I’m writing from the beautiful city of Leipzig! I just arrived this morning after a short train ride from Berlin where I spent the last week. The time spent there was so amazing, it is hard to put it all in words.
My visit to Germany is part of a two week Fulbright program for international educators and has given me a wonderful look into the country’s culture and history. I am here with nineteen other educators from all around the US with various specializations.
So far, there have been some amazing memories already made. One of my favorite days so far was a quick day trip to Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) which included a walk across the bridge into Poland. It was incredible to stand at the bridge and look at the two countries. Part of this trip included a visit to a unique housing initiative for students (both German and international) call Fforst. This housing arrangement came about because the students felt that there was a great divide between the German and non-German students (particularly from Poland). They started the joint housing a few years ago so that half of the residents would be German citizens and the other half would be international. I got to meet students from around the world and learn more about what drew them to Germany. I was so impressed with their initiative!
Our trip started off in Berlin last week with an amazing bus city tour. We got to see a lot of the city and learn about the historic buildings everywhere. Our days since then have been filled with interesting lectures about the German higher education system, the Bologna Process, and school visits. We’ve also met some amazing people from around the country from professors, administrators, and even a member of the German Parliament (Reichstag)!
In this second half of the trip, we were split up into smaller groups based on our area of interest. I’m now in Leipzig for two days with four other colleagues who work in either international services, study abroad or other related fields. In a few days, we’ll meet back up with the rest of the group in Strasbourg to meet the French Fulbright office. Then we’ll end up in Mainz for a few days before heading back to the US.