Inter(ests) 3.0: Abroad Edition

One of my favorite things about Hopkins is Intersession. I have taken Intersession courses every year that I’ve been here because I love it and there’s no reason not to do it. My freshman and sophomore year, I took classes on campus and did research, always arriving on the first day that I was allowed to come back. Each time, it feels like a resurgence in my independence after spending several weeks at home. It’s all of the fun of college without any of the stress of classes (as most Intersession courses are 1 credit and graded S/U), and I look forward to it every year.

This year, I started to get a little restless, and I decided to do something a bit different. Since my trip to Israel last summer, I’ve been really anxious to go abroad more, but my coursework doesn’t lend itself to spending a semester abroad. This situation could be ameliorated in two ways — Intersession and summer. While I worked on applications for this summer, Intersession seemed fairly straightforward. There was a short application and a few pre-departure meetings, and before I knew it, I was on a plane to Germany on January 10th.

The class I took was called Collective Memory and Memorial Sites and was tough by Dr. Hanno Balz, a visiting professor through the German Academic Exchange Service. His research focus is on contemporary German history, particularly Nazi Germany and the persecution of Jewish Germans. Intersession classes abroad are quite different from those that happen on campus. For starters, this class was 3 credits and could not be taken S/U. We spent the first week in Bremen, where our professor is actually from, and then we traveled to Berlin for the second week. We spent all of our days taking historic guided tours, visiting memorial sites, important historical venues, and museums. We also got to explore the nightlife in Bremen and Berlin, and we ate incredible food every day.

Two weeks seems like a short amount of time, but it isn’t when every day is jam packed with activities, seminars, and incredible memories. It’s difficult to put into words everything we did and saw. As I write this blog jet lagged and wide awake at 7AM, I’m realizing that the only way to explain everything I experienced is through photos.

Jan. 11: Historic Tour of Bremen

IMG_1582

Bremen Town Hall

IMG_1598

Bremen Historic Cathedral

Jan. 12: Walking Tour and Wine Cellar Tour

IMG_1605

First “Stolpersteine” or stumbling stone I saw, used to memorialize the last place where a Holocaust victim willingly lived

IMG_1626

“Schatzkammer”, or treasure chest, of very old wine at Bremer Ratskeller, an old wine cellar

Jan. 13: Bremerhaven Immigration Museum

IMG_1649

Willy Brandt Platz, Bremerhaven Harbor

IMG_1672

Julia holding hands with a mannequin in the immigration museum

Jan. 14: Town Hall and Colonial Heritage Tour

IMG_1699

Cookie the size of my face and I loved it so much

IMG_1702

Me and Riley at the colonial heritage monument

IMG_1720

Stained glass in Bremen Town Hall

 Jan. 15: Bunker Valentin

IMG_1741

Bunker Valentin

IMG_1751

Snowy beach, adjacent to the bunker

Jan. 16: Arrival in Berlin and Reichstag Tour

IMG_1788

Brandenburg Gate

IMG_1780

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

IMG_1792

Candid shot of Riley in the air in front of the Reichstag building

IMG_1818

Parliament Room

Jan. 17: Topography fo Terror Museum

IMG_1849

First Käsespätzle

Jan. 18: Tour of Olympia Stadium

IMG_1874

Home of the 1936 Olympics

IMG_1877

Seats over 70,000 people

Jan. 19: Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

IMG_1899

Sachsenhausen is an hour outside of Berlin

IMG_1905

Extremely popular kebab stand that also has vegetarian food

Jan. 20: Exploring Berlin

IMG_1934

Riley and Christine in a very heavily graffitied building

IMG_1939

Graffitied door that I loved

IMG_1942

Large bison stuffed animal in a Berlin mall

Jan. 21: Last night out and about in Berlin

IMG_1950

The squad ready to roll out

IMG_1960

Gave up on the night out for falafel, didn’t get a picture before half of it was already eaten

Jan. 22: East Side Gallery

IMG_2017

Retro photo booths all over Berlin, we failed miserably

IMG_2008

Thierry Noir’s Berlin wall masterpiece and the squad

Jan. 23: Last seminar and Checkpoint Charlie

IMG_2081

There is a museum for currywurst, which was the theme of our trip.

IMG_2088

Last Käsespätzle

Jan. 24: Flight home

IMG_2094

No person in the middle seat on our 7 hour flight!

IMG_2090

Get me home please.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *