Having traveled abroad twice now and hoping to travel to Europe again in the near future, I am frequently reminded of my first experience traveling across the Atlantic in the summer of 2013. This first adventure to Germany & Great Britain has sparked a passion for exploration and a desire to learn about the culture, traditions, and especially the food of other countries. My memories of traveling to Germany and Great Britain have only grown fonder over the last 8 years and I wanted to reminisce and record my favorite parts.
I was extremely lucky to be selected for a study abroad program to take Calculus III in Karlsruhe, Germany that was slated to start in June 2013 and last 5 weeks. Roughly 16 of my fellow students in the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky and I were able to make this trip.
Each week we spent around 7 hours a day Monday through Thursday "learning" Calculus III - Fridays being used for tours of engineering facilities like the Mercedes Benz factory. Our education took place at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology but we were taught by a professor who traveled with us from UK.
While at KIT, we spent long hours in the classroom with a few 15 minute breaks and an hour for lunch at the cafeteria. I wish I could say I remember every detail of studying at KIT, but mostly I remember the food. The cafeteria was no different from a cafeteria in the United States but the food was very German. I recall eating currywurst most days and different types of schnitzel (chicken, pork, etc) with pommes frites (french fries) on others.
Life in the Village
Accommodations during this study abroad program were provided by host families located in Karlsruhe, Germany. I was hosted by a lovely family of four who made me feel like I was at home. My host family introduced me to German traditions & food as well as took me to visit various sights around the area. My host mom frequently brought fresh fruit, bread, and cheese from a local market for our lunches. I distinctly remember Käsebrot (literally cheese & bread) being introduced to me as a traditional German lunch.
I lived at my host family's home in Grötzingen - a suburb of Karlsruhe. I was reminded often during my stay how old the history of Europe is - the idea of walking past buildings older than America is still quite awe inspiring.
Each day, I would walk about 10 minutes to the train station and commute into the city. The train rides were always on time and always pleasant - my fellow students hopped on the same train and we had some time to catch up before class.