Short trip: New York
I have been in America for 6 weeks now and have visited many impressive places. My personal highlight was a short trip to New York City with Petra and Tobias. The city, also called „Big Apple“, consists of 5 boroughs and is located on the east coast of the United States.
The Empire State Building was our first station, which was the tallest building in the world with a structural height of 381 meters in the time of 1972. We did a short stop at the famous Flatiron Building at the intersection of Broadway and 5th Avenue. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was our last attraction on the first day in New York City. It is the largest art museum in the United States and has one of the most important art historical collections in the world.
On the second day we started with rainy weather at the American Museum of Natural History. It is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. The museum’s collection contains over 33 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains and human cultural artefacts. Our journey took us to a very emotional place, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The memorial remembers of the 3,000 victims of September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. It is located on the site of the former World Trade Center in southern Manhattan, which became famous as Ground Zero after the attacks. Our last stop was the Times Square. This is known worldwide for its big neon signs and is located at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue.
On the third day we visited the „Top of the Rock observation deck“, from which we had a gigantic view over the whole of Manhattan and the famous Central Park. Very exciting was the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise. We saw the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and many other amazing sights from the water.
One last highlight was a visit to Madame Tussaud’s, the wax museum. There are real life looking wax dolls of historical figures and persons of current contemporary history (athletes, actors, musicians, etc.).
An indescribable travel trip comes to an end and I would like to thank Petra and Tobias for an unforgettable time.
Best wishes, Bianca
On April 1, 2019 my 8-week long practicum with Printpack began. Since then I have met many unbelievably friendly people, have had some great experiences and have learned a lot – I am looking forward to the remaining three weeks. Printpack, Inc. is a company active in the packaging industry and prints, slits and sells for example films for potato chip bags or bags of dog food. Since I wasn’t at the very beginning 100% sure what exactly Printpack made, it was especially helpful that in my first days there I got a tour through all of the production halls. The first thing I got was my key card from the HR department with which I can clock in and gain access to the building. Beyond that I received a locker as well as Printpack tshirts and a cap. I find especially interesting the variety of the workday. I work mostly with one or two colleagues on a given project that can last one to three days. For example we built a machine for sealing bags, and we built a light table with which printing flaws can be seen on the films. The work is not so much about production and finishing but more maintenance and repair. Everybody needs to be an all-arounder and be able to do a little bit of everything. My Colleagues at Printpack All of them are very willing to help and are patient in explaining things to me, to share their expertise, and now and then to have a joke 😊 Especially interesting, but likewise extremely shocking, is the aging and lack of skilled technical personnel [available to replace the older colleagues]. Germany has this problem also, but I find the extremes much greater in the USA because of the absence of training programs. Many of my colleagues in the maintenance shop will likely retire in the next 10 years without any hope that they will be able to pass along their knowledge to younger people. That means that approximately 500 years of experience in this workshop alone will be lost. I also find it impressive that in the USA you don’t get just a tourist perspective but really gain insight into the thinking, work and life of the people here. I have also gotten familiar with a previously unknown system of norms/standards here in contrast to the metric system which I know. Beyond that I have improved my technical English rather well so that I can converse fluently about tools, machines and processes in English. A big thank you to Mike Webb my supervisor and to all the nice colleagues who I have gotten to know during this internship! A special thanks also to Todd who brings me to work everyday 😊 All the best from Douglasville. Martin 🙂
My Internship at Panalpina in Atlanta
For one month now I have been working at Panalpina in Atlanta. The time is flying by too fast! Panalpina is a Swiss logistics company with locations all over the world, more precisely on 6 continents. As a welcome gift, I received a cup with a saucer, as well as a USB stick, in the shape of an airplane. In order to gain access to the building and the offices, I received a key card and an ID was created with a photo of me, which must always be worn visibly. I already know that from Hamburg, because I’m working for Panalpina there as well. A big difference between the US and Germany is the dress code. From Monday to Thursday we have to dress “business casual”, so jeans, sneakers or T-shirts are not allowed. Only on “Casual Friday” are these allowed.
I am doing my internship in the Ocean freight department and support the pricing team. It makes me happy that I can work in the pricing team, because in Germany apprentices do not often have the opportunity to look work with quoting. My colleagues Kim and Tierra gave me a warm welcome to the team and explained everything very well.
First and foremost, I document the offers of my two colleagues. After about a week, I check whether this offer was accepted by the customer or, unfortunately, that we were unable to complete this deal. In addition, I am allowed to research and provide some rates myself, which is specially interesting for me. If only transportation is needed from port to port, the quote is easier. If the shipment has to be picked up at or delivered to a certain address it will by more extensive. My colleagues also tell me about their more complex quotes, for very big freight or for freight that is only allowed to be moved in a certain way. For example “garments on hangers” have to be transported on special racks in the container and those are not provided by every carrier. Moreover I was able to attend a town hall meeting and I experienced the Easter celebration here. Easter eggs and carrots with prizes were hidden in the whole office and a buffet was put together. That was something I haven’t experienced in Germany. There we get chocolate as a gift, but we don’t celebrate Easter as big as the Americans are doing it here. A big thank you to Kim and Tierra, who took time to explain everything to me and answer my questions. Thank you to my pricing chief, who trust me a lot and supports me. Best regards, Stella
Roswell High School and courses at KSU
Visiting the Roswell High School After spending the weeks in various companies and on the KSU campus, we were now able to get to know the American school system better. Last Friday, we were allowed to visit the Roswell Highschool to present the German dual education system in a German course. As soon as you entered the school, you felt as if you were directly in an American high school film – the corridors, the trophies, the jerseys on the walls and the large sports hall. Afterwards we were warmly welcomed by the teacher, first the German School of Atlanta presented itself. This is a Saturday school, where you can attend German courses and receive certificates. Afterwards Sabine, the head of the German program of the KSU, introduced us. Among other things, she showed a film by a student who completed a year abroad in Germany. Thus, she advertised for a semester abroad in Germany and also presented the program of the Joachim Herz Foundation. After the presentations, we introduced ourselves to the class and in the end the American students were able to ask us questions about our education. The students were very interested because there is no comparable program for the German dual education in the USA. After the lesson, the teacher explained us a lot about the differences between the American school system and the German one. Since she herself originally comes from Germany but now lives in the USA, she was able to explain them very well. In the USA, almost the whole everyday life revolves around the school. Since sport, social commitment and participation in various additional activities are highly valued, the students spend most of their time in high school. This creates a strong sense of community, which is greatly appreciated by students, teachers and parents. After many new impressions we went back to Kennesaw.
Courses at KSU Our time here at KSU is slowly coming to an end and we have attended some courses besides the company visits: So I had the opportunity to get an insight into International Management, International Business, American Identities and also some music and musical classes. In the course International Management, we were welcomed by the professor with open arms and directly involved in the lessons. We learnt a lot about different big corporate chains like Starbucks or Disney. The lessons always went by very fast, because the professor worked interactively with us and his students. American Identities was especially exciting for us, because we could learn first-hand from the American students, what America means to them. Various topics such as capitalism or activism were addressed and discussed. The students‘ view of their own culture was very interesting and the professor also involved us, so that we could report from our point of view. So not only we Germans, but also the American students could learn a lot. This week our last ICT lesson took place. In this class for intercultural training, we talked about our prepared Elevator Speeches and all concepts for exchange between different cultures. The Elevator Speech is a short speech about our development during our stay. Among other things, it describes what skills we have improved and can help us to outline the stay abroad to friends or colleagues in short, concise words. In order to recall all the concepts, we divided ourselves into groups and presented three models without words. The rest of the class could guess what it was. Here we saw many creative interpretations and it was a very nice conclusion for this course.
Andretti’s, Manhunt on campus and karaoke night.
In the last two weeks the American students have really tried to entertain us. Everything I will describe in the following blog was organized and realized by the KSU students and for that a big thank you. Andretti’s When I heard the name Andretti’s, I thought we were going to visit an Italian restaurant and have a good dinner. But when the students told us that it was a typical American arcade, we all were excited to go. We chose a special evening to play at the slot machines. The arcade had scheduled an event where everyone over 21 got in for free and everyone underneath only had to pay $10 and afterwards all the arcade games were free. There were also half prices on karting and laser tag, which was happily accepted by everyone. After we all registered, the fun started. Whether physical sports games, like basketball or football, carnival games, like ring throwing, driving simulations, or typically American Ego shooters, there was something for everyone. The biggest attraction was to compete with others: America against Germany, room neighbors against each other or Bavaria against Hamburg. After a while, those who had registered for karting could prepare for the race. Equipped with hood and helmet we were allowed to board our electronically operated vehicles. After the short introduction of the personnel we started already. Everyone wanted to be the fastest and so this race was not free of failed overtaking maneuvers or too tightly taken curves, but everyone remained unharmed. As fast as the fun started, it was over again. Afterwards the hole group went to the Laser tag Arena, where we were divided into two teams and our learned skills from the shooting range were put to the test. In the dark and winding room we fought for every position and collected points. Luckily, sweat was the only liquid that was spilled there and so there was a winning team at the end, but it didn’t matter because everyone had fun. Manhunt on campus In the same week, 30 people met on campus to play a game, which is best described as a mixture of hiding and catching; Manhunt. We agreed on a game area where the hunted could hide. After a hiding time of 5 minutes, the two catchers had the task to find and kill all of them. The ones who are tagged, became catchers. The game is played until everyone has been caught or someone is hidden so well that the catchers give up. We played a total of 2 rounds and each time there were people who were not found. Karaoke night An activity that was in great demand right from the start, but never happened: Last week we finally made it, we were in a karaoke bar. Although not everyone in this room was a master singer, or just because of that, everyone had fun picking up the microphone and singing from the deepest of their souls. The songs ranged from classics like Queen or Bon Jovi over 90s hits to current hits. There was something for everyone and everyone got the chance to rock the room. It was a special honor for me to pass on a little German culture by singing Rammstein for my American friends. In the end, I just have to thank all those who organized all these activities for us. Whether it was the time and place to organize drivers or to make everyone happy. All this was arranged and planned for us by the KSU students in their spare time. For that a huge thank you from everyone who was there. Your David
released 2019/04/26 Today we visited the Mercedes Benz USA Headquarters together. I think everyone knows the brand, their cars and the beautiful commercials they make, which make us want our own Mercedes even more. So, it was all the more exciting for us to take a look behind the scenes. In contrast to the visit at Porsche, you could drive up directly without any control. It’s a beautiful modern and large building that was only built a year ago for just under 80 million people and opened with a big celebration. It was a big party with many people and different musicians who all wanted to celebrate the magnificent event. Among other things this vehicle drove over the red carpet in the following picture. We were warmly welcomed and led into a stylish presentation room with a large screen. Instead of rows of chairs we found a small grandstand where welcome presents were waiting for us. Then the presentation started. We started with the already mentioned opening ceremony, which looked very inviting in the video. I think many of us would have liked to have seen it for ourselves. Then we were explained what the tasks in the customer service area are and how important it is to satisfy the customers. Because the Mercedes brand has such a good reputation, customers expect a lot from the service department. However, we were shown that less than 10% of calls to the customer service are complaints. Instead, most callers want to ask something about the service or call if they have broken down by car. After the presentation we were shown the open offices. At the beginning of the offices there was a room which is used as a training room for all newcomers. In the first 5 weeks everyone receives an intensive course in dealing with customers and the right service. But even after this time, there are still coachings for the employees, as well as mirrors in front of each telephone, so that the employees can control themselves. In principle, the point is that if you look tense or annoyed, this may also reflect the mood that you convey to the customer at the other end of the line. Even if you think you’ve been courteous, helpful and friendly, you have to tell it with your face, even if it’s not seen by the customer. That’s another way to check and improve. Unfortunately, our tour did not go quite to the end, as we talked to a few very friendly employees. They told us a few examples of situations with customers where it was important to solve problems quickly and spontaneously that generally didn’t arise and satisfy the customer in the end. I especially liked this interview because it was so real and all three men were very sympathetic and helpful, just like their job. You could see that they have a good work philosophy and chemistry in the office. There were many walls and panes with positive sayings and encouragements on them, which they wrote to each other on Post-its or which were also properly incorporated as office design.
When we gathered again in the presentation room, there was another round of questions, where the topic Super bowl came up. It was hosted this year in Atlanta and in the Mercedes Benz Arena. In addition, Mercedes had its own commercial for the Super bowl produced. For me, as someone from the advertising industry, this was very interesting, because as everyone knows, during the super bowl, very good and funny advertising is often transmitted. This is where the whole event was held. The costs for the advertising production and placement were around 20 million dollars. At the end we were allowed to look at some cars and take photos in the cars. Jamo.
released 2019/04/25 After reflecting and discussing where we should go for our easter weekend, we figured it out. Miami here we come. About 100 years ago, Miami was only a small village for trade, since then it became a big city with about 5.5 million people living there. It is now the seventh biggest city in the United States. On Thursday evening we started our trip. After flying for one and a half hours, we landed in Fort Lauderdale, an airport next to Miami, about 20 miles away. We got our baggage and left the airport. The first to greet us was the humid climate. Thirty minutes later we arrived at our booked apartment in Wynwood. This part of Miami is known for its gorgeous street art and drawings, as well as their opportunities to go shopping. We were very tired, so we decided to go to bed to gain some power for the next day. We started the next morning with a big and healthy breakfast, before we went to the first big attraction, the “Wynwood Walls“. This is an area surrounded by a fence, where different street artists are able to paint the walls with beautiful drawings and illustrations. When we finished our visit, we booked an Uber to get to the North Beach in Miami. We weren’t able to stay at the beach for a long time, because the weather became bad. So, we found a little Italian restaurant where we talked about the plans for the next few days. We were only three people on Saturday, because Alex and Hannah wanted to go to the Universal Studios in Orlando. Bjarne and I went to a Barber shop to get a new haircut. Then we walked with Julia to a shopping center and spent some time there. But it was cold that day so we went back to our apartment. The owner of the apartment gave us a small book with attractions in the Wynwood area. We figured out that we wanted to go to a small festival with live music and to get food. We planned a tour to the Everglades which included an airboat-tour through the park and a live-feeding of alligators. The Everglades National Park owns only 20 percent of the whole land which goes from Lake Okeechobee in the North to the lowest southern part of Florida. We saw so many different kids of plants and animals. For example, this national park has got the only flamingos which are living free and houses a lot of turtles, alligators, crocodiles, raccoons and different types of snakes, frogs and spiders. Everyone enjoyed the airboat-tour through the park where you could see animals living in their normal habitat. The alligator feeding was very exiting. In addition, the guide explained to us the lifestyle of the alligators, but he also showed us a lot about turtles, frogs and scorpions. This unbelievable show was only exceeded by the opportunity to hold a baby alligator. So, everybody who spends a few days in Florida has to go to the Everglades. We weren’t in the best mood on Monday, but anyway, we went to the most beautiful beach in Miami, “Key Biscayne“. We spent some time swimming and sunbathing. We were so involved with the beautiful weather and relaxing atmosphere that we failed to realize that this was our last day in paradise. Finally we picked up our luggage and flew back to Atlanta. Best regards to Alex, Hannah, Julia and Bjarne. You made this stay more than just awesome. Sunny greetings from Wynwood, Adrian
My internship at KSU
released 2019/04/24 When I heard that I’ll do my internship at Kennesaw State University, I was confused at the first moment. I just didn’t know, what kind of events an university does. Still, I was really looking forward to it! I thought about doing some researches about their events but I decided that it’s more interesting to be surprised. So I started my first days with an online crowd-management training where I learned, that you need one crowd-manager for every 250 guests. Also, I learned some differences about how to act in emergencys. They mentioned how you have to act when there is a tornado. This happens rarely in Germany, so this was new for me and for this reason also very intersting. I learned real quick how important the online-training’s subjects were, as they were mentioned in every briefing for events. Safety was also very important during NCUR, a national conference which took place at KSU a few days ago. Over 4.000 students took part on this three days long event. Lars and I were also part of it as we worked in different departments to help their teams. Beside many interesting presentations, there also was a petting zoo, free popcorn and give-away bags. I helped at the registration where we also gave out free NCUR shirts.
As I worked for Atlanta United 2 games, I noticed that you definitely can combine your job with your hobby. I play soccer since many years, so I had lots of fun working during the games. I helped with the set-up, so for example with preparing the goals, the field or building up snowfence. During the game itself, I helped with scanning tickets. Working for sport events gives me a great insight because I haven’t done it in Germany so far. I get many great insights in general, for example what needs to be set-up before an event. In Germany those exercises were usually done by other companys, so doing this right now will help me for my main understanding and my time management in general. I’m really looking forward to my new experiences in the next weeks. Best regards, Alex
Hiking and climbing in Colorado
released 2019/04/21 Finally, the time has come for the much anticipated travel weekend. I have been looking forward to my trip to Colorado for a long time now. Originally, I planned to do a small road trip from Denver to western Colorado then into Utah and back to Denver. However, I have decided not to do so, because I did something similar prior to this weekend in Georgia and North Carolina. I noticed that a road trip like this is not as fun if you are on your own…
Instead of a road trip, I decided to do the following: My flight left ATL on Thursday morning, so I had time from noon to 7pm to explore Denver. In the evening, I took the bus to Colorado Springs where I stayed at an Airbnb for the weekend. For Friday morning, I booked a guided climbing tour in the Garden of the Gods. After the tour, I had a gap of a couple of hours that I wanted to fill on the go. On saturday, I planned to hike Cheyenne Mountain. Denver: My stay in Denver was very exciting for me, a person that normally isn’t very excited about cities. I took a very high-quality public transportation train ride from the airport to union station. when I left the train I was already surprised at how clean and advanced the station was. After a few minutes of walking, I arrived at the 16th Street Mall, which totally impressed me. From here on I noticed how progressive and advanced Denver is. There is a free bus shuttle from Union Station to the Capitol, which is solely electrically powered. Additionally, the pedestrian’s walkways are wide and in good shape. Furthermore, I was surprised how quiet the area was, even though it is basically downtown Denver. Later in the day I also visited the Capitol and Civic Park. Climbing in Garden of the Gods: On Friday morning, My Airbnb host was so kind to drive me to the Garden of the Gods, where I have booked a guided climbing tour. The Garden of the Gods is a park of multiple interesting sandstone boulders.
At first, the guide tested my climbing skills to find good routes that were adequate to my experience. Since I have a few years of indoor climbing experience, she picked a route, that specifically underlines the differences between indoor- and outdoor climbing. With that climbing route, she showed me that climbing outdoors is a little different than indoors. It was a great challenge for me but I managed to climb the problem successfully after some time. Then she asked me if I had specific wishes for climbing routes; I instantly thought about a famous “free climber” called Alex Honnold, of whom I have watched “crack climbing” videos on YouTube. Crack climbing – given by the name – is climbing on small cracks in stone. You won’t find these in an indoor climbing hall, so it would be a great experience. She immediately had a route in mind. Before I started climbing, she showed me the technique of crack climbing – then I headed to the wall and mastered the problem quickly and with great fun. It was my favorite climb of the day. After that, we did a couple of more climbs and then did an “adventure climb” up to the tallest boulder of the Garden of the Gods. Adventure climbing is climbing to reach certain destinations that aren’t walkable, but are relatively easy to climb. The Boulder was approximately 100m (~330ft) tall – a great view from the top!
The Manitou Incline: Since I wasn’t exhausted enough from climbing, I decided to catch up on the suggestion of my Airbnb host to try the Incline. The Incline is the first part of the hiking route to Pikes Peak, the highest mountain near Colorado Springs. Basically, the incline is just a stairway which stretches for a little less than a mile. Doesn’t sound too hard, right? There is one catch though – you climb about 600m (2000ft) of altitude in less than a mile. The incline sometimes is as high as about 45°. Additionally, you are at about 2000m – 2600m (6600ft – 8500ft) above sea level during the “hike” – the lower oxygen level is strongly noticeable. I reached the top after 75 energy draining minutes – besides my physical exhaustion – I felt amazing. It was a great feeling of accomplishment. You get a great view of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak and other surrounding mountains in the area from the top. Though, admittedly I had underestimated the incline (It doesn’t sound as hard, as it is) and had a tough challenge. Red Rock Canyon and Section 16: Because I was extremely exhausted from the Incline, I decided to not set my alarm at 4am and not do the 27km (17Mi) hike to Cheyenne mountain on the following day. On the Next morning, I asked my Airbnb host for hiking tips. Based on her suggestions, I have decided to hike Red Rock Canyon and the Section 16 trail. My hike took me through Red Rock Canyon for a few miles and then up the rough, rocky incline of section 16 trail. I rarely saw other hikers on the section 16 trail – probably because of its difficulty. I felt like I was far off from civilization, even though the trail is not far from Colorado Springs. The Section 16 Trail ends at the Bear creek. From there on, I hiked the high drive to Mays peak; Because I was too exhausted, I didn’t hike all the way to the top of Mays Peak and made my way back to the next paved road from the end of High Drive. I called an Uber to take me to a German restaurant in Colorado Springs. There I had a German conversation with a waitress, who has lived in Colorado for 9 Years. After my dinner, I had to head back to Atlanta. Stated by Google fit, I walked about 30Mi ≙ 48km and ~72000 steps. It was very exhausting but definitely worth it. I had a great time! Lars
released 2019/04/20 This week we visited two different companies in addition to our courses at KSU. We were also allowed to attend a Kennesaw city council meeting on Monday evening. It traditionally starts with a prayer and an oath, which is not common in Germany. This shows the strong patriotism in America and the deep anchoring of religion. During the meeting it was decided, among other things, to grant a license to sell alcohol to a brewer. Another item on the agenda was Public Comment/Business from the floor, where all citizens were allowed to speak if they wanted to. Also, A young man spoke on behalf of his fellow scholarship holder. He thanked the leader for the scholarship granted to him from the city of Kennesaw. In addition, a woman from Kennesaw will be 110 years old in the next few days. Her son just wanted to point out that she is the oldest woman in the city and has experienced many changes. The last point was the report of the different areas, where all the city council members reported their local festival that took place this week. We were then invited by the mayor to talk to him in his office. It was a very interesting conversation. He told us very openly about his life story and gave us the opportunity to ask our questions. During the conversation, we could see that he is not the typical American politician, on the one hand, because of his life story, on the other hand, because of his attitude to the tasks of a politician. He was of the opinion that he was not the leader on a higher level, but wanted to achieve something together with the citizens. For his term in office, he has, among other things, resolved to create a central meeting place in Kennesaw. He would like to implement this in the form of a city park with an open-air stage and lots of green areas where families, students and people of all ages and social classes can meet. With the motivation that each of us can make a difference and make a difference, we said goodbye to the mayor. On Wednesday, we made our way to Dornier MedTech, whose main production site is in Germany. We were warmly welcomed by Sabine´s daughter, who is currently doing an internship there and her colleague, who gave us a short introduction to the company. Then we were given a guided tour, the first part of which was an explanation of the processes and, above all, the load securing in the warehouse and logistics hall. At our second stop, we were able to experience the machines up close. An employee showed us how the medical device for shattering kidney stones works – all by means of an ice cube. He explained some technical facts for us. At the end of our visit, all the interns were introduced to us and we were allowed to ask our open questions. We asked about their tasks, their working life balance, their difficulties to find a job, and also the change from studies to working life. This was a very nice rounding off of our visit. We then went to ZwickRoell, a company that manufactures machines for quality testing, with a wide range of many different machines that can be used for different tests. With these machines, you can check the quality of almost all products, for example, waffles for their hardness, metal construction pieces for their resilience, and blueberries for their strength. They are also used to check product safety and for certain customer requirements, such as extreme heat or cold, the testing machines must be adapted and developed. After an introduction to the product world and the various testing methods, we were able to experience such a quality test of a plastic workpiece. This was clamped in a testing machine, then a tensile force was applied to it until it could no longer withstand the force and was torn. Afterward, we were allowed to share our previous experiences with the American culture and the differences we discovered with the managing director. It was an eventful and every day.
My Trip to Chattanooga and Nashville
2019/04/19 by bjarnepeters „Hell in the Heavens“. „The Whirl of Death“. That’s what the battlefield by Chickamauga is called. It was the first stop on our road trip to Nashville, which was very interesting to us but also very sad. We started our visit with a movie, „The Campaign for Chattanooga: Death Knell of the Confederacy“. Afterwards we went on an tour through the museum, which has an impressive collection of weapons from the battlefield. After this scientific experience we went back to the car and drove to the next destination.
Half an hour later we arrived in Chattanooga, where we went directly to the aquarium. It is the home of 12.000 animals and almost 800 different species. For example Snakes, Otters, Turtles, Alligators and of curse a lot of Fishes. Almost 3.5 hours later we moved on to Nashville, after a 4 hours ride we finally arrived. Whit my first impression of the city I fell in love with it. The people in Nashville are very friendly and helpful, but also are crazy about ice hockey and country music. It starts with bands playing in front of the hockey stadium and goes to cheering in the bars of Broadway street with live music in the background. That type of combination, is in my opinion, something special about Nashville. We walked around the Broadway street and Stadium for two hours and then watched the sold out hockey game with some snacks in a sports bar nearby. After an great experience on the first day, we hoped the second will be even better. The first planned visit is the country hall of fame, which is followed with a trip to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg. I have never showed interest in country music, but it was still a great experience in the museum. Because there are a lot of things which are very interesting to see or get to know about some artist like Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley or Johnny Cash. But also the whole history of Country music is really interesting to learn. Also they are able to show a lot of requisite for example Outfits, Instruments or cars like the one of Elvis Presley. We finished our Tour and drove to Lynchburg.
We arrived at our final destination and made our way to the Jack Daniels distillery. After a short waiting time the Tour, which we bought tickets for started. We hopped in a bus, made a short trip through Lynchburg and then drove to our guided tour start. We were able to see the hole production process of the Whiskey, but also how it was founded from Mrs. Jack Daniel. At the end we had the chance to take part in a Whiskey tasting, I have nothing to tell about that because I’m under age. When we finished we got an original Jack Daniels Whiskey glass as a gift. Adrian, Mrs. Tanner and I had a great weekend and made our way back home.
Best regards, Bjarne Peters
released 2019/04/16 We’ve been on the KSU campus for over four weeks now. Time flies by! This Monday, April 15th, 2019, we took part in the Georgia Skills Road Show and presented our own jobs. Here we had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and companies, do some advertising for our companies and improve our business English. Right after our English classes we met at the Student Center. There we received our name badges with a note of our company and started to prepare and decorate the stands with our laptops for company presentations, further information material and promotional gifts. Each of us got his own table to present himself, his training company, the German training system and his individual tasks in the company.
The fair was opened with a speech by Dr. Sabine Smith. For entertainment there were displays and prize tickets. The prizes included KSU fan articles and an Atlanta City Pass, which serves as an admission ticket to numerous cultural institutions in Atlanta, such as Coca-Cola World, CNN Studio and much more. A particular highlight was that the Consul General Dr. Fuller was there, she gave a speech and talked a lot with the students and azubis. In the USA, the school system and the type of work are very different in comparison to Germany. Usually, you finish school in Germany and start an apprenticeship or go to a university to study. You have to decide very early what you want to do with your future, but in the United States most people wait a long time to choose their job or even change their profession often in the course of their lives. Everyone in our group was surprised to see how many people attended the fair and how interested they were. Many had never heard of the German dual education system before. We enjoyed familiarizing them our training system. Of course we also had the opportunity to visit all the other stands and take a look at the presentations. In addition to our stands, there were others, including the Joachim Herz Foundation represented by Iris Schultz. Finally, the buffet was opened by Dr. Sabine Smith and the fair ended.
2019/04/14 by Jonas U. „German engineering“ enjoys a good reputation all over the world, so does it in the US. That made us look forward even more to the company visit of the Porsche headquarters in Atlanta. Many of our American „roommates“ did not miss this opportunity and accompanied us. We were first divided in two smaller groups and then guided through the facilities. The building was established by Porsche not more than a few years ago and opened in 2015. With over 100 million US-Dollars in in construction costs, it is Porsche’s poster child in North America and represents the sports car manufacturerer’s biggest investment outside of Germany so far.
Easy to recognize is the „Corporate Design“ on the out- and inside of the facilities (which means the porsche-typical appearance).
During the tour, we had the chance to see a number of different departments. Housed in the premises, among others, are – The marketing for Porsche of North America – A logistics department, which organises the transport of the Porsches from Germany to the United States – Employees of the so-called „Porsche Financial Services“ – the in-house car bank. The headquarters also include the „Porsche Experience Center“, which is entirely geared to the experience of the (potential) customer. Things to be experienced are rides on the in-house racetrack or in the driving simulator, as well as a classic autogallery which tells more about Porsche’s automobile past. Last but not least, with the „Restaurant 356“ or in the „Carrera Cafe“, there are several dining opportunities. Many of us found the practiced „open-door-policy“ in the offices very appealing. Doors (especially the ones of leading employees) should always be open, so that everyone can exchange views with everyone and always feels welcome. In addition, there is an „Ask Klaus“ – box, in which employees can insert questions and suggestions in paper form. This box is emptied by CEO Klaus Zellmer at regular intervals in front of the watchful eye of the workforce, who answers and comments everything. An entertaining mix of customer-, but also of internal made it a memorable day for us. We really want to thank everyone involved in our experience! At Porsche!
Company Visit: Fifth Third Bank Stadion and Courses at the Kennesaw State University
At the end of the third week we had another interesting company visit. This time we went to the Fifth Third Bank Stadium, which is the biggest stadium in Kennesaw. Here we met Alexandra, who is doing her 8 weeks internship there. The Fifth Third Bank Stadium is the home stadium of Kennesaw State University where all sport events of the KSU are held. For example, football, lacrosse and American football. But not only sports events of the KSU take place here, also many other exciting events like football matches of Atlanta United 2, different festivals and concerts. The stadium has about 10500 seats available, but this can change depending on which event takes place. Of course there are so many big events that need people to plan, organize and help with the execution. Some are permanently employed and plan the basic, i.e. where what will be set up, how much food will be needed, how many tickets will be sold, security and rescue plans. Many students often help with the implementation and construction. Then we got a little tour behind the scenes. For example, we saw from where the huge screen and the loudspeakers are controlled. Altogether it was very interesting to see how much work is behind individual projects, and how many people are involved in an event.
In the fourth week we attended some interesting courses again. On the one hand our English courses. Mondays and Wednesdays we always have vocabulary training and Tuesdays and Thursdays listening and speaking. In the vocabulary training we mainly learn new vocabulary and how to use it correctly in our general language use. There are also some differences to the normal English lessons in Germany, for example we are not allowed to write a German translation on our vocabulary cards but only English definitions. That was a bit confusing in the beginning, but it’s actually much better that way, because for some English words there is no German Translation at all. In the listening and speaking course we have to give a lot of presentations and of course listen to some “listenings”. The first presentations were very interesting, because everyone had to hold an object that they associate with their culture and their country. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we have intercultural competence training with Sabine and the German students every week. This week we had a very interesting discussion about humour and how jokes affect different people. It became clear that some jokes are not just jokes they can quickly turn into serious. So for example from a joke, mobbing can be developed thereby individual groups of persons could be excluded from the mass, the whole can then affect up to the oppression and force exercises. This view triggered a lively discussion in the classroom. Very interesting points of view were discussed and everyone could get rid of its opinion to this topic. Although some people had completely different views than others, they continued to talk to each other normally after lessons. Everyone accepted each other’s opinions and thoughts about the things that were said. Of course, we also attended some specialist courses. Among others we attended the General Chemistry 1 course. That was a very interesting experience for us chemical laboratory assistants. Since we had already discussed these topics in our first year of training. We were able to follow the lessons with excitement and repeat the important basics. Afterwards we went straight on to the next chemistry course, which was about organic chemistry, which was also very impressive, because this course brought us a lot in relation to our upcoming final examination, because here mainly different reaction mechanisms were discussed. In the afternoon we attended an advanced General Chemistry course where we learned some new things that fit well to our current subject in the school. For chemical laboratory assistants there is a wide range of courses at Kennesaw State University that you can attend. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend any courses this Thursday because all classrooms were occupied by the NCUR conference. However, we were also able to participate in this conference and had the opportunity to attend various presentations by students from all over America. There were various presentations on all possible subject areas including Social Media and the Loss of the Interpersonal Human Touch, Our Global Trash Problem or Wash Fastness of Polymer Fabrics Infused with Inorganics Via Vapor Phase Infiltration. The presentations always lasted 20 minutes, there were also some posters that were displayed for one hour each, that was really very interesting and instructive for each of us.
Time off in Georgia
2019/04/13 by andreschreibtblog Americans are very spontaneous people. So living with our American roommates and peer buddies results in a lot of fun experiences. By thinking back only a bit, the Savannah trip we embarked on during spring break comes to mind. Speaking of American cities, Savannah is a pretty old city, which was founded in 1733. There is still a great deal of its heritage visible and alive. The situation at the sea and the seemingly tropic climate is surprisingly different from the rather European feel of Northern Georgia. After our arrival and our first afternoon at Tybee Island by the ocean, we explored the Riverstreet, where we had a maritime meal in one of the many restaurants. Downtown Savannah is fascinating, very green. Allée-like columns of trees decorate almost all of the streets; just around the corner there is Forsyth Park, which represents the green heart of the city. We did take part in a nightly ghost tour, with heavy downpour from dark clouds enveloping the cemetery. This experience was accompanied by the almost convincing stories of the paranormal told by the guide. Naturally, we gave our attention to more worldly things too: watched TV, played games and went shopping. Frankly, this trip was not that spontaneous. But many times it is indeed the case that you follow an invitation or a suggestion promptly. Actually I thought we’d go to Walmart quickly to grab some stuff, only half an hour later we sat in the car driving to Atlanta to spend the evening at Atlantic Station. We were shown the brand new amusement district by the KSU students we got to know at the recent foreign language festival. Reflective skyscrapers surrounded all the restaurants and shops. We explored all the shops that sparked our curiosity, especially taking note of their unfamiliar signs and logos. Together we decided to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant. We had Pho, which is a clear soup with whitish noodles and thinly sliced meat. In the USA, there is a tiny microcosm of the world waiting to be discovered. After that, we agreed to go grocery shopping.
Of course, free time does not entirely consist of leisure activities with friends. We have a schedule similar to a typical KSU student and got to learn and do homework. In addition, we are leading our household ourselves and have to take care of our needs. This entails doing laundry, cleaning the apartment, washing the dishes, cooking and buying groceries. I want to talk about weekly purchases separately, because it is so different from shopping in Germany. Most of all it is size I am referring to. The first step into a Walmart is awe-inspiring, you could say. The German mind needs some to connect the definition of supermarket with the terms hall, 24/7, half marathon. There is hardly anything you would not be able to buy there: edibles, cosmetics, electronic devices, toys and so on. To me it seems like only the tip of the iceberg, telling from the reports by our American buddies. At the checkout till, there are personnel who put your purchases in one or two plastic bags. It is not rare to leave the building carrying not less than five, six bags, that we Germans, aware of the environmental consequences, have to – literally – stuff into our designated bag closet in our kitchens.
That is a different topic though. Shopping still remains a noteworthy experience in the USA. Almost everything is cool here, ever different from what exists at home in Germany. One or two Americans and a few Germans is already more than enough to turn leisure time – being used for duties or for fun – into a real intercultural experience.
Activities in Georgia!
How time flies. It feels as if we arrived only a short time ago, but we are already in our fifth week.
It’s really incredible how much experience you can gain within five weeks.
Flying over Georgia to North Carolina, shooting in a shooting range, all these things I had never done before. The beauty of it is that I was able to share these new experiences with the others from the program and the new American friends.
Atlanta, also called „Empire City of the South“ or for „The Walking Dead“ fans, the city of the undead. Directly in the first week of the program, thanks to a tour, we could see a part of the big city and make our first impressions.
Thanks to the „Atlanta-City Pass“ we received from the Joachim Herz Foundation, we were able to see great and interesting places like the Atlanta Aquarium, World of Coke, and much more.
Early in the morning we set off from Kennesaw to Atlanta and first visited the Atlanta Aquarium with the „CityPass“.
In the aquarium one can see the most different fish like for example a Beluga (white whale). What I especially liked was the tunnel (right picture), because you could see the fish swimming very well.
College Football Hall of Fame
Nach einem Snack bei Chick-fil-A, war unsere nächste Station in der „Hall of Fame“ des College Footballs
The history of „American Football“ could be read in the „Hall of Fame“ of College Football and interesting facts and information could be found. As a football fan a must!
World of Coke
Our 3rd stop was „World of Coke“ and my personal highlight of the CityPass.
Different Coca-Cola varieties from all over the world could be tried at „World of Coke“, as much as you like and learn the story about the drink.
(The daily sugar requirement was clearly exceeded on that day)
76ers vs Hawks
Besides these sights I visited through the Atlanta CityPass, thanks to Dr. Sabine Smith, I was able to realize a personal dream and watch a real NBA game!
The Philadelphia 76ers played against the Atlanta Hawks in the sensational and big „State Farm“ arena. The atmosphere was incredible and an experience I will never forget.
Brave vs Mets
Because we got along well with the Americans and were very friendly and open, we were invited to a baseball game in Atlanta, in the huge „SunTrust Park“ stadium, in the shortest time possible.
Spring Break: Savannah!
It was finally time. From 31.03.19 to 02.04.19 we drove to the small old town Savannah. When we arrived after 5 hours at Tybee Island, the Atlantic Ocean was waiting for us.
Unfortunately, because of the bad weather, we had to leave Tybee Island early and leave for our holiday home.
In Savannah we walked through the lively Riverstreet. Together we ate in a restaurant and spent the evening with games and ghost movies.
The breakfast together at the table was especially nice. (Picture below right)
Freetime at KSU/Kennesaw
As part of the 6-week program, I visit Kennesaw State University (KSU), which is located in Cobb County and has some normal and „abnormal“ activities to offer.
Flying over Georgia
Our Peerbuddie took us into the air of Georgia
After a controlled 360 degree turn and 1-hour flight in the air, we landed in beautiful North Carolina.
Fitness studio with various courses, tennis court, basketball court and football pitch
Various events at the KSU
Minigolf, Indoor-Gaming, Go Kart, Trampolin House
Enjoy time with new friends
Before we left for America, I never thought that the trip would give me so many good memories and experiences that I would never forget in my life.
The Americans I have met so far are all very friendly, helpful and open to us. I am very happy that I can participate in this program and hope for another good (unfortunately last) week.
Best regards from Kennesaw,
First work experiences in the USA
The 1st of April we started with our Internship in our host company. This is in my case ZF and here in Gainesville they produce front and rear axles for big car brands, agriculture and bus industry.
The first week was full of new impressions. After an orientation, where we had issues of safety, organization and general values and rules of ZF, we had a tour through the company. It was very impressive to see the whole automation of the processes and I could recognize many differences and commonalities to companies in Germany. The next day I was exposed to my tasks I should handle with the next weeks: At the production lines there are a few little problems and improvement opportunities. Here I speak with the employees about the issue and we think about a part or a group of parts which improves the process to be quicker and easier. With a drafting or sketch which I draw I can think about the practicability and the necessary materials. Furthermore there a workshops for example about “5S”. There we speculated last Thursday how we can create an ideal work station. With the order
- Sort (all materials which are not needed are placed somewhere else)
- Set in order (every tool has its own place)
- Shine (clean up)
- Standardize (to set a standard)
- Sustain (to create a plan with that we can implement the standard)
and taking into account things like ergonomics we created a work station. In addition to that we got a tour in the second plant where we could mount some assembly dollies. All in all it was a very eventful week with many new impressions. I am very thankful for the experiences which I could collect and am able to connect the next weeks. Best regards of ZF Gainesville Petra
My time in Columbus und at CTC
The first two weeks of my visit I spent at Columbus Technical College in Columbus Georgia. I attended courses that are in line with my apprenticeship as an Assistant for Marketing Communication. We spoke about interesting topics from the fields of Macroeconomics, Business Ethics, Principles of Management and Desktop Publishing & Presentation.
I was able to participate effectively in the classes, because I already learned about many of the topics in vocational school in Germany.
But I also gained a lot of knowledge during these lessons. One interesting topic was the various tricks advertisers use to manipulate us.
In addition to the theoretical topics, I got the opportunity to get an insight into college marketing.
During a Job Shadow I could accompany the responsible person for Community & College Relations at work. On this day I wrote my first press release with her.
The second week was different from the first one because the traditional spring break took place. Due to this fact the responsible program coordinators worked out a very interesting program for me. – At this point I would like to thank Vernita Harris and Dr. Ian Bond for the varied and exciting program they created for me. –
This week I visited various companies and organizations in Columbus.
I spent the first day with the marketing team from TSYS, a payment solutions company. There we discussed interesting marketing related topics. I was able to draw many parallels between their projects and those in the company, I work for in Germany.
The next day I got an insight into the work of Uptown Columbus Inc, a non-profit organization. They explained me the development of the district Uptown during a sightseeing tour.
At the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts I got an exclusive tour through the impressive auditoria from their Marketing Team.
Amongst others I visited the two TV stations WTVM and WRBL where I joined the live recordings for the afternoon and evening news. This experience was completely new for me.
During my time here I got to know so many incredible warm and friendly people.
They showed great interest in me, my hometown, my traineeship and the scholarship.
That made it easy for me to feel welcome since the first moment.
It was hard for me to say “Goodbye Columbus” after these two weeks.
But the farewell to the Sandy family was the hardest part. I stayed with them during these two weeks and together we experienced a lot.
Besides hiking in the Providence Canyon State Park and Zip Lining across the Chattahoochee River, which separates the two States Georgia and Alabama, we also spent a weekend at the Gulf of Mexico.
There we visited the Cajun Cook-Off, a fund-raiser festival, where you can listen to Live Music and try different dishes from about 20 different cooking teams.
The other day we went for a walk at Dolphine Island and enjoyed the sun.
Most of all I will miss our evenings, where we played ‘Mensch ärgere dich nicht’ for hours, talked about everything, laughed and cooked together.
(They love my Semmelknödel!)
My first weekend in Atlanta
The weather on Staurday morning was perfect to spend the day outside.
Together with my new roommates who also doing an internship at Mercedes Benz I went to the Stone Mountain. After a short but steep climb we had a magnificent view.
Afterwards we visited the botanical Garden Atlanta. We explored the different outdoor gardens, art exhibitions and Greenhouses. We were fascinated by the variety of plant collections. Especially the Greenhouse with collections of tropical plants and desert species impressed us.
After we were released into the springbreak on Friday, after the beautiful airport and delta tour, a part of us stayed directly at the airport to fly on to Florida. To be exact, we flew to Orlando. The other part of our group went to Savannah to spend some beautiful days there. On Saturday we went to the Universal Studios. These are highly recommendable, because they did a lot of work with the latest technology. And that’s how they made really great attractions. They had subject areas like: Harry Potter, Fast & Furious, Simpsons, Men in Black, Marvel. Most of all we liked the replica of Harry Potter Castle and the Diagon Alley, so it was highly recommendable for all Harry Potter fans! For Sunday we decided to go to the Cocoa Beach. There we spent a relaxed day, but everybody underestimated the sun, so each of us got a sunburn. Nevertheless three of us decided to go to Orlando in the evening to ride the ICON Ferris wheel. That was definitely worth it. You had a wonderful view over Orlando. On Monday we got up very early so that we could start the long trip to Miami. After some complications at the American gas station, we finally arrived in Miami. There we had a beautiful day and had a look at the beach and the city. After a long day of walking we made our way back to Orlando on the same day. On our last day of our short Florida trip we went to Disney World. Unfortunately this was the only not so nice day this week. In the evening there was a beautiful firework behind the Disney Castle. They projected a huge animation on the castle, matching the music and the fireworks. They did it really well. So we had a really nice ending for our short springbreak. On Wednesday we saw our first NBA game. It played the Atlanta Hawks against the Philadelphia 76s. We had places that were very far away, but it was still very interesting to see an American basketball game. The Atlanta Hawks won and because the 76’s didn’t hit a free throw twice, everyone in the stadium got a Chick-fil-A voucher. The next day we got the Atlanta City Pass. Then we took the opportunity and drove to the CNN building and got a guided tour through the studios. We even saw a reporter who was life on TV. We also learned how to use the green screens for the weather report and how long it takes if there is news or breaking news. News takes about 24 hours to appear on the news, Breaking News only takes 5 minutes! After the CNN tour we went to the Georgia Aquarium. The first thing we did was watch the sea lion show. There they also drew attention to the many plastics in the sea and told us what the aquarium is doing to help the fishes in the sea. We also watched the dolphin show, that was really great! This Friday after the stadium tour we went to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. There we saw some interesting exhibitions from different countries. At the end we were even allowed to do some artistic work ourselves. Then we drove up to Sun Dial and had a wonderful view of the sunset. At the end of this eventful week, we went on Sunday to the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. There we watched a beautiful church. By Stefanie Köhler
Our first classes
released 2019/04/06 In the beginning Sabine sent us to the many German courses offered here at KSU. There were so many classes to go to, that we had to divide into two groups. In the many different courses we were warmly welcomed and integrated by the professors and teachers. We worked together with the students in the lessons and supported them. First we introduced ourselves and told a lot about the German education system. We first had to encourage one or the other student to speak German, but as soon as the ice was broken the teachers couldn’t stop us. It was mostly a funny mix of German and English. We were also invited by the professors to a coffee gossip after class to make better contacts. In ICT Intercultural Training we talked a lot about cultural differences. We typically talk about German and American culture in this class. So we made a comparison with peaches and coconuts. We found out that one cannot assign oneself 100% to one of the two categories, but always depends on the personal situation. So it is also with the clichés. These usually apply to a large group but never to one person alone. Therefore one should never draw wrong conclusions too early. Sabine showed us this in a picture where you can see old big cable drums standing in the snow. If you take a closer look you can see that these are doghouses that serve as feeding troughs and shade in summer. At first sight one would conclude on cruelty to animals, but one should not be deceived, because the dogs are kept more humanely than some dogs in Germany. After our English placement test we were all divided into different courses, according to our English level. The first days always started with small hiccups of not working keys and weird bus schedules. The courses are mixed. People from Germany, South Korea, Turkey, Venezuela, Morocco and many other countries take part in these courses. Our first classes were very exciting for all of us. We all didn’t know what to expect. Is the lecturer nice? What kind of topic is currently being discussed? How are the lessons organized? We asked ourselves all that. But after the first courses the excitement subsided and we were all very happy. We found out that the teachers are all nice and helpful. Even though the topic was new for us, it was still fun, because we were included in the lessons, so that the Americans also learned something from us. My first course was a CNC programming course. I was very excited beforehand. But when I had read what is being taught, I was relaxed again. Because I had already studied the topic in Germany, I could concentrate completely on what is done differently. So for example, the units are indicated in miles per minute or in horsepower. In addition a point is set here instead of a comma. After the lessons my lecturer invited me for the next course. In this course we wrote a program for the milling machine and lathe together on the PC in order to run it on the machine.
During one of our many visits we went to Atlanta City Hall. In the big entrance hall we were all astonished. The gold-colored elevator doors with the phoenix rising from the ashes, the glass roof through which you can see the skyscraper behind and the decorations on the walls impressed us very much. We met there with a former KSU student. Together we took a guided tour through the town hall. We learned a lot of interesting things. He showed us pictures of the first City Hall and how it has developed over the years. At the end of the tour we went to a place where you can see the extension between the main building and the new building. The new building was only based on the existing building because the original building should not be damaged. After the guided tour we went with the KSU student to a conference room. There he told us something about the city and its tasks.
Our roadtrip to Florida
After our last day at Lanier Technical College we just sat in the car and meanwhile the drive we recognized the changing vegetation. The anticipation rose. After 9 hours we arrived in the beautiful and very warm Melbourne, Florida, and were welcomed by an old friend, Felix. We just had a short greeting because the tiredness became more and more, so we got a few hours sleep for the next eventful days. After a typical American breakfast we started our trip to Kennedy Space Center. There were a lot of things to see. Beginning with the first rockets in the rocketgarden, followed by the heroes of the American space flight, until a big milestone of the history, the spaceshuttle Atlantis. Especially the period of use (26 years, last use 2011) and watching the original fixed at the ceiling was very impressive. Also the bus tour over the whole NASA area with several different launch pads was amazing and we learnt a lot of interesting information about the American space flight.
The next day we left early to get to the local airport where an Air and Space Show took place. There we could see many airplanes and helicopters in the beginning at close range and afterwards in the sky with numerous of their aerobatics.
Because of our tough timetable we drove immediately after it to Camp Holly where we did an Airboat tour. An absolute highlight there were the numerous alligators which were just a few meters away. Additionally we saw turtles, many local birds and learnt a lot of the nature there.
We spent our last day at the wonderful and sunny beach of Melbourne. We were very surprised of the agreeable temperature of the Atlantic Ocean and grateful for the cooling of the hot weather which we were not used to from Gainesville. After these several nice experiences we set out for home.
In the end we want to say thank you to Felix. Thank you for your time, your ideas and all information about Florida. Despite the short time we saw many different places of interest and we could explore another part of the US. We gladly think of our little roadtrip but now we are happy to be back in Georgia with lower temperatures. Regards from Gainesville, Petra and Tobias
Many new impressions at the Lanier Technical College
Still absolutely overwhelmed of the first impressions of the USA, the first Monday we started our visit at the Lanier Technical College. Christian Tetzlaff, our supervisor there, welcomed us and showed us the whole brand-new campus which was just opened in the end of January 2019 for the students. We were excited about our diverse courses: Drafting, Welding, Accounting, CNC-Programming, Motor Controlling and Pneumatic Instrumentation. Those have many commonalities with our jobs at home in Germany (Mechatronics and industrial mechanic). The first courses were very unfamiliar for us because many of them are online-courses. That´s why we didn´t meet so many students in the classrooms. Many students work during their study at the college and so they have the possibility to make the courses after work. Though in our Welding- and Drafting course were many students at the college and we had a lot of friendly and interesting conversations. At the begin we recognized that all teachers and students are very hospitably. They encounter us with a huge interest in our school- and apprenticeship system, on Germany and our culture. Especially we had a lot of fun during we were designing our own 3D-models, which we have printed on the 3D-printer later.
Welding was very interesting for us too, because it was for both of us something new and with very huge thrill connected. How our teacher said: “Here you can make fire!”
Another height in our college time was the excursion to the Georgia International Competition Center, where at “Skills USA” all Technical Colleges from Georgia in different disciplines competed against each other. It was very impressive to see how the students mastered their duties, like wire a control cabinet and welding under pressure of time and that everybody is watching them. In summary it was a very nice, instructive and exciting time, which we would not like to have missed. Herewith we would like to say Thank you to Christian Tetzlaff, Mr. Roberson, Mr. Maughon, Mr. Morris, Mrs. Eddy and all other teachers and all the students who attended us for the good experience! Regards from beautiful Gainesville, Tobias and Petra
Meanwhile the first 2 weeks have been well passed by everyone. The first 2 weeks were used by all to get used to the American way of life. What is meant by that? Now all of us are used to get up early and go to work, but here we learn what university life is like. Due to the huge campus and the variety of courses we can choose from, it was a lot of input to find our way around. Through the past few days and the help of our very friendly & helpful „peer buddies“ we find our way through the campus. In the last week, many of us have attended individual courses in addition to those which were scheduled to us. For my part, I participated in the courses IEP = Intensive English Program, ICT = Intercultural Competence Training, GRMN = German courses with American students, MGT = Intro to International Business and GEOG = Intro to Human Geography. The courses IEP, ICT & GRMN are an integral part of our plan in the first 2 weeks, but I have attended other German courses from different teachers to help there. Furthermore, the Geography & International Business course was very interesting. In the Geography course this week we talked about Political Geography, they discussed the topic of the Brexit on which David & I were allowed to comment. It was very interesting to hear the Americans‘ point of view on this topic and I was surprised how similar they were. The other course I attended with Jonas was an introductory course where general economic issues and procedures were discussed. I was already familiar with a lot of things, not only through my daily work but also through my school education. On Friday my highlight of the week was the visit to Atlanta airport – 3-Letter code [ATL] – and the Delta Flight Museum.
Since I am learning the profession of a forwarding agent, it was especially interesting to experience one of the largest airports behind the scenes. I had the great luck to experience a unique experience with Gamze and Steffi, as well as Peer Buddy Paul Smith. We had planned to take off from a small airport in North Carolina with a small plane, flown by Paul, in order to land at Atlanta airport. Unfortunately, we were forbidden to land shortly before our arrival, after the tower had confirmed in advance that we were allowed to land, due to „bad“ visibility conditions. Thus, we landed in Kennesaw at the airport and drove with the Uber to the airport tour. One of the first stops was the runway. After we were on the runway we went straight back to the bus, which brought us to one of the five fire stations at the airport. Here we were warmly welcomed by the firefighters and were given a guided tour through the station. There we were told that the fire brigade people always have to spend a 24 hour shift at the station. In addition, we were explained individual procedures for fires and were shown one of the largest fire engines.
Now we got on the bus again to drive us to one of the Delta Hangars, where we were met by a policeman who is a helicopter pilot for the police in Atlanta. He answered our questions that many of us had and told us some stories about his missions.
The last place of the tour was again next to the runway, where the planes can taxi to the individual terminals.
After the airport tour, we had a short break to eat something, but after about 30 minutes we went directly to the next guided tour. This took place in the Delta Flight Museum. A former student of the KSU gave us a very informative and exciting guided tour, where we could learn a lot about the beginning of the airline Delta.
Inside the hangar were huge planes.
The tour ends in a retired Boeing 747, which was made free for the public. After a long day we were released for the Spring Break.
On the whole it was a very informative, exciting, but also exhausting day, where everyone could learn a lot.
Autoshow and Niagra company visit
On 03.23.2019 my host dad, John, and his son, Cody, visited the Atlanta International Auto Show 2019. Really impressive were the differences between American car design and European. You could see many cars with a lot horsepower and Pickup Trucks. Also the German car manufacturers VW & Audi were there. Probably one of the biggest stands had KIA, because it is also manufacturing cars in Georgia.
Ford Pickup Truck with heightened wheel suspension
Company visit Niagara Bottling Since no photos were allowed inside the company premises, a company sign had to serve. 🙂 Really impressive to see was Industry 4.0 in action. If you have a huge factory floor and an extremely large hall in front of you, it is hard to imagine that the whole system can be operated with very few workers. Most of the tasks are automated and made by machines. From the manufacture of the letterforms to the inflation of the bottles, labeling, filling, packaging and palletizing, and even loading the trucks – and all transport routes in between – everything is done by robots and machines. The workers are just there to make sure that everything goes according to the set parameters and to be able to intervene immediately in case of a problem occurring and to solve it in the best case immediately. A special highlight was that Niagara uses many machines by the company I work for in Germany. Because it is one thing to work in Germany for a company and to do your assigned tasks, but a completely different one, to see the built machines really in action. How the customer uses them and sees value in them. Greetings from Atlanta, Martin
Our graduation at the GaTech College
The last two weeks Stella and I where visiting curses at the GaTech College in Savannah. Beside these courses we also had an online course to work on. Our first week was spezialized for forwarding agents and was teached y Dona Mullins who is the president of Mullins International Solution. Since she is in the bussiness for more than 30 years she didn’t just had a lot of knowledge she also knwos a lot of people from the Freight forwarding bussiness. Thats why she was able to invite Lynn Brennan, Assistens Port Director as well as Amanda Barlow who is the Vice President of ATA Carnet Roanoke to visit our class. In the second week we where taken a class lead by G’Sean Williams, Executive Director of the „SMS-Advisors‘ Supply Chain and Supplier Performance group“. The course inclouded themen like „Bid Packaging Development“,“Contracting Excellence“ and „Essential Orinciples of Negotiation“.
With the both classes and the online course Stella and I had enough hours of studying to graduate from the GaTech. On our last day we got our certificate for „Supply Chain Management“. Beside our classmades also Iris Schultz, Dr. Lemmens, Dr. Lütgerath from the Joachim Herz Stiftung and also Dr. Fuller from the german Konsulat joined the graduation ceremony.
Even if the two weeks were a little stressfull for us and the online course took a lot of time, we still hat a wonderfull time in Savannah.
Day of Service – KSU trainees on new paths
It’s Saturday. On the 23rd of March 2019, shortly after seven thirty, a large crowd of people gather at the check-in for the „Day of Service“. The students meet on the “green”, a large green area on campus. The aim of the day is to help many different institutions and to do a good deed. I look into many tired eyes. Some are cold. The first week was incredibly exciting and jet lag, if there was one, was simply ignored. Most of them are probably not early risers either, therefore the anticipation for the day is still very restrained. This is bound to change quickly. Already on the way to the T-shirt and the breakfast stand everybody gets a bit more talkative. When we meet the owl „Scrappy“ (the mascot of KSU), not only are the minds lightened, but also the sun comes out for a first group photo. We quickly found the stands with the organizations we would like to support on that day. The names are entered in lists and we start our fun with BOB, the „Big Owl Bus“, our school bus. For some the trip goes to the „Foster Care Support Foundation“ or to the „Center for Children and Young Adults (CCYA)“. There, clothes, books, school supplies, toys, hygiene articles, and much more are diligently sorted and packed for the needy and the assortment is changed from winter to summer fashions.
André, Jonas and I set off for the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association West Georgia (SORBA). This is a non-profit organization that has made it its business to maintain hiking and mountain bike trails and to offer courses for all those interested, among others at KSU (Outdoor Adventures). Now that the sun is shining, the fear of freezing to death has dropped to a minimum and we can choose our tools on the spot. During the safety instruction we are advised to take the „Circle of Death“ to heart – in other words: don’t stand behind the one who swings the axe!
Armed with rakes, axes, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers we three make our way to our trail with Ed, our team leader. Our goal is to remove thorns, tendrils, and branches that could punch a standing cyclist in the face, as well as the pine needles lying on the ground. Besides working in the fresh air, Ed shows us various plants, such as poison ivy, and tells us about a rare orchid that we unfortunately couldn’t see.
It was a good experience to talk to an American about different topics and to get involved socially. We had our fun and expected much more dirt and sweat. We are very surprised that we had to go back at noon again. Nevertheless, we get the invitation to a mountain bike tour and are very happy to meet Ed again soon!
On Sunday we started the trip to Atlanta. We were in a good mood and the weather was great. The first stop was the Martin Luther King Memorial, then we went to the Jackson Street Bridge which is known for its fantastic view and also as a featured location from the series „The Walking Dead“. In Cabbagetown, on the way to the Beltline, we saw a lot of impressive street art. Whether with stencils or self-painted, there was something unique to each. The following days started very relaxed. We had our first German and intercultural courses. We were greeted warmly in each of the courses, both by the professors as well as the rest of the students. On Tuesday especially, we felt the hospitality of the KSU students because there was a welcome party for us with two huge pizzas, drinks, snacks and music. The German Studies Club is much larger than expected, and we also met students there who do not take part in the program. The English language skills achieved so far could be proven on Wednesday, because we had our placement exams for the different English classes. This lasted about 3 hours and included a speaking, reading and listening portion. It was only half as bad as we had imagined it might be. I even think it was a lot of fun. Above all, the following excursion to Kennesaw Mountain made Wednesday one of the most beautiful days. It was a much welcomed change to get some fresh air and hike in the sunny weather. After the first days, with a lot of free food, new people and impressions I would say, we settled in well. It is easier to speak English, our orientation on the KSU campus is getting better and the possibilities for new excursions are always possible. The suite mates and peer buddies are supporting us greatly. Whenever we need them, they generously help us and we have had an unbelievable amount of fun together.
Our week at GPTC!
released 2019/03/24 I spent the first two weeks of my exchange staying in Sandy Springs at my host mum Laverne’s house. Intern Ramin was also staying with me and we visited the Georgia Piedmont Technical College. This College offers a special program where the students can get a lot of hands-on training in technical work fields. For example, they built a lab which is a simulation of a big office building in which HVAC students can learn how to handle equipment in a realistic environment. I joined courses in graphic design at the GPTC and additionally could join an online course about market research. In between classes we worked on our assigned projects. I was given the opportunity to design a new flyer for the projects Building Automation Systems and Commercial Refrigeration.
To advertise the classes properly we took some brand new photos for the flyers that showed us working in one of the labs.
On Friday the 03/22/2019 we were together as a Group with Sabine to our first Company Visit. When we arrived we were warmly welcomed and sat down in one of the many rooms. In the beginning they explained how the songs were produced in the past and what has changed in contrast to today. It was cool because you got an impression of how the music production works nowadays. We were also shown the difference between a demo or a bad production and a finished good single. During the break we had fruit salad (the healthiest in a long time) and chicken burger for dinner. Meanwhile we were allowed to have a look at the house and the different work and production rooms and to collect many interesting impressions again. At the end we went to the upper part of the house, there was a green screen and a music recorder. Three of us were allowed to read an English text which was recorded and edited with background music and other effects, that was a good ending for a super cool day.
Atlanta – Sightseeing
By now the first week in the sunny city is already over but we still experienced a lot.After we got the City Pass, we went to the World of Coke on the weekend.
Because Coca-Cola was founded by a pharmacist of Atlanta in 1886, a museum was dedicated to the brand. Originally the soft drink was supposed to be a medicine against headaches and tiredness. The success story of the Company due to this drink is unbelievable. You can find the connection of Coca-Cola with happy moments in commercials worldwide and in the museum itself, through all the rooms. During the tour through the different chambers you can discover a lot – or maybe not, because the formula is still being kept secret. The only thing you can see, is the vault from the outside. However, there is still a lot you can try, for example a variety of over 100 products of Coca-Cola which are being sold in the respective countries. In terms of taste some things were just better than others, but it was funny to test some of the variations. In addition, it was also interesting to see, which products belong to the brand itself. On the next day we went to Georgia’s Aquarium. Thankfully due to the City Pass we did not have to wait as long as the rest of the line, but could just go in. Inside there was a lot to see, for example jellyfish and corals, whales and penguins, rays and otters there was something offered for everybody. In the beginning, we saw the dolphin show where the coaches showed acrobatic tricks together with the dolphins and among other things joint leaps. The Ocean Voyager, where you could find some of the giants of the sea, was unbelievable. Afterwards, we shortly went to Waffle House, got a look on the Mercedes-Benz Arena and let the day end in the park. Warm greetings from Atlanta, Hannah
Flight and Arrival of the KSU-Group
After two very fun and informative preparatory meetings and a lot of organization it is finally time! USA we are coming! The flight to Munich started already on 15.03.2019 for the Hamburgers. On 16.03.2019, in the morning, we left together for the airport in Munich. Our 11 hours flight (which most of us were not looking forward to) started at 10:45. After some poker rounds, some movies and snacks we landed at Atlanta Airport. „Welcome to the US“ with these words we were warmly welcomed by Sabine Smith and some KSU students. There were welcome hugs and very nice conversations on the bus, on the way to our hotel. As there was not even the hint of a jet lag, we started after the check-in with our roommates directly to the cracker barrel around the corner. There we could finish our first evening and we had the chance to get to know our roommates and peerbuddies even better.