Below is a reflection from student Jordon Coffman about their first week in Germany.
We have made it through our first week in Jena, Germany. We have already had many experiences. We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany on June 1st, and we traveled by train to Jena. For most of us, that was the first time traveling by train. When we arrived in Frankfurt, we were greeted by two students name Stefon and Bastian.
Bastian is shown in the picture above on the train ride from Frankfurt.
They showed us to our hotel, and have taken us to many places in the city. We finally got to our hotel and immediately got rid of our luggage. Upon arriving at the hotel we realized that there had been a miscommunication. They had 6 of us sharing beds. We fixed that problem very quickly.
The first weekend in Jena we relaxed and learned how to ride the public transportation system. We also learned where to get the best ice cream and food. We learned that we definitely needed a few German language lessons after traveling around Jena.
Classes started on June 3rd. We have been taking three classes. Our German class was the first class we were in. We were all a little shocked when the professor started speaking German and didn’t stop. She spoke German the entire lecture. At first we did not like this technique, but over the past three lectures we have learned to appreciate it. We have been picking up a lot of German quickly.
We also have a class on Microcontrollers. This class is very interesting. We built a robot and will begin programming it next week.
The robot built for Microcontrollers is shown above.
Our final class is Electrical Drives. This class has proven to be very difficult for us because it is closely related to the electrical portion of engineering. We all like the mechanical portion a lot better. We can see that our professor, Dr. Dittrich, is very passionate about the subject though, and very willing to help us understand.
We have also had a lot of fun and cultural experiences here so far. We were able to relax and go bowling after classes on Wednesday, June 5th. The bowling alley was actually located in a bar/restaurant/motel. It was a very interesting business.
Our bowling experience is shown in the picture above.
We have eaten at many German restaurants, and they have all been fantastic. Our only bad experience with food was at a pizza restaurant. We have also had tours of the Optics Museum, and Carl Zeiss Company.
Our tour of Carl Zeiss is shown above with Professor Dittrich (left) and our tour guide (right).
We have learned a lot about the history of the Jena, and have received a lot of culture. We also saw a musical presentation and light show in a planetarium. The musical was completely Queen, and it was a very good presentation.
We look forward to our trips to Weimar, Buchenwald, and Erfurt this weekend. We hope everything is going well back in the states and we will see you soon!