After flying 14 hours, going through security twice, and butchering the German language through customs, all my stuff and I made it to Deutschland!

Looking at the floor balconies from my TU Braunschweig dorm room

My home for the next seven weeks is a seventh floor dorm room, in the north part of Braunschweig, about a 10-minute bus ride from the school, and about a 15-minute bus ride from downtown. All of the students in my program are scattered about the dorm, so we can meet the local students, and the kitchen on every floor seems to be the perfect place; must be something about college students and food. Everyone Iíve met has been really friendly, and despite our limited German, they have been helping us with everything from getting Internet access to correcting our German.

Braunschweig is a great little city. The shopping mall was built from an old castle, but on the inside it looks like a normal mall. All around town there are alleyways lined with a mix of old half-timber buildings next to more modern ones, because most of the city was destroyed in bombs from WWII. But built much later that WWII is my favorite building: the Happy RIZZI House. It was originally to be built in Paris, but the architect was persuaded that more people would look at it in Braunschweig. Another great thing about Braunschweig (and most of Europe) is the town viewing areas set up for all of the Euro Cup matches. When Germany won last Friday the whole town went crazy. Hopefully tomorrow when Germany plays (and wins) it will be just as fun!

Today we started our German classes. They are quite hard, but we finish every day at 1:30, so that makes it better. TU Braunschweig is a great school, and while it is a technical school just like Mines, itís quite different. There are about 15,000 students enrolled, and most of the buildings are spread out between three small campuses in the north part of town. One of my favorite benefits of the school is that as students, we can use the the city buses and most of the trains in Lower Saxony for free.

Front view of the Braunschweig Mall

There are about 25 students in the SENSE Program with me, from all around the world. Together we can speak seven languages fluently, and we all love to travel, so this weekend half of us are going to Berlin and the other half are going to the Harz mountains. Looks like itís going to be an awesome summer.

Everything is great, except for the weather. It is not summer here. Technically yes, but it’s nothing like what anyone thinks of summer. Not even a bit. It’s like Washington State mixed with Colorado in the spring: It rains and just when it stops, it starts to pour for a few minutes; this repeats all day. (I sure wish all this rain would head out to Colorado instead.) They say it’s supposed to get warmer here soon, we all sure hope it does.

Even though it doesnít feel like summer to any of us, we are still are having a fantastic time and learning a lot. These next seven weeks are going to fly by.