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An engineering student’s multicultural experience at Jacobs University Bremen. By Dennis Waldron ’10

Dennis Waldron ’10 (Owings, Md.) an electrical and computer engineering major,is currently studying engineering and German language and culture in Bremen, Germany, with 33 other students. The Lafayette faculty-led program at Jacobs University Bremen (JUB) is being headed by Erol Ulucakli, associate professor of mechanical engineering. This is Waldron’s second letter this semester.

  • Dennis Waldron ’10 Experiences German History and Culture (3-19-08)
  • 34 Students will Study Engineering and German Culture in Bremen

Over spring break, I had a great revelation: I am in Europe. It sounds ridiculous, but it took quite a while for it to really sink in. I knew I was here, but I had a curious mental block that did not allow me to realize the full magnitude of the situation. It finally hit me as I sat on the edge of a jetty looking over the Atlantic Ocean in Porto, Portugal. As I looked out over the ocean, listening to the waves break gently below me, sea salt spraying in the warm breeze, I slowly began to grasp the fact that this was the other side of the ocean. Somewhere across this great expanse of water was home, not an unexplored and unknown Europe as it always was before.

But in the time our group of “Lafayetties,” as we are known to the Jacobs students and staff, has been here, we have made Europe our new home away from home. While traveling over the weekend, many students refer to “going home” as going back to Jacobs. We frequently find ourselves out on weekend trips to another country saying things like “It’s going to be a long night- I have a lot of homework when I get home after this train.” We have even affectionately dubbed the local mall, Haven Hoovt, “Wal-Mart” to really make us feel at home.

To a greater or lesser extent, everyone has been able to put together a routine for him or herself, even when traveling to very non-routine places. When we get to a city, we check into our hostel, and then when we are ready to explore, we simply go outside into the city and walk, or sometimes take the local Metro system. Tall buildings and green-copper roofs lead our way, and we discover new sights as we go; in even the most un-routine of times, we all have our own personal routines to help us cope with and enjoy or constantly changing surroundings.

In fact, many of us have grown more comfortable not only with being in Europe, but also with each other. Traveling around Europe, we have all grown closer, even with people we did not know before the start of the trip. From a sauna in Brussels, to a hostel in Sweden, there are few better places to get to know some new people, or get to know some old people better, than Europe.

  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Study Abroad
Categorized in: Academic News, Faculty and Staff, German, News and Features, Student Profiles, Students, Study Abroad
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