I arrived in Leoben Monday last and have spent the week settling into my new home for the next five months. I can already tell I will love it here.
I have been in Austria almost a week and it seems like just yesterday I was frantically trying to pack up my life into two huge suitcases and two carry-on bags. Everyone in Leoben has been very friendly, and through smiling, pointing and a combination of English and German, this town and culture are making more sense each day.
I’m Alyse, a junior in petroleum engineering. One week from today I will be getting of the train in Leoben, Austria, ready to get settled in before starting the semester.
After months of running back and forth across campus getting professors to sign paperwork approving classes, meeting with the international office, and trying to figure out exactly how this whole study abroad thing is going to work out, I finally have plane tickets to Europe! I am so looking forward to spending spring semester working on my petroleum engineering undergraduate degree at Montanuniversität in Leoben, Austria.
After moving across Germany, I’ve started my internship at Bosch! I now live in at the southern tip of Germany and work in manufacturing engineering for Antilock Brake Systems.
January and February were full of studying and exams. To set the scene a little bit, finals (Klausuren) in Germany work a little differently than in American colleges. Here, Klausuren are usually worth 100% of your grade. “Finals week” takes place during a span of two weeks.
Around the time Thanksgiving came to an end in the USA, Germany seemed to dive headfirst into Christmas. All of a sudden, the whole town was decorated with lights and garland, the snow started falling, and of course, the Christmas markets opened up.
Last week was International Day here at Hochschule Bremen, and it was huge. There are about 130 exchange students this semester, and I would like to think we are all the reason why International Day was so great, but in reality, it is because many majors at Hochschule Bremen are required to study abroad for their major.
Autumn is in full swing here with the all the wonderful colors. I absolutely love just walking around the parks. Another exciting thing about autumn: U.S. elections!
School has finally started here in Germany! And after taking another month of intensive German class, I still wasn’t ready for the German University system.
School in Europe does start until around the first of October. So while everyone at Mines was starting school, I was busy backpacking around Europe.
The atmosphere in London was amazing. It seems like all 10 million people there are completely engrossed in the Olympics. The double decker buses, the ads, the newspapers, the signs, the streets, the taxis, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower Bridge; everywhere you look: Olympics.
For the last two weeks I have been in an automotive engineering class here at TU Braunschweig. University classes in Germany are structured differently from those in the U.S. becasue 100% of your grade is based on the final test at the end of the semester. Yikes!
Last weekend we went to Brussels, and it turned out to be Belgium “National Day.” This coincidence made our trip so much more interesting because we got to see the king of Belgium (along with 100 horses) as he was going to mass on Saturday.
I cannot believe I have already been here for three weeks. The first weekend a group of us went to Berlin and had an absolute ball. Berlin, even though it’s so stoic and most of its history is covered by graffiti, is definitely one of my favorites.
After flying 14 hours, going through security twice, and butchering the German language through customs, all my stuff and I made it to Deutschland!
I’m Kate Rooney, a junior in Mechanical Engineering here at Colorado School of Mines, and in just one week I fly over to Germany to spend a year abroad.
The past four months have gone very quickly and it’s hard to believe that I will be leaving Abu Dhabi in a few days. Before I reflect on the experience as a whole, let me fill you in on what we’ve been up to recently.
Last weekend, the three of us made a quick trip to the Sultanate of Oman. While we have all refused to get behind the wheel of a car in the Emirates due to the fact that most people drive like they are driving a race car, we determined that driving in Oman wouldn’t be a problem.
If my trip to Al Ain, detailed in my last post, was categorized as “travels as a poor, starving college student,” the most recent trip to Khasab and Ras Al Khaimah would be “travels as and with Emiratis.”
I take a 7:20 a.m. bus from the back turn circle at PI to Al Wahda Bus Station in Abu Dhabi. From here, my plan is to take the 700 route to Al Ain for 10 AED. I have a few minutes to kill, so I go inside the bus station, buy a felafel sandwich for 4 AED (~$1.08), and find which gate my bus would depart from. While waiting, a fellow, about 35, comes up to me and says, “Al Ain?”
“12,000 people in the Middle East! This is crazy!” These were the first words spoken by French DJ David Guetta last Friday night during his concert at Yas Arena in Abu Dhabi. Ian and I decided that it was part of our duty to research local culture to attend the concert, which was the biggest thing happening in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
While it is certainly true that my skiing options this season took a significant hit with the decision to come to Abu Dhabi, it is not true that snow skiing is impossible in the Emirates! In Dubai, there is an indoor ski slope that is essentially a giant refrigerator turned into a ski slope. This place is called Ski Dubai, and it is located in a giant mall called Mall of the Emirates.
We’ve played more golf—Rob and I had a tee time at the Abu Dhabi City Golf Club, located on the inside of a horse racing track.
Since my last post, I moved from Building 21, the yellow hostel that houses grad students, to Building 24, which houses primarily petroleum engineering students. Nothing against Robert and Ian, but I want to get the full experience of being here.
Ian and I did a pretty cool thing this afternoon: We played golf on a sand golf course called Al Ghazal. Sand golf is similar to the golf on grass that we’re familiar with, except that the course has been modified for arid climates. The putting surface is referred to as a brown instead of a green, and it is very important to sweep up your footprints to keep the browns in good shape.
Cliff and I went camping outside of Ras Al Khaimah with the adventure club last Thursday and Friday. It was in the mountainous part of the country, and while the mountains don’t quite compare to those of Colorado, the camping location was about as perfect as it could be.
First, let me start with the basketball update that I promised. As you can see, there is a glory picture, which means that we came away with the championship in the tournament!
It’s been close to two weeks since coming to Abu Dhabi and it still never ceases to amaze. We are finally past the period of being the new students on campus and are starting to get back into a routine.
For several years now, I have been purchasing the same make, cut, style and size of jeans. And now for several months, my dry-cleaned jeans will stay on the hangar and in the plastic; it’s far too warm to wear them.