Thursday, July 14, 2016

thank you

I would like to thank Fred F. Weingruber for helping to make this wonderful once in a lifetime trip come true for me.  It has truly been an experience that has shaped my life and career goals.  I have gained so much insight from this trip that it has helped me grow as a person. 


As I, sit in my house and reflect on my trip now that I am back in the good old U.S.A.   I am glad that I experienced Germany with study abroad.  It helped me realize how important it is to be environmentally friendly. I also was able to associate with some amazing professors who I feel have broadened my perspective on the gap between Europe and the U.S.  I am proud everyone wants to be American, but I feel we as Americans could take some lessens from Germany.  I hate to say that I may be less American now than when I left for Germany in May. I will be more conscious of my carbon footprint because these people have made a big impression on me. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Career Insights

Study abroad has strengthened and shaped my career goals.  I now have a deeper meaning for wanting to be a chemical engineer.  I want to be part of something bigger and help future generations to share this beautiful place we call earth.  It is up to engineers to update factories with new ways to prevent pollution and keep the air and water clean.  Before this trip my career goals were all of self interest.  I like to solve problems, do math, and chemistry.  Now I can truly say I want to be an engineer to help make the world a better place.  This gives chemical engineering a greater meaning and I am proud to be on the road to accomplishing great things.  


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Local Life

I did not experience any trouble communicating with German people.  For the most part they all speak English extremely well.  I think I had a fair amount of things in common with these people.  One of the students even said I should move to Germany because I act more German than American.  My grandfathers side of our family had roots in Germany.  The German culture class revealed a great deal about my family.  The German people are hard working, straightforward, strong willed, and like details.  I see all of these qualities instilled in me that have been passed down in my family for generations.  I did not know about the extreme importance of beer in Germany and how the beer purity law is written into the constitution.  It was interesting to find out that Bavaria was not originally part of Germany.  They did not unify with Northern Germany until  1871.  Bavarian people will even say "I am Bavarian first and German second." They even have a different dialect from Northern Germany.  They have a acutely, deep, and rich history that has been shaped by many things.
This is a picture of the new town hall in Munich.  This is a special building that features a spectacular engineering show every hour.  This show depicts a war where Bavaria wins.  The second picture is of one of the wonderful locals at a brewery we toured.  He was a perfect example of the German people.  He had so much exuberance for his job.


I would have to say traveling oversees by yourself is challenging.  It surprised me how much independence and free time that was given to the students. I thought that every minute was going to be planned out and there was not going to be time to do any extra sightseeing.  I was wrong.  I saw many sights other than the planned events.  I took a day trip to see neuschwanstein castle, which was well worth it.  This castle was like something out of a storybook.  I just wish the tour was not so rushed.  This tour also included a 2 mile uphill walk, which took a good bit of time.  One problem I had was finding something to do after 6:00 pm at night. Everything in Germany closes at 6. I tried to go see a movie, but only found one in English. I feel I wasted a lot of time not knowing these things.  Also, it rained a lot during our trip. I also was unsure what to do on these days when I first arrived.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Differences from home

I found many differences from home here in Germany.  Munich although immense is an exceptionally safe city compared to U.S. cities.  This is due to their strict gun laws and police enforcement.  The police are everywhere and they do not put up with anything.  I had to get used to being able to walk around at night comfortably by myself.  I think it is an American thing to always be on guard and look over our shoulders.  This trip has given me a view into my life as an American as well.  I went to experience another culture and their culture taught me about mine.  Europeans are not afraid to fly.  They ride planes for 20 or 50 euros every other weekend to see their friends in Madrid.  I know quite a few Americans who would never step foot on a plane in Europe. As I mentioned before there is no air conditioning.  They drink beer whether alcoholic or non alcoholic with lunch.  The German people are more professional when it comes to business.  When we were in class there was no time wasted.  In America there are distractions and jokes during class.  There are too many differences to list here. 

Modern Conveniences of the U.S.

The German's are also aware of their carbon footprint more so than in the U.S.  I expected to be cold in the hotel so I packed accordingly only to find out there was no air conditioning.  There was no air conditioning anywhere.  There was not an ice cold pop or beer to be found. They must keep their refrigeration units at a higher temperature than ours to use less power.  The biggest energy producer in Germany are solar panels.  There are hundreds of solar panels in the country side.  Any where in the U.S. in the summer it is cold to the max.  We like everything refrigerated.