Some time in April, my friend and fellow metal fan Diane (with whom I attended a LoG/CoB show in November) and I discovered that Iron Maiden, a legendary power metal band from the UK, would be playing at a festival called Rockavaria in Munich, Bavaria, in May. After realizing that tickets were not only still available, but were also incredibly reasonably priced, we began making plans.
Occasionally in life, we come across opportunities that are simply way too good to pass up. For me, one of these such opportunities arose when I discovered a company on Facebook called pm2am Student Trips. This company offers unique traveling opportunities for students and young people on tight budgets. The premise is that the participants will travel by bus by night, and explore cities during the day, with a bit of variation in each excursion.
Less than a week after I returned from Greece, I picked up my boyfriend, Kyle, from the airport after his long flight from California. He stayed for a total of two weeks, during which time we explored Tübingen and the surrounding area, visited some friends of his in a neighboring state, and made a trip up to Amsterdam.
One of the best parts of studying abroad has been how many people I have gotten to know from all around the world. There are about 3,000 international students that study in Tübingen annually, and with a total student population of around 27,000, that means that about one nine students is studying abroad.
While waiting at the Stuttgart airport for our flight to Istanbul way back in September, my friend Jackie and I discovered that Hozier, an Irish singer most known for his song “Take me to Church,” would perform in Köln, Germany (that’s Cologne, for you English speakers) in February. We thought for a few moments, then purchased tickets, deciding that we’d plan some sort of trip around it when the time came closer.
There is an endless amount of things that one can learn while traveling throughout Europe, both about one’s self and the world we live in. One of the most useful and applicable things that I have discovered during my travels, is that the experience of traveling somewhere new is drastically improved when you are accompanied by someone who lives in or comes from the area you are visiting.
For the first two weeks of my winter break, I was graced with the presence of my amazing mother. We went on a whirlwind of adventures around Europe, beginning with a few days in my hometown, Tübingen, where we attended several Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas Markets) in neighboring towns and visited an impressive castle, Schloss Hohenzollern, in nearby Hechingen.
On November 18th, the other CSU IP students and I boarded a train and traveled roughly 700 kilometers through Germany to Berlin. This was our last excursion put on by the program, and it was particularly special because it included all of the direct enrollment students that are studying at other Universities around Baden-Württemberg. During our five-day trip, we learned and experienced so many things that attempting to summarize it has been an intimidating task (proven by the lateness of this post). Therefore, I have separate the days and attempted to create some sort of flow for this megapost. I have also included some historical information, so that it is easier to understand some of the other things that I write about. Enjoy!
In mid-October, I had the great fortune of embarking on my second out-of-country journey with a wonderful group of ladies. We spent the weekend in a town called Bad Zurzach, which is just south of the German border, and went on a few excursions to some of the major cities in Switzerland, including Zurich, Lucerne, and Bern.
I have been getting a lot of questions about where I am and what’s going on, so I decided to write a brief summary of what I’ve been doing, what I will be doing, what the CSU IP program really is, and how it works here in Germany. I have also included some photos at the end to make it more interesting.