Germany was awesome! (Everything is Awesome – Lego Movie)

It’s probably because I was part of a team. (I should stop this)

The Engineering class we took was demanding but great, our German professor was very cool, the boat tours in Bremen and Lübeck were exciting, getting to know 29 other Calvin students and 2 professors  (better) was worthwhile, and having international experience under my belt was a blessing I am grateful for. History was no more a textbook journey in Germany; I could see it, touch it, and sometimes smell it. I would love to go back some time soon.


Wittenberg – and Leipzig thrown in

I was excited about the group trip to Lutherstadt Wittenberg,  and anticipated walking through the doors that Martin Luther had nailed his theses to. This was literally the start of the Reformation, in my opinion one of the most significant events in the history of the church. Little did I know that an innocent trip to the loo as the train started to slow down would see me miss the stop and end up, half an hour later, in Leipzig. Ain’t that exciting? 😉 Continue reading Wittenberg – and Leipzig thrown in


Initially I was worried for the trip because I had never traveled without my family before and had never been to Europe. In addition, I was not great friends with anyone on the trip, and I really just did not know many engineers other than those from my dorm floor.
Looking back on this trip, I now realize that I was quite homesick during the first 2 weeks. Continue reading Home

The Adventure

In a word, Germany was an Adventure. There have been a lot of firsts for me over this trip; most notably of which is flying. I was able to be out of the U.S. and see buildings and cultures that before I only saw in pictures. I could touch the stones of the Cologne Cathedral, Berlin Dom, Neuschwanstein castle, and so many other stunning age old constructs. The food was so vastly different, I’m going to miss not having those options so close by. The opportunity the public transportation system provided especially got me attuned to ‘hitting the town.’ Now that I’m back home It feels like the trip was so long ago. Despite how long it may be I will never forget the adventure. Whenever I see a picture now of where i’ve been I always get a strange feeling, that the picture doesn’t give it justice,
being there is so much better.

Tschüss Germany (Bye Germany)

It is hard to imagine that 6 weeks went by so fast and as a group we have to return to the States just when Berlin was beginning to feel like home. I have had several friends who had previously gone on this trip narrate to me how awesome this trip was going to be. But nothing comes close to a personal experience.  Getting to know 29 other Engineers and knowing the professors better has been one of the several highlights of this trip.

The Engr. 202 summer program in Berlin provides a decent balance of academics as well as cultural integration. The German class was pretty helpful and the professors made a conscious effort in trying to make us understand the language even better.

As a group we visited 7 German cities and explored various sites of historical prominence. The architectural and engineering designs in some of these cities were mind blowing. I was particularly sad to miss out on climbing to the top of the Kölner Don; considering I had a fractured ankle and it was particularly difficult for me to move.

Now I am back in the States, although I sometimes miss Germany, I am glad to be back. It has been an amazing summer.


Pictures from Germany

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These three pictures are just a taste of some of the few places we visited. First, The one with me cheesin with the big building in the background is the Cologne Cathedral. That was unreal. It was one of the coolest buildings I have ever seen because of the amount of design and artwork that went into it. It looked even better at night all lit up, and this just happens to be that. Second, I can be seen standing in between multiple large stone blocks. This is in Berlin at the Holocaust Museum and is a monument for many victims. It was a good experience but very saddening to hear and read many of the stories in the museum. This came before the concentration camp which prepared us more for Sachsenhausen. Lastly, the picture of the bridge is of the entrance bridge to the city of Heidelberg. This was a very beautiful city and very touristy. While standing on the bridge, one can see the main gate and the Heidelberg Castle that now stands in ruins, which we visited also that day.