students' future projects).


On Sunday, we departed from Bonn headed to our first stop at the "Kletterwald Lauschhütte." The Kletterwald Lauschhütte is a high ropes course located in the treetops of a forest containing many obstacles that tested our strength, concentration, balance, and patience. But naturally, we had a blast! Everyone raced to the starting point of one of the many elements which were designated like ski slopes as either easy, medium, or hard. Even Dr. Batista (the Sports Business in Europe professor) participated (it just happened to be his birthday as well)!

Once we conquered the ropes course, we returned to the bus and headed to our hostel, which is not what one would think of as being a typical hostel. It was actually Burg Stahleck, a castle built circa 1135, which has been turned into a hostel. It sits above the Rhein River, overlooking the quaint village of Bacharach. It is believed to have been settled by the Celts before the Romans conquered this part of Europe well before the birth of Jesus.

Learn more: Texas A&M visit Bacharach

Written by Savannah Batista (AIB Intern)

AIB NEWS:
Texas A&M visits Bayern Munich Headquarters

In a quaint Munich neighborhood our group approached what was to be an opportunity of a lifetime for any soccer fan, a visit to FC Bayern Munich headquarters. The entrance to the building was modern, yet fit perfectly into its surrounding area. Fans were already starting to gather in hopes of catching a glance of one of their favorite players who would be practicing later that afternoon. For our group, it was straight into the lobby to meet Anna Rissel, one of two in house lawyers for the club.

Our first agenda item for the day was to view the practice facilities and get an overview of the most successful club in German football history. Not a detail is missed in the facility, from the natural grass blended with a synthetic turf on the pitch, to the team cafeteria which boasts an elevated view of the entire facility.


Meeting Manuel Neuer

Our group was then escorted into the state-of-the-art press room for a presentation from Benjamin Hoeneß, Director Corporate Partnerships (or Marketing as we call it in the US) and Dr. Daniel Högele, Head of International Business and International Strategy...

Learn more: Texas A&M visits Bayern Munich Headquarters

- Jason Chavez, MS Graduate Student in Sports Management, Texas A&M University

AIB NEWS:
Adventure is Out There!

Dear BONN,
How can I say this... Ich liebe dich! But really, I truly love the time I have spent here and I will miss you dearly. Although we were only here for a short four months, I can definitely say that I have made some of my best memories here. This was my first time in Europe and I was so scared to leave my family and the security I felt at home, but I was determined to explore the world and you welcomed me with open arms.

You introduced me to so many amazing people at AIB, my host parents, the wonderful people from my program, and the culture of Germany. Nothing could have prepared us California kids for the "harsh" winter but it was definitely an experience and I'm glad I got to witness the changing of seasons for once. Cold winters now make me appreciate spring so much more! And when spring hits, Germany is beautiful!!!

 

There have been so many days where I just stop running or walking to admire the landscape before me. It's just so green and the clouds are like a work of art. The language barrier was another thing that was hard to prepare for, but we all made it through the awkward encounters. Now, I can sufficiently order food in German, with about an 80% success rate. I will definitely miss the bakeries, bratwurst stands, and Döner stands around every corner. I will also miss the ease of traveling to different countries. I can see why Germans travel so much, because they have easy access to almost all of Europe! Traveling to so many countries has been super exciting and world travel is now my reality. Thankfully, being abroad has shaped me in new ways.

I have learned to go out of my comfort zone and to be confident in travelling and meeting new people. I now know how to travel on a budget, travel tricks, and to be open for adventure. When I return home, I plan to appreciate California weather, continue learning languages, and heighten my sense of adventure. I will continue to work hard so that I can come back to Bonn and Europe once again. Thank you Bonn for making all these memories and connections. I will see you again soon. Tschüss!

by Emma Wong

 

AIB NEWS:
Going Green Award

And the Going Green Award goes to...
PennState Students host Going Green - Education for Sustainability Project Presentations at the Ministry of School and Further Education NRW.

On Tuesday, our AIB landscape architecture students Jack Hall and Hailey Rohn had the opportunity to moderate the final event of Going Green - Education for Sustainability 2016, an initiative aimed at engaging school students in projects focusing on sustainability and the environment.

No need to be nervous: they were well prepared.

Groups from five different high schools presented their projects, ranging from tips on how to conserve energy, to developed research on the virtual water consumption in the food we eat. The schools attending were Gymnasium der Stadt Alsdorf, Bert-Brecht Gymnasium Dortmund, Gymnasium Essen-Werden, Städtisches Gymnasium Gevelsberg, and Fachoberschule für Gesundheit und Soziales Kreisberufskolleg Brakel. The students presenting their projects ranged from 5th to 10th grade.

Jack and Hailey, as moderators, both did a great job providing an American perspective on many of the issues presented. Their insight into the roles of landscape architects in the sustainability movement was very much appreciated by the german school kids as well as the attending US Consul General Michael Keller and Ludwig Hecke, State Secretary in the Ministry of School and further Education.

The highlight of the event was the award ceremony at the end of the presentations: Keller and Hecke awarded all groups with prizes. Two projects received a cash prize by the US Embassy Berlin that will go toward environment-friendly improvements to their school.

Please find related articles here:

https://www.facebook.com/USConGenNRW

https://www.schulministerium.nrw.de/docs/bp/Ministerium/Presse/Pressemitteilungen/2014_16_LegPer/PM20141204/index.html

https://www.schulministerium.nrw.de/docs/bp/Ministerium/Presse/Fotos/2016/2016_04_19_Going-Green/index.html

AIB NEWS:
Happy World Earth Day from AIB!

Happy World Earth Day from AIB!

Today we are doing our share for this important day through joining forces with a non-government run gardening project called Cologne Neuland. Cologne Neuland was founded in 2011 to support education, environmental protection and social engagement. Basically, it is one huge garden, where the community and participants can use the space to grow food, spend time and come together. The area was left to fallow, and Cologne Neuland can use it until the city makes further plans for it.

As long as people take part in the project by looking after the boxes and helping the community, they are allowed to take whatever they want from the public planter boxes and enjoy some delicious veggies. But it's more than just vegetables! There is even an arrangement of bee hives that is being cared for.

Cologne Neuland is a trendsetting project, showing that even in a big city such as Cologne, nature can be right around the corner! It brings the community together and gives the area, which has not been used between 2008 and 2011, a GOOD purpose again.

We, the students from AIB, built our own community planter box in Cologne Neuland this week. It was great participating in the project, learning about how the association works and how they manage everything.

We can't wait to see what's going to grow in our planter box! We wish all the best to Cologne Neuland, silently hoping that the city will not use the area any time soon.

Your AIB staff

More under:NEULAND

AIB NEWS:
We say Dankeschön!

We say Dankeschön!

This is a big thanks to all students, faculty and staff who signed up for the Charity Weekend: The International Big Event and /or the Bonn Marathon!

Our Marathon Runners deserved some rest after crossing the finish line, they were fast!

And guess who came out fastest: do you recognize her?

Our partner in South Sudan, the Marol Academy appreciates your effort very much: the money that you guys helped to raise will go into the fund to construct a new large 3-room classroom block, which is now built up and likely to be completed within another month. This new building, once completed, will be used for secondary school this academic year.

And what would the Bonners have done without your great help for the International Big Event: a "green" playground was built, school yards cleaned and painted and you did so much more. Check out our International Big Event video to see everyone at work

Dankeschön!

Your AIB staff

Read more about the International Big Event in our Local Newspaper Bonn General-Anzeiger: General-Anzeiger: 100 American students volunteer

AIB NEWS:
AIB Charity Run 2016: Fun Running and Funds Raised!

21 brave and sporty AIB students, faculty and staff teamed up to participate in the 2016 AIB Charity Run on Sunday, April 10 - as part of the annual Bonn Marathon - in order to raise money for AIB's affiliate Marol Academy in South Sudan.

Under sunny skies, six students courageously ran a half marathon of 13.2 miles, whereas the others formed relay teams covering the full marathon distance of 26.4 miles. All of them were carried on by the fantastic atmosphere in the city, with thousands of Bonners cheering on the sides of the streets.

In the end, all runners managed to cover their distances in great times and with a lot of fun.

And equally important: A total of € 750,- was raised towards Marol Academy to support their efforts in providing education to children in distressed South Sudan.

So - all around this event turned out to be a great success!

AIB NEWS:
The Big Event at AIB

It was the first time we had seen a sunny blue sky appear in months and it was like greeting an old friend. With the sun at our side and a cool breeze accompanying us, all AIB students set out to perform, in the Aggie Tradition, The Big Event.

Since its introduction in 1982, The Big Event has become the largest, one-day, student-run service project in the nation. Each spring, tens of thousands of Texas A&M students come together to say "Thank You" to the residents of Bryan and College Station. For the past 3 years, the study abroad students at AIB have participated in this event across the seas by performing services to Bonn.

Water buckets and soapy sponges in hand, a team headed out to the city central of Bonn to clean the graffitied street signs. As the group worked, citizens would stop and curiously watch the students climb ladders or bend down to wash away the grime and dirt that had collected. Like the bright colors of the signs reviving once again, smiles started to appear across the faces of the onlookers. A little girl on the shoulders of her father pointed and read the words Hauptbahnhof making the students grin with satisfaction and her father nodding a "Danke" in return.

On the outskirts of the town groups of students shoveled and moved dirt around, planting new trees, flowers, and de-weeding the earth. While some constructed massive nests out of sticks and wood, others repainted benches and chairs. At Natur Freunde Bonn (nature friends Bonn), bumble bees seemed to buzz their gratitude as the smell of newly planted dirt and flowers became the fresh aroma in the air.

At a retirement community a group served the elders by raking leaves, planting a new garden as well as settling down to a charming lunch filled with stories of old and laughter.
Across the town, a team organized clothes and supplies for refugees, sorting them by size, gender, and season. These would later be placed in bags and given to provide comfort to those in need.
Walls were painted with a fresh coat of color at a local school in hopes that the transformation would bring excitement to the kids who would soon walk the halls.

The AIB students were even on the banks of the Rhine River, scooping up discarded waste and picking up trash left behind. A content feeling in the wind blew around the group as they stared out across the water at their work.

So like Spring excitedly arriving to the city of Bonn, the Big Event brought about new life and smiles all around. At the end of the day, we were proud to serve our community and give back to our semester long German home. As we Aggies say, "Thanks and Gig'em!"

Written by Stephanie Kelly, VIZ 2016

AIB NEWS:
AIB Charity Weekend Coming up on April 2

This Saturday, our 80 American guest students will take action together to thank the Bonners for their hospitality. It is the third year that AIB will host the International Big Event to provide students with the opportunity to give back to the local community. The Big Event originates from Texas A&M University, our partner in College Station, Texas.

Learn more about the Big Event at Texas A&M University.

By hosting the International Big Event, we aim to encourage our students to get involved with the local community. Among others, a clean-up project in the city center and at the river bank is planned together with Stattreisen Bonn, as well as a gardening project with Bonns Fünfte, a local school. Another group of students will help the local volunteers in one of the refugees homes. Our students from Texas A&M, LMU and Penn State are looking forward to meeting their project partners on April 2, 2016.

AIB NEWS:
Pondering Ecological Restoration

We are eleven American students from Los Angeles, California studying at Loyola Marymount University. This semester we are taking a Sustainable Practices course, where we have the opportunity to learn about the many aspects of environmental sustainability and conservation. As a way to take the knowledge outside of the classroom, we partnered with Biologische Station Bonn/Rhein-Erft (Biostation) to work on one of their many ecological conservation projects. Biostation is an organization dedicated to ecological restoration and awareness in the City of Bonn located in the North Rhine Westphalia state of Germany.

Biostation's Mission Statement

"Our tasks range from the detection of wild animals, plants and habitats through the creation and implementation of care concepts in protected areas to advising farmers for a natural sound land use (cultural landscape program). One focus of our work is to support the Bonn protected areas and the implementation of conservation measures. We maintain wetlands and orchards, run organic landscaping, lead excursions and lectures, and more. The monitoring of selected plant and animal species is used in addition to the risk assessment as a guideline for maintenance concepts and the targeted protection of habitats."

 

Last year, in the Spring of 2015, a group of Loyola Marymount students collaborated with the Biostation to build multiple gravel pit ponds in a secluded and wooded area of Bonn. These gravel pits serve as an important habitat for several species of amphibians and reptiles. These species play an important role as indicator species because of the permeability of their skin. When there are changes in the environment, this can be observed through changes in population size of these species. Creating a shallow and clear pond is important to allow for spawning and development. Our mission for this project is to continue the work of the previous group by repairing the gravel pit ponds, and to remove trees and extra foliage surrounding the ponds which will increase sunlight to the ponds.

The main goal of this project was to restore breeding ponds and to ensure the safety the Natterjack, Green Toad, and Sand Lizard. Each species has distinctive features that sets it apart from more common species and plays a distinctive role in the ecosystem.

Download full article - Pondering Ecological Restauration

AIB NEWS:
Texas A&M Biosciences visits Bonn Uniklinik

This past week students from the Texas A&M Biosciences program had the opportunity to observe surgeries at the Bonn Uniklinik. Once we arrived we met with one of the anesthesiologists who took us to change into our scrubs. At this point, I was more excited than I thought I would be. Some of us had observed surgeries before, but most of us hadn't. The only experience I've had with surgery is shadowing with veterinarians and what I've seen on Grey's Anatomy. I was eager to find out if the tv drama's depiction of surgery was accurate or not.

After we changed into our scrubs, we were randomly assigned surgeries ranging from cardio, ENT, orthopedics, general, and more. Shelby and I went into an OR with a man who had a hernia. We met with the anesthesiologist, Stephan, who would be our go to person for the rest of the day. Both the anesthesiologists and the surgeons themselves were kind enough to discuss what each of them were doing as well as go over basic anatomy and physiology with us. During our breaks, Shelby and I got the chance to ask others about the surgeries they saw and we got to share about ours.

The next surgery we got to see was a woman who had colon cancer and the doctors were doing an explorative procedure to see if and how much the cancer had spread. We got to see actual intestines! I know not everyone would have this excitement about seeing the human anatomy in person, but for us students, it was very interesting and exhilarating. I can also confirm that Grey's Anatomy exaggerates the amount of blood involved in abdominal related surgeries.

After the surgeries, everyone was eager to share what they saw that day. Two student saw a heart stop beating, others saw a boy get a belly button, and others saw tumors get removed. Many of us wish we could go observe another day in the semester and we were grateful that we had this opportunity that we might not have had if we weren't studying abroad here. Overall, it was a great trip filled with new experiences that left us with a new impression on what surgery entails.

Written by Sarah Jacobson

AIB NEWS:
Cel Animation Workshop

Markers, White-out, cellophane and a little bit of imagination were all Visualization students needed to create short Cell Animations inspired by Marty Cooper also known as Hombre_McSteez.

 

In their latest 2 day workshop, Yvonne Hagedorn instructed the students on how to create these hand-drawn animation with simple materials and their surroundings as inspiration. They started by drawing the outlines of their characters interacting with their environments and then filled them in with paint to help them pop out of the scene.

 

The process is a reflection of how early animation was created by companies like Disney Animation Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment. After all the frames were drawn, they were photographed in the settings. Twelve drawings, or frames, are required for one second of animation. This is the most tedious process since each student drew between 20 and 80 frames to bring their characters to life. Finally, they sequenced the frames together and added sound to polish off their final animations.

Watch the final animations:

AIB NEWS:
Berlin & Dresden Excursion // Nep & Science Spring 2016

This past week I was able to join LMU New Europe and Science students in a weeklong trip to Berlin and Dresden. We all met up early in the morning, and we somehow managed to stuff small bags with enough clothes for 10+ days. After a 4-hour train ride to Berlin, we were greeted by our guide, Sion. He took us on a bus tour around Berlin. There is so much history and many other important sites within Berlin, the Brandenburg gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Bundestag, Museum Island, the Holocaust Memorial, East-Side-Gallery and much more. We were given the chance to walk around the Holocaust Memorial. I didn’t realize exactly why the creator of the memorial chose large cement blocks. As I walked around, the ground was not straight and at some points I could not tell which direction I was going. It was a time for all of us to reflect in a different way and be alone with our thoughts.

 

Stopping at the Holocaust Memorial started to have us think about what had happened in Germany in the 1940s and the very next day we went to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Over 200,000 prisoners were held captive in this camp. We were able to see for ourselves the size of the camps, living quarters and what was left of a gas chamber.



 

We then got a tour at the Reichstag Building. This is the seat of the German Parliament and one of the most historic buildings in Berlin. Our group was able to see where all the important decisions are made, the chamber. After the tour we were able to walk in the large glass dome that sits on top of the Reichstag and looks out onto Berlin.

On our third day we were given a tour of the Jewish Museum Berlin. I really enjoyed the symbolism that was involved in the designing and planning of the museum. Daniel Libeskind (the designer) wanted to create a space for people to learn about Jewish culture and history by establishing and securing an identity for Germany after World War II. The one thing that stood out to many of us was the Memory Void (Leerstelle des Gedenkens) These "voids" throughout the museum was to represent the absence of Jews from German society. When you enter the Memory void, you are greeted by 10,000 faces covering the floor. We were meant to walk around and many of my group were hesitant, so I took the first step. All you could hear was the clanking of the metal. Our tour guide told us that although it seems we are walking all over their faces, we are finally giving them a voice and allow them to be heard. That was my favorite part of the exhibit.

The next day we had our MY BERLIN DAY. We all had different activities planned. There were Multicultural, Cold War, Urban Art, and GDR. I was a part of the Cold War group and we went to many of the places that we have already visited. My favorite part was visiting the Checkpoint Charlie museum tour. Our tour guide was a journalist that helped smuggled East Berliners into West Berlin and was imprisoned by the Stasi. Hearing his insights into what was going on in Berlin during the Berlin Wall was very interesting and he was very passionate.

In Dresden we were given a tour of Dresden by Cosima, who lived there during the separation. We had a guided tour of an art museum 'Neue Meister'. Later that night we saw an Opera called 'Don Carlos' at the Semperoper. This opera was performed in Italian with German subtitle, so it was sometimes hard to follow along but it was fun trying to figure out what was going on. On our last day in Dresden we were given a tour of VW manufacturing factory. The factory is transparent and we were able to watch a certain model (Phaeton) being custom made.

It was such a great opportunity for all the LMU students to be travelling together around Germany and learning more about the place we are all calling home!

by Jamie Higa

AIB NEWS:
A Cowboy on a bike, or: Karneval Season in the Rheinland!

Dressed as dragons, bears, and crocodiles, our AIB students and I had the opportunity to take part in the traditional LiKüRa parade in Bonn, which falls on the Sunday of the Karneval festivities and runs through the towns of LImericht, KÜdinghoven, and RAmersdorf. But this wasn't just your ordinary parade experience - instead, we teamed up with Therapiezentrum Bonn and volunteered to assist disable residents with mobility issues so that they, too, could participate in the parade.

For a dreary February afternoon, the warm Karneval spirit sure did quickly brighten the day. After being introduced to the person we'd be assisting, it wasn't long until everyone was all smiles, singing along to the classic Karneval songs as we threw out candy into the crowds. The woman I assisted, Sandra, truly enjoyed this part and her face continued lighting up as we made our way down the parade route.

At the end of the parade, we were welcomed at the Therapiezentrum for a small get together, where we all continued getting to know the residents better and wa med up with a bowl of soup. Both students and residents agreed working together made parade was a very unique and meaningful experience. Not only did the parade allow us to learn more about Germanys' cultures and traditions, but we helped these residents to take part in the parade, which was truly the most rewarding aspect of our Karneval celebrations.

Written by Candice Kerestan

AIB NEWS:
Welcome AIB Spring students!

We have cheerfully started into the New Year and the spring semester 2016 with our 90 new students who have arrived safely in Bonn. We are happy to welcome the New Europe and Science Students from Loyola Marymount University, the Bioscience and Visualization students from Texas A&M University and last but not least, the Landscape Architecture students from Pennsylvania State University to the AIB family.

We kicked off the semester with a hiking tour to the Kreuzberg in Bonn which was followed by a coffee and cake get-together at the AIB with host families & friends. The students are ready to explore what Bonn has to offer and look forward to experiencing the "fifth season" coming up in the Rheinland: Karneval!

AIB NEWS:
Christmas at refugee house next door

My name is Lea and I joined the AIB in October 2015. Since then I have been coordinating the AIB's aid to refugees. I had seen the news about the refugee crisis on TV, yet I did not know what to expect from the job. This fall, the AIB became the neighbor of a home for refugees. In late October, people began gradually moving into the old building of the Poliklinik right next door to the new AIB (at Wilhelmstr. 27). 205 people have moved in so far, but more are yet to come. Seeking shelter and opportunities for a better life, they arrived in Germany without most of life's necessities. Working closely together with the people responsible for the refugee center, I learned more and more about the refugees' situation. Obviously it is much more personal to meet the people in person than to see them on a screen. It is incredibly interesting, as they all have different and sometimes incredible stories about why they came. They also have different national and educational backgrounds, which sometimes makes it easier and sometimes harder to understand each other. However, I have always felt welcome at the center and I enjoyed getting to know all the friendly people I have met so far.

 

In the beginning, WiFi was one of the most important things at Poliklinik. You have to understand that, although most refugees did not bring much, they all brought their smartphones. It is their chance to communicate with friends and family at home. Therefore, routers were installed to provide free internet access throughout the house in cooperation with an initiative called "Freifunk". Soon after, I heard about other needs which were not covered. With regard to that, the AIB started fundraising with our students' host families and some other local associations such as two kindergartens and the furniture store Mambo. We received generous donations with which we could help our neighbors manage their daily routine. Besides, refugees are not allowed to work in Germany until their application for asylum is accepted. Thus, we thought a kicker (soccer table) would be fun as well, since most of them do not have many things to do during the day.

 

In cooperation with volunteers of the church, I also helped furnishing a room which is now used as a café. The café is thought of as a meeting area for residents as well as volunteers. Alia, one of our helpful students, and I participated in cleaning and preparing the room. I can say that it now looks very cozy and welcoming. Furthermore, the AIB collaborated with the volunteer team which provides German lessons at Poliklinik. We helped out with teaching materials and books, and thanks to our students, it was possible to carry all the stuff next door.

One time I also had the chance to invite the housefather Mr Haspel over to the AIB for an information evening with our students. Mr Haspel talked about the situation at the refugee center and gave our students an idea of the refugees' everyday life. We at AIB were very happy to see that our students were interested in the subject and that they wanted to get in touch with our neighbors as well.

Together with our students from Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University, Loyola Marymount University and Provincia Autonoma di Trento, who took part in our programs this fall, we organized a surprise for our new neighbors. Just before our students left to go back home, they collected Christmas presents which I took over to the refugee center on Monday Dec 21st. Unfortunately, our students had already left, when we handed them out.

Nevertheless, it was a very joyful atmosphere, as you can see in the photos. My colleagues and I had the feeling that our action was very much appreciated. So well done everybody!

 

Considering the short time span during which the people at Poliklinik arrived, it was a big task to accommodate them well. I feel that the AIB and its students did their best to help provide necessities and make them feel as comfortable under their conditions as possible. For my part, I enjoyed meeting all the nice people who supported us in our aid to refugees. Many things would not have been possible without them.

I would like to personally thank our students, their host families and all other volunteers for their extraordinary willingness to help and wish them all the best for 2016!

See you soon
Lea

AIB NEWS:
AIB Christmas Video 2015

AIB NEWS:
Season's Greetings

 
 

Since our website has been under construction we have been absent for a while but we are back with a little update and Thanksgiving impressions.

We hope you also spent a nice Thanksgiving and are now enjoying the start of the holiday season!

Please follow us on Facebook while we are working on a new and better website for you.

See you soon!
Your AIB Team

AIB NEWS:
Exhibit Opening: Torchbearers - Vorbilder in dunkler Zeit

The paintings, by US-American artist Robert Schiffhauer, are part of his "Torchbearers" series that honors, he says, “those who light our way towards just societies that build up institutions for racial equality, freedom of speech, human rights, healthy environments and wise use of resources of land and sea.” The exhibit includes portraits of luminaries from US history such as Martin Luther King Jr. as well as Europeans who publicly opposed anti-Semitism and genocide in the 20th century, many of whom lost their lives because of their writings and actions.

Opening night with the artist: Friday July 10th, 2015 at 5pm (R.S.V.P)

On display from July 11th until August 6th, 2015 Wednesday-Friday: 4pm-7pm Saturday: 1pm-5pm Sunday: 11am-3pm and by appointment.

Location: Kreuzung an St.Helena Bornheimstr. 130 53119 Bonn

Info:
www.torchbearers.de
info@torchbearers.de

AIB NEWS:
Germany 1 : USA 2

Great Atmosphere, great game!

 

Last night students and staff enjoyed the friendly match at Cologne stadium and cheered for both teams. Congratulations, U.S. Boys, you played the better soccer tonight!

AIB NEWS:
Bonn Marathon 2015

As part of AIB's traditional „Charity Weekend“, thirty AIB students, instructors and staff participated in the traditional „AIB Charity Run“ (Bonn Marathon), on April 19, 2015, in order to collect donations for a good cause: the Marol Academy in South Sudan – and to finish the ominous 26 miles through Bonn's inner city.

 

Under sunny skies and cheered on by thousands of supporters on the sides of the streets, seven relay teams and one full marathon-runner finished their runs in great times and enjoyed their success at AIB's after-run party over some carb-heavy foods and other refreshments.

It was a great event for the students, AIB and Marol Academy, and a tradition that will certainly be held up in 2016!

AIB NEWS:
Aggies proud to be part of the International Big Event at AIB

Over 70 students from three different universities participated in the second International Big Event in Bonn, including 37 Aggies. Engaging in the Big Event with not only other Aggies, but also students from Loyola Marymount University in California, students from Penn State University in Pennsylvania, and German student workers was an incredibly special experience for the Aggies who were involved. The chance to give back to a new community in the Aggie style has uniquely enriched these students’ semester abroad.

On Saturday, April 18th, ten groups of students headed from out into their new community alongside German AIB student workers and American university faculty to thank the Bonners for their hospitality. The ten projects ranged from trash clean up and painting to yard work and gardening.

 

One project had a personal note for professor Arthur Gross-Schaefer from Loyola Marymount University. A tree was planted in a Jewish cemetery in the nearby city of Königswinter. The project involved not only the manual labor of basic landscaping care for the cemetery, but also a coming together of the students to hear Jewish prayers and hold a time of reflection. Rabbi Gross-Schaefer had the chance to share some Jewish traditions with his students, including giving them the opportunity to participate in the practice of leaving small stones on grave sites as a gesture of remembrance for the deceased. It was a powerful moment for the students and a unique educational opportunity for the faculty. The LMU students who participated on that project were excited to have started a tradition of their own: taking an oath to visit their tree anytime they return to the Rhineland.

Another culturally significant project involved cleaning up the grounds of the Bonner Godesburg, an ancient fortress in Bonn. Students there tidied the grounds around the tower with gloves and trash bags. One Aggie on that project expressed “finding a sense of accomplishment in a full bag” and an appreciation for working on such a project with students from the other universities. In a sentiment that sums up this semester abroad, the students also very much enjoyed the majesty of the ancient tower and the magnificent view from the top.

All of the students who served on a project team were more than happy to have given back to the community they have been living in for the past three months. But, it was especially impactful for the A&M students. Moments like the Big Event are what make Aggies proud to be Aggies, and sharing this tradition with a new community in a new country has made these Aggies very proud indeed.

Written by Emily Sturgell

AIB NEWS:
Saving the Toads

The Spring 2015 Science Program from Loyola Marymount University joined efforts with conservationists and a volunteer nature protector group to save endangered frogs in the Bonn Rein Erft area. Their Biostation project was to build artificial ponds in the Beuel region to allow for the surivial of the frog reproduction in that region. The holes of the pond were first dug out before applying a tarp layer and gravel to the hole. At the end of two very tiring days, they constructed 3 ponds, and restored an old pond! Many thanks to the Science group and the volunteers!

AIB NEWS:
AIB Charity Weekend coming up on April 18/19!

Saturday April 18 - “Simply saying thank you” 70 US-American students volunteer for Bonn by taking part in the International Big Event 2015

This Saturday, our 70 American guest students will take action together to thank the Bonners for their hospitality. It is the second year that AIB will host the International Big Event to provide students with the opportunity to give back to the local community. The Big Event originates from Texas A&M University, our partner in College Station, Texas. (http://bigevent.tamu.edu)
In the spirit of the mission statement 'One big day, one big thanks, one big event' thousands of A&M students volunteer within the community once a year. It is the largest one-day, student-run service project in the USA. In 2014, the Big Event went international, for the first time and Bonn became the biggest project location outside the USA. By hosting the International Big Event, we aim to encourage our students to get involved with the local community. Among others, a clean-up project at the Bonner Godesburg (www.godesburg-bonn.de) is planned, as well as a gardening project at the Jewish cemetery in Königswinter. Our groups from Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas), Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California) and Penn State University (State College, Pennsylvania) are looking forward to meeting their project partners on April 18, 2015.

Sunday, April 19 – AIB Charity Run

On Sunday, our students will participate in the Bonn Marathon. Not only will this be a great experience for students and staff, but they will actively help raise money for the AIB affiliated Marol Academy, an NGO in South Sudan that supports educational projects for underprivileged children (http://marolacademysudan.org). The donations will be used for new classrooms, education for the teachers and improvements to the educational program. We look forward to seeing all our students, faculty and staff on Sunday - either running or cheering!

AIB NEWS:
Update on the Enmodes Project

The Texas A&M Bioscience students’ project with Enmodes is underway. Last week, Tim Kaufmann and Ralf Borchardt from Enmodes again visited Bonn. This time, Dr. Jeremy Wasser gave a brief overview of the students’ work and then gave the students the opportunity to summarize each of their five preliminary designs. The Enmodes representatives had the chance to ask questions and give feedback on each of the designs, which opened a discussion that furthered the students’ understanding of the project and what issues their designs might have in real-world application.

To design something for real-world production and use is not a task undergraduate students usually have the opportunity to participate in, especially not to the capacity that this project allows, so they are very excited to continue to work with Enmodes. Kaufmann and Borchardt were pleasantly surprised with the direction that the students have taken the project, and are excited to see the final three device designs that will be presented in Aachen in late April.

Written by Emily Sturgell

AIB NEWS:
On Borrowed Time

At the close of this year's spring term at the Akademie für Internationale Bildung (Academy for International Education AIB) the LOSt ANGELeS Ensemble from Loyola Marymount University, L.A. presents the play „On Borrowed Time“ at Theater Marabu in Bonn-Beuel under the direction of professor Diane Benedict.

AIB cordially invites all interested townspeople to come to the premiere on April 30 at 8 pm. Additional performances will take place on May 1 at 8 pm and on May 2 at 2 pm at Theater Marabu in Bonn-Beuel.

About the play:
The year is 1917. The United States has officially entered the conflict of World War I, women have gained suffrage in New York City, flappers and gangsters meet at local speakeasies, and a strange new element has been discovered by Dr. Marie Curie: Radium. It is being hailed as a modern miracle elixir that will cure cancer. As the war continues, demands for radium skyrocket and young girls from Orange, New Jersey begin working at the United States Radium Corporation as dialpainters to help their families in the economic crisis. They paint the numbers on watches and clocks with luminescent paint made from Radium, and the United States Radium Corporation generously donates their excess radium dust to the local community sandboxes to 'keep our children healthy!' This so-called „miracle elixir“ is being ingested daily by the dialpainters as they use the 'tipping' method by putting their brushes in their mouths to get a fine point. Slowly – and horrifyingly – the dialpainters become increasing ill, and one by one, die from Radium poisoning. The company, for which they've worked for years, and put their blind trust in, now will do anything to cover up the truth that Radium is killing their workers.

Sick with radium poisoning, with only months to live, their jaws and bones slowly disintegrating, the dialpainters muster the courage to take their case to court in the first landmark case of United States industrial reform.

For booking tickets please send an E-Mail to tickets@aib-studyabroad.org
or call 0228 - 33 88 39 20.

We would be happy to welcome you on one of the three evenings at Theater Marabu.

The LOSt ANGELeS Ensemble together with the AIB-Team are looking forward to seeing you!

DOWNLOAD FLYER: borrowed_time.pdf

AIB NEWS:
Frischer Blick auf Unkel

Workshop mit amerikanischen Studierenden der Pennsylvania State University

Drei Tage lang bringen elf Studierende der Pennsylvania State University frischen Wind nach Unkel, wenn sie vom 23. bis 25. März 2015 zu einem Workshop zu Besuch kommen. Die angehenden Landschaftsarchitekten kommen nicht direkt aus den USA, sondern aus Bonn. Dort absolvieren sie derzeit ein einsemestriges Auslandsstudien-Programm, das von der Bonner Akademie für Internationale Bildung betreut wird.

Nachdem die jungen Menschen auf zahlreichen Exkursionen und in verschiedenen Seminaren einen Einblick in deutsche Stadt- und Landschaftsplanung bekommen haben, dürfen sie nun selber kreativ werden. Sie sollen einen frischen Blick auf Unkel werfen, ihre Besonderheiten erkunden, versteckte Potenziale aufspüren und vielleicht erste Ideen für weitere Entwicklungen skizzieren. Dabei können in diesem knapp dreitägigen Workshop keine fertigen Konzepte entstehen. Vielmehr geht es darum, mit frischem Blick von außen auf die Stadt zu schauen und die lokale Diskussion mit neuen Impulsen zu bereichern.

Mit einem Begrüßung durch die Stadt beginnt der Workshop am 23. März 2015. Nach geführtem Stadtspaziergang endet der erste Tag mit Impulsvorträgen aus der Unkeler Bürgerschaft im Alten Ratsaal. Am zweiten Tag machen sich die Studierenden auf Erkundungstour durch den Ort und entwickeln erste Ideen an Arbeitstischen, die sie temporär im Willy-Brandt-Forum aufbauen. Am 25. März 2015 geht der Workshop zu Ende und die studentischen Eindrücke und Ideen werden im Alten Ratsaal öffentlich präsentiert und diskutiert.

Vielleicht ist die Zusammenarbeit zwischen Stadt, Unkeler Engagierten und amerikanischen Studierenden nur ein Anfang. Der Akademie für Internationale Bildung Bonn ist daran gelegen, dass nicht nur im Klassenzimmer gelernt wird, sondern vor Ort: an realen Aufgabenstellungen, mit engagierten Menschen und interessierten Bürgern. Vielleicht kommen demnächst regelmäßig Studierende nach Unkel.

Veranstalter des Workshops
Akademie für Internationale Bildung gGmbH, Bonn Study Abroad Programm für Studierende der Landschaftsarchitektur der Pennsylvania State University, USA

Programm Direktor: Ture Petersenn, petersenn@aib-studyabroad.org;
Dozentin: Dr. Juliane von Hagen, vonhagen@stadtforschen.de; tel 0177.246.2498

in Kooperation mit
Entwicklungsagentur Unkel
Rex Stephenson, rex.stephenson@entwicklungsagentur-unkel.de

Programm:

mo 23. März 2015
14.30 Uhr - Begrüßung der Studierenden durch Stadt Unkel, Alter Ratsaal
15.00 Uhr - Historischer Stadtrundgang
17.30 Uhr - Auftaktveranstaltung mit Vorträgen zu Unkel gestern und heute, Alter Ratsaal

di 24.März 2015
10 Uhr - Führung durch das Willy-Brandt-Forum
11-18.00 Uhr - Arbeitsphase der Studierenden im UG des Willy-Brandt-Forums
18.30 Uhr - informelles Zusammentreffen der Studierenden mit jungen Interessierten aus Unkel

mi 25. März 2015
16.00 Uhr - öffentliche Präsentation und Diskussion der studentischen Ideen, Alter Ratsaal
 

DOWNLOAD: Workshop Einladung

AIB NEWS:
TAMU Bioscience students meet with enmodes GmbH to kick off semester device design project

The Texas A&M Bioscience students had the opportunity on Friday, February 20th, to pick the brains of the engineers who have tasked the students with the development of a sutureless graft-to-aorta connection device to be used in the installation of Ventricular Assist Devices.

Dr. Tim Kaufmann and Ralf Borchard from enmodes GmbH, based in Aachen, gave a presentation to the students outlining their company’s goals and innovative projects and elaborated on the importance of the sutureless connection device. The Bioscience students took the opportunity to discuss their role in the project, specifications for the device, and the importance of the planned sutureless connector in future biomedical engineering applications. A follow-up meeting will occur in March, during which the student teams will present their design approaches. After the final designs are chosen, the ultimate device designs will be presented to the engineers of enmodes in Aachen in April. The students are excited for the opportunity to work with enmodes on such a critical project and are already preparing for the challenge.

Written by Emily Sturgell

AIB NEWS:
The AIB Charity Day - this year on April 18, 2015

The AIB Charity Day is an opportunity for our US-American students to become actively involved with charity, by doing volunteer work in Bonn.

Because of its big success in 2014, when it was done for the very first time, we would like to take action again and do good. Sixty of our spring semester students, have already signed up to participate in the AIB Charity Day to thank the citizens of Bonn for their hospitality. The idea originates from students of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, who organize such a Volunteering Day every year. According to the theme 'One big day, one big thanks, one big event' thousands of students are volunteering across the city and the community for the good cause. With the AIB Charity Day, the students will get the opportunity to say 'Thanks' to their host city Bonn, while the organizations and institutions will get a motivated and helpful volunteer for a day. In addition, we also aim to support the students' participation and integration into the local community. Our students from Texas, California and Pennsylvania are currently looking for ways to engage themselves. This can cover all kinds of areas which relate to volunteer work – cleaning, gardening, helping out around the house and much more.

Are you looking for help and need motivated volunteers? Do you have a project we can support you with? We are looking forward to hearing from you!

For more information, please contact Inga Bruckmann (bruckmann@aib-studyabroad.org) or Kristin Vosbeck (vosbeck@aib-studyabroad.org)

AIB NEWS:
Germany knocks USA off Best Nation in the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index


Aaron Wang enjoying a Bundesliga game in Leverkusen

A recent 2014 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM study has ranked Germany as “best country” based on global public opinion. As an American citizen who grew up always hearing about how the United States was always “number one”, I was a little surprised when I heard this. In 2013, the annual NBISM study ranked the United States as the “best country” and Germany as number two with the US taking first place for the past five years. The NBISM study gauges the international opinions of fifty countries in terms of “exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment”, which all contribute to the national image of that country. The 2014 study involved a total of 20,125 interviews of individuals from twenty different countries.

I am not a citizen of Germany. I do not view the country as a native but rather as a student who has spent time studying abroad here while taking part in the experiences and traditions of the land. From what I have seen, the rise of Germany as a modern and advanced country has allowed it to compete on the world playing field. The country is being recognized as a leader in many areas such as technology and political stewardship throughout Europe and the world. The jump of Germany ahead of the US in its ranking as “best country” is due in part to its rise in “sports excellence” from the country’s recent victory in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Championship. In my opinion, soccer is a very important part of modern German culture. I went to a Bundesliga game last year and though it was not an international-level match, the crowd in the stadium had an intense energy that matched that of some American football games in the US. Overall, the German people are enthusiastic and fervent about soccer, which very much makes it a national sport and pastime. Granted, the athletic image of a country is only one of the many aspects that determine the overall national image, it can be seen as a reflection of strong associations between a national entity and the individuals of a country. A strong and stable nation has the ability and resources to excel in multiple areas such as sports and other competitions on the international scale.

This is my third time living in Germany and I somehow find myself coming back. Studying and living in the city of Bonn has been a major part of my college experience and they have been experiences that opened my eyes to a little more about how other people around the world live. I enjoy my days in Bonn and there are so many things I appreciate about living here. I love living with my host family, appreciating the charm of the city center, and viewing the natural beauty of the Rhineland. As each day passes, I feel like I fit in just a little bit more. Even with my American citizenship and patriotism for my home country, I believe that Germany has grown on me and Bonn even feels like my “second home”. From what I have experienced, Germany is a country that is very much ahead in terms of its environmentalism policies and overall lifestyle choices of the average citizen. The policies I have seen from charging for plastic bags at stores to mandatory separation of trash really promote the image of Germany to me as a country that is conscious of the state of its land and its future sustainability. Germans as a whole also appear to me to be more physically fit and healthier than Americans. To me, this is most likely attributed to differing lifestyle choices between the average German and the average American. As a student living in Germany, I feel that my lifestyle is different here as well. I have to walk more, I eat less processed foods, and I adjust to the bedtimes of my host family. Overall, these are improvements compared to the more “American” lifestyle I lead at home. Living with two different host families in Germany has shown me a little more about how the middle-class populace of the country lives and the similar motifs between families that define their lifestyles. There are differences between any two families but both of the German host families I have stayed with seem to lead comfortable, wholesome, and happy lives. My experiences in Germany have left me with no doubt that Germany is a great country to not only study in but to live in as well.

The primary contributor to the US’ drop in its NBISM rank is public opinion regarding the role of the US in global security and peace. In particular, people interviewed from Russia and Egypt gave vastly negative ratings in regard to their perceptions of “American commitment to global peace and security”. While it is important to include and consider the opinions of those who have them, it is also equally important to acknowledge the recent relations and interactions between the countries. Despite the US’ drop in the study, the results acknowledge that the US still leads in multiple areas such as “creativity, contemporary culture, and education”. Globalization in the 20th and 21st centuries has indisputability been influenced by the worldwide reach of the US in terms of its practices, society, and diplomacy. With the spread of US influence around the globe, there will naturally be nations that arise through global competition and the incorporation of both American and novel ideals.

I am a citizen of the United States. I am so grateful to have been born and raised there and it is a place I am proud to call my home. At the same time, I sometimes feel as if I have found another home in Germany. Though it is a nation in which I am not a citizen of and still have much to learn about, I have grown to care about it. No matter what country has been deemed to be ahead of the others, it is indisputable that there will always be aspects of every nation that need improvement and others that can serve as role models to other nations. As a citizen of the US, I believe it is important to acknowledge, especially with the spread of American ideals, the ability of other countries to progress and also proliferate their own international influences. There are numerous aspects of a nation that contribute to its national image and there will inevitably be changes, both small and large, with the progression of time and the outcomes of significant decisions. As an American citizen who loves both the United States and Germany, I look forward to observing how the two countries interact as they both stride ahead into the future.

www.gfk.com/news-and-events/press-room/press-releases/pages/germany-knocks-usa-off-best-nation-top-spot.aspx

By Aaron Wang

AIB NEWS:
Theater Students Show Performance Based on Stanislavski Class

This showcase is based on various scenes from Chekhov’s, The Seagull. One of the most important goals for this Stanislavski workshop was for the students to learn about characterization, relationships, working with a partner, working as a tight ensemble, improving the actor’s imagination, and to understand how to perform Chekhov. This showcase is not about Russia, or Russians, or Russian life. The relationship between people is most important and most unique. When we speak about love, we are not thinking about nationality, religion, politics, but about the human condition. The experience of losing one’s love, is universal.

 

 

This showcase is about famous people who can’t find love, about simple people who are in love, and about unrequited love. The story is about estranged relationships between mother and son, father and daughter, and brother and sister, and about people with weak wills, that allow sin into their world. The most important human emotion is love, loving one’s parents, loving one’s paramour, loving one’s work, country, nature, and finding a way to ultimately love oneself. Love can give us the strength to improve ourselves, make us better human beings, and love can also kill us.

Written by Ilja Bocarnicovs

AIB NEWS:
A warm welcome at the City Hall

Major receives American students who spend their semester in Bonn

The American students, who followed the invitation to Bonn's City Hall, never got tired of looking at the beautiful building. “I have walked past it quite often, but it is great to finally see it from the inside”, says Alex Franco from California. Since 1993, the Akademie für Internationale Bildung (Academy for International Education), located at Adenauerallee, facilitates study abroad opportunities for foreign in Bonn. About 80 students arrived to Germany three weeks ago and are going to stay until mid-May. It’s time to welcome them officially to Bonn.

In her welcoming speech, Major Gabriele Klingmüller emphasized the good relation to the United States. She chose the small chapel in the American village in Plittersdorf, a district of Bonn, as an example, which was a gift from Bill Clinton to the city of Bonn. She named “Bonn's five pillars”: science, economy and culture, and Bonn’s profile as Federal City and City of the United Nations.

Almost 400 students visit Germany per year and study for one semester at the AIB. The 80 newcomers come from different universitie located in California, Texas and Pennsylvania, and are enrolled in study programs like Theater, Landscape Architecture or Visualization. “These are the people who want to work at Pixar Animation Studios”, says Kristin Vosbeck, program-coordinator at AIB since 2011. Usually professors from America join their students in coming to Germany and continue teaching here.

However, even though the daily classes are held in English, Fenja Wittneven-Welter, program-coordinator and German teacher at AIB since 2007, attaches great importance to German language acquisition. Students take a German class at the AIB and practice their German at home with their local host families. Welcoming host families are always wanted, says Ms. Vosbeck. “The only requirements are a spare room, openness and a hot meal per day. We are still looking for host families this summer in order to house students for the Parlamentarian Partnership Program (PPP). The PPP is a cooperation between the U.S. Congress and the German Bundestag, which gives young professionals the chance to experience 6 weeks in Bonn before pursuing a yearlong internship in the electoral district of the delegates responsible. Fenja Wittneven-Welter and Kristin Vosbeck stress the importance of a good support system. Vosbeck, who has been abroad several times herself, knows of the ups and downs one can experience while studying abroad. She enjoys accompanying her students into independence. Fenja Wittneven-Welter emphasizes how important cultural exchange is to overcome stereotypes and prejudices.

Every year the students say thank you for the hospitality they receive by performing a Theater play at the Marabu Theater and by running an AIB Charity Day in April where they support non-profit organizations

The original article was written in German and printed in the "General Anzeiger": http://www.general-anzeiger-bonn.de/bonn/bonn/bonn-zentrum/Herzlicher-Willkommensgruss-im-Rathaus-article1548279.html

AIB NEWS:
Get a little glimpse into the Vienna excursion

Is there still Plague in Vienna?

Although the answer is obviously "no", the Texas A&M Biosciences students put aside reality for a few hours and took all preventative measures as they toured this ancient medical hub with their certified Plague doctor and tour guide, Dr. Schnabel. True to his character, this elusive guide made sure each student was properly immunized against the plague with the following three "tried-and-true" plague deterrents: a clove, some "urine" (which was actually the popular Austrian soda, Almdudler), and white vinegar.

   

As the students toured the city, they learned the history of medical development in Vienna and its contributions to the rest of the world, including the first mental hospital in Europe, an advanced medical school, and of course Sigmund Freud.

Written by Amy Westwick

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