June 14, 2018

Global Immersion: Joshua DeMers Abroad in Germany

Global Immersion: Joshua DeMers Abroad in Germany
Joshua DeMers takes part in the Supply Chain Systems of Management global immersion program in Heilbronn, Germany.
Joshua DeMers, a junior management major from Hordville, Nebraska, will study abroad in Germany from May 17 to June 16. He will be taking part in the Supply Chain Systems of Management global immersion program in Heilbronn, Germany. DeMers has an abundance of family history in Germany and always wanted to get the chance to immerse himself in the German culture. He said, “I am most looking forward to the site visits with the various different companies that we are scheduled to meet with.” After his program ends in June, he plans on backpacking around Europe until August 11.

6/14/18 – Checkpoint Charlie

Part of the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie.
Part of the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie.
This time we visited Berlin on our weekend excursion! This city absolutely blew my mind with all of the history and architecture. Many wouldn’t believe that most of the city was bombed when looking at the architecture. Luckily support came after World War II to help fund the recreation of many of the historical sites.
 
This time around we weren’t able to dive into planning our city visit, so we decided to go with the Rick Steves audio tour. It took us to many major attractions throughout the city and explained the history behind it. My favorite site was the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie. This is where many Berliners secretly went into West Berlin. The museum at this location showed the different ways people got through such as hiding under a spare tire in the truck of a car to traveling in two briefcases sewn together and hollowed out. One can feel the struggle that this country has been through. This city is definitely one to put on your list of places to visit if you love history and want to get a feel for Germany as a whole. 
 
Thank you all again for following my journey! I very much appreciate it. Now, I will backpack the rest of Europe, down through Italy, across to Greece and back up through Croatia and Austria. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your summer. Tschüss!

6/4/18 – The Legend of Jogi

Jogi in his element.
Jogi in his element.
Hello again everyone!
 
We made it to Heilbronn! In this beautiful city, we will be attending the German Graduate School of Management and Law along with some members of the MBA@Nebraska program, the online MBA program at UNL. On our first day of class we took a site visit to the company POGO, a company that specializes in boards. When we first arrived, one of the co-owners, Jogi, was busy putting paddleboards on top of a modified army truck for us for later! He then brought us inside of his shop, which was in his garage. He told us stories about how he and his buddy started the company in 1983, when they were in college together and have been going ever since.
 
After showing us all of the technology, equipment and museum, it was time for the fun to begin! Jogi, being the adventurous guy that he is, gave us all skateboards to ride up and down the street. He then told us about all of the different mountains he has climbed, sailing adventures, and planes he jumped out of! Once we concluded riding, we jumped into his modified truck and he took us to the lake to paddleboard and swim. He spent the whole afternoon and evening with us even though he had to leave early the next morning to go sailing for a couple weeks. Never have I met a person so humble and passionate. He may be the most interesting man in the world! 

5/28/18 – Amsterdam

There is no better way to take in the city than from a boat!
There is no better way to take in the city than from a boat!
Hello again my fellow adventurers,

This weekend I decided to explore the city of Amsterdam. Alas, I didn’t do it alone as I went with a fellow study abroad students and met up with a couple of former Huskers. This city is one of the most interesting cities – from their rich history to how people interact with each other.
 
My favorite part of the city, though, is their canals. These canals are a thing of true beauty! It seems as though that everywhere you walk, you run into one. It is as though it is a way of life! The canals were just full of people, whether that be from riding in one of the boats or just sitting on the banks.
 
It just so happens that the city of Amsterdam was named after the river that went through it, the Amstel River, then there was a dam that was built to keep the city from flooding, hence the name, Amsterdam. If you ever get the chance to visit this wondrous city, please take a canal tour to gain a new appreciation of this place!

5/23/18 – Surfing in Germany

The locals crowd to watch these surfers on the weekends!
The locals crowd to watch these surfers on the weekends!

For our first open weekend during our study abroad, many of us decided to take a trip to Munich. Munich is the third largest city in Germany in the Bavaria area. It is one of my favorite cities I have ever visited. It is full of history and objects of interest.

We arrived late Friday night and checked into our hostel for the weekend. We decided to hit the hay early to get a head start on Saturday. We went down to the Marienplatz where we partook in the Rick Steve's Audio Tour in the morning, then we took a walk to the English Garden where we were able to watch the river surfers. The waves are generated by a combination of ropes tied to the bridge. This created a sweet spot for the surfers to skate back and forth on. One after another, they would hop on their boards, slide from side to side until they get behind the wave or crash.

It fascinated me how many partook in this activity along with the crowd associated! People would cheer and clap when one of the surfers would land a jump or complete a difficult maneuver. You could tell that these locals have been doing this for years. Auf Wiedersehen!

5/17/18 – Schwabisch Hall

Overlooking the city of Schwabisch Hall.
Overlooking the city of Schwabisch Hall.
We safely made it to Schwabisch Hall! Before arriving at our destination to study German at the Goethe Institute, Conrad Shiu and I decided to travel beforehand. This included visiting cities such as London, Brussels and Luxembourg City. The architecture in the various cities blew me away! My favorite destinations included the London Eye, the British Museum and the London Science Museum.

The London Science Museum is designed as a place learn about the Earth, solar system and other natural occurrences such as earthquakes and volcanoes. I loved this place because of the way the museum made the topics interactive and interesting for all who attend. One could spend hours in this museum reading all of the content, we were on a time crunch so this is definitely a place I'd like to come back to!  

What was so fascinating about these cities were their layouts. In London, the housing was so tightly compacted and inhabitants used the Tube. While in Brussels and Luxembourg City, everything that was on our list to see was within walking distance. Schwabisch Hall is a much smaller city with about 40,000 inhabitants. The city has a long tradition as a university town and is a popular destination for students to study the German language.
 
When we first arrived at Schwabisch Hall, we were welcomed with a short tour around the area and proceeded to have dinner with our teacher, Ralph Baltzer. He has over 40 years of experience teaching German. Wish us luck throughout the week! 

5/4/18 – The Art of Packing
 
Figuring out what to pack was daunting, but now I’m ready.
Figuring out what to pack was daunting, but now I’m ready.
Hello everyone! Thank you for checking out my blog abroad. I hope it helps you make a decision to study abroad but at the very least to entertain you. I will be studying in Germany for the next five weeks so make sure to follow along.
 
One of the most rewarding, yet daunting tasks of any trip is figuring out how to pack. I searched all over the internet to try to compile a list of what was essential, what could be thrown out, and how many articles of each clothing will I need. To make the task a little more challenging, I had to factor in that I would be backpacking another eight weeks after my study abroad experience. Packing is particularly tough in the aspect of bringing everything you need while also keeping weight and size to a minimum.
 
What worked for me was to lay out everything I thought I would need and cross check it with the list I made for the trip. This made the whole process much simpler when it came time to put it all in my backpack. Luckily my backpack only ended up weighing 30 pounds! I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to finish packing and be able to focus on the trip itself.
 
Now on to my next task of saying goodbye to everyone for the next three months!