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Cologne: Nice to Smell, Better to Visit

I took German classes for five years, so to say I was excited about finally getting to go to Cologne (Germany’s fourth largest city) for a day is an understatement. I was stoked to get to witness the greatness of the Cologne Cathedral I had seen so many PowerPoint slides of, walk on the “Love Lock Bridge”, and test out my rusty German skills. The train ride was only 2.5 hours, making a day trip viable. As soon as I stepped out of the train station upon arrival, I was floored by the behemoth structure that is the Kölner Dom. I knew it was near the train station, but I did not expect to be … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Germany: Exploring Aachen

This Saturday, our group decided to make a group trip to Aachen, Germany, on the Western-most border of the country. When we initially arrived, we first wandered a bit aimlessly, happening upon a small chocolatier called Printenbäckerei Klein, making a variety of gourmet chocolates covering a gingerbread-like cookie. Fun fact: Aachen is the birthplace of this traditional German Christmas dessert, although we did not know that at the time we purchased several gift bags of printen! Not knowing where to go from here, we returned to the train station to reorient ourselves. A sympathetic … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Germany: How to Eat Your Way Through Germany

Last weekend we decided to go to Germany to visit Jill’s cousin who lives there. The itinerary consisted of taking some day trips to various German cities. It was wonderful having a home base for the weekend and living with some locals who could tell us which trains to get on, what to do in each city, and what foods to try. We did plenty of fun things while in Germany, but the weekend pretty much involved around the food we ate. Here are some of my favorites! Pretzels and Spätzle Our first stop was Munich. We shopped, saw the glockenspiel, and had lunch at the famous Hofbräuhaus where we … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Germany: How to Relax on Vacation

Sometimes when we put all of this time and effort into taking these great trips abroad, we can feel guilty about taking some time to relax. However, there is one simple truth about travel: it’s exhausting! At home, I tend to be quite the couch potato. I must admit, I am not an especially active American. I enjoy driving my car, going out to eat, watching TV and going to the movies. When I go to Europe for a month or three, it doesn’t really feel like I am living my own life. I have no access to a car, restaurants are expensive and films are foreign. The one thing that is relatively … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Germany: The Americans Are Coming

During the course of my international travels, I have noticed a recurring theme: Europeans can’t hardly stand Americans. This seems such a peculiar idea when you consider that American tourism accounts for a large portion of income for Europe, with our cheesy knickknacks, and our city tours, and even our willingness to pay top dollar for the comforts of luxurious hotels. So you’re thinking, “We’re throwing all this money at them, and they hate us. What’s the deal?!” Just as we have stereotypes for the Europeans, they have stereotypes for us, and most of them are not kind. First, … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Germany: Not Your Grandpa’s Germany

When I tell people that I major in German at university, I often get a response of surprise, followed by an anecdote regarding WWII or Bavarian Oktoberfest. When I read guide books about Germany, I read suggestions about the best places to purchase cuckoo clocks and Steiff teddy bears. All of the literature makes it seem that a Nazi crime novel is waiting to erupt at every turn. This is not the Germany I know. It seems that when Americans think about Germany, they have associations limited to WWII, the Cold War and Bavarian culture. Exploring sights related to these associations will … [Read more...]

Group Travel Germany: Cologne, or Koln?

Cologne, or Koln? Did you know that the first colognes actually originated in a city in Germany called Cologne? And that this same city is home to the largest cathedral in all of Northern Europe? Well neither did I until we took a day trip there while studying abroad! It was a pretty spontaneous trip, and we didn’t really know going into it what exactly there was to do in the city. There is something extremely interesting and exciting about travelling to a new place without any expectations or preconceived notions about what to do there. Sometimes, your expectations can get in the way and … [Read more...]

Love on Display at Checkpoint Charlie

Student blogger, Kandace Little, is a fun-loving, quirky girl from Texas who writes things the way she sees them. Today, we see her funny and honest outlook, as well as a serious side of her that reflects on history and true love as seen on display in Berlin, Germany. A train station is the ideal place to people watch. There you can see an eclectic mix of all ages, all with different reasons for hopping onto the train. I guess you could say this is a fairly creepy hobby, especially one to admit in such a public forum, but don’t knock it till you try it. Seriously. Humans can be very … [Read more...]

Berlin: Where History and Contemporary Coexist

Berlin is a fascinating city, full of history yet surprisingly modern. Obviously, one of the main reasons people visit is because of the Berlin Wall. Divided into two halves after World War II, Berlin represents the conflict between freedom and communism— and the triumph of the former in 1989. Several museums document the numerous escape attempts people made to try to get out of the GDR (Communist east side) to the free side of West Berlin. Some hid people under the hoods of their cars, some built tunnels under the Berlin Wall, and one family even built a hot-air balloon to fly over … [Read more...]

Hallstatt and Füssen: the Worst Best Weekend of Study Abroad (Part Two)

This is part two of a two-part blog post by Baylor in Maastricht study abroad student Tim Phillips (read part one here). Tim shares his story of what it’s like when things don't go according to plan. Which, if you know anything about travel, is normally the case: expect the unexpected. Read about his adventures through Hallstatt, Austria, and Füssen, Germany. Enjoy the incredible photos, all shot by Tim. To Füssen! We woke up in the dark, begrudgingly left our apartment, and walked quickly to the warmth of the station. After a few train transfers, we were on the leg to take us to … [Read more...]

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