Time to say Goodbye!
Time has come, we have to say goodbye. We’ve spent 10 weeks now here in Atlanta, that’s almost a quarter of a year. We have been 7459 km far away from Germany for this period.
The weeks are gone and our stay here in America came an end. The last days of work are finished and we now are having to pack our suitcases. Some have just one to pack and some have even two. Despite our sadness about the flight home, the anticipation for our lovely families and friends home increases.
2 ½ months are a long time away from home. However, we can tell you: the time went by so fast! We just settled in, got used to the everyday life and felt almost like being “home”. Suddenly I just realized – I am flying tomorrow. Perhaps not straight home, as some of us want to continue travelling in the USA. But the moment came, the last workday. You said your goodbyes to your colleagues, went out for dinner with your host family one last time and worked on your “To-Do-List” for a last push.
We have learned, saw and collected a lot of experience in 71 days. I think each of us has gained a lot of new knowledge, discovered new skills, learned new vocabulary, seen a different way of working and living and had many interesting experiences. Moreover, you got to know yourself a little bit better. You improved your English, have grown to challenges and became even more independent. All in all, we developed our own personality.
We will always remember the time at the Technical Colleges, the first two weeks in a different school system as what we know. We’ll never forget the friendly classmates and teachers who have fully integrated us into the class. We will always think back to the 8 weeks, the time in our lives, where we immersed ourselves in a completely foreign culture, where we also noticed some differences to our own.
We will most definitely take the friendly and open “American Way” to Germany and maybe even start to small talk with a stranger in the grocery store.
And if that wouldn’t have been enough news, we still had time to discover Atlanta. Whether the typical tourist attractions or the activities on the recommendation of others, we have done many things.
We also tried the varied and partly typical American food. Some of us also traveled, whether to Orlando, Savannah, Miami or Panama City Beach – everything was amazing.
– – – – – – – – – – – We would like to express a huge Thank You to you all! – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
THANK YOU – We say thank you to the Joachim Herz Foundation. Only because of you we were able to be a part of this fantastic program. Thank you for the whole project, the great organization and for the support from your site – whether from here or from Germany.
THANK YOU – We say thank you to our companies in Germany. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to collect this kind of experience. It is wonderful to learn more about a different working style.
THANK YOU – We say thank you to our companies in USA. Thank you for teaching and showing us your kind of work life. You have made us feel like a part of your team and we have learned a lot of new skills from you.
THANK YOU – We say thank you to our professional schools in Germany. Thank you for your support before and during the trip!
THANK YOU – We say thank you to our host-families. Thank you for welcoming us so warmly and seeing us as a part of the family during this time. You are truly wonderful! Finally, we had the feeling of being at home.
THANK YOU – We say thank you to our families, friends and partners in Germany. Thank you for your support despite of the big distance and the 6-hour time difference. Thanks for always being there for us and listen to everything we had to tell. This has made the time here a lot easier sometimes!
It was a great experience und a wonderful time here in Atlanta. We will never regret and forget this time for sure. Furthermore, we Interns also grew together as a group and found new friends. We’re looking forward to our big meeting in Munich and saying goodbye to our host families, colleagues and friends here.
So, it’s time to say goodbye America – As the saying goes: You always see yourself twice in your life!
A last time – Greetings from Atlanta,
Bye, Bye Atlanta
After our 10 weeks of internship, all of us had to say goodbye to our local families and companies. Since all of the other interns already reported about their time in their companies. Time for me to write about my time at Kühne + Nagel, a large international logistics company.
During my internship, I was assigned to the airfreight import department. Because of the big airport, Atlanta is a perfect location for airfreight shipments.
More than 300 employees are working for K +N here in Atlanta in many specialized departments for all the different kind of logistics services, e.g. customs brokerage, overland transportation, seefreight import/export, airfreight import/export and warehousing services.
I would like to explain how to handle the regular process for one airfreight import shipment. The shipment arrives at the Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport and will be stored for a short time at the warehouse of the airline that carried it. Once the airplane departs to the country of origin, the customs department can start to arrange the customs clearance. Once this is done, the cargo will be deconsolidated from the airline and K+N will recover the freight and transfer it to our warehouse. After the freight has been checked into the warehouse, we can organize the delivery to the consignee. Over 100 shipments per day are handled this way.
I also would like to report about my other tasks at K+N. During the 8 weeks I was also responsible for the IHOP Desk, but before I continue, I should explain what an IHOP desk is.
All the other offices in the southeast of the USA (e.g. Nashville, Tampa, Miami, Charlston, etc.) handle their shipments at the Atlanta airport with support from the K+N office in Atlanta. The task of the IHOP desk is to assist with the different requests of the other offices. For example to contact the airline because of storage, terminal handling charges or issues with customs. Another task would be to arrange the delivery on behalf of the other offices.
Throughout of my work day I would received a lot of different kind of requests from the other offices. It was a lot of fun to be in contact with other offices and to get to know all different kind of goods from all over the world.
I was very happy that K+N trusted me and gave me so much responsibility, because of this I was able to work sometimes on my own.
But one day was our time is coming to an end and we have to go back to Germany to support our training companies there.
At this point I want to thank Kühne + Nagel in Atlanta. Thank you for letting me absolve my internship at your company and for the great work experience I had.
The last and most important thank you goes to the Joachim Herz Stiftung. Without this foundation none of us would have had this wonderful experience and the program wouldn’t exist for future interns.
Goodbye Atlanta, it was an amazing time. I’ll miss you!
My internship at Georgia Northwestern Technical College
It is Monday, the 21.05.2018 and at the same time the start of the last week of my stay in the USA. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to complete my college and internship for the entire ten weeks at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
The Georgia Northwestern Technical College has a total of six locations in northern Georgia and each campus specializes in various areas. The campus courses provide content for aircraft mechanics, metalworking and electronics professionals, and health professionals.
Since the Technical College specializes in electrical engineering, amongst other things, I have many opportunities to work in various fields of electrical engineering.
One of my main tasks is to design and rebuild various circuits in motor control technology. These include circuits in VPS (Link Programmable Controls) and PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers).
I have learned the various symbols and signs of American programming language and it is fun to use this when programming systems. Also, the handling of various American software was shown to me.
It is very interesting to note the many differences between the equipment and the controls compared to Germany.
In addition, I installed various circuits and electrical appliances in the labs of home installation. There are also many differences to discover and it is fun to do the same work as in Germany in a different way.
I also got the opportunity to attend a metal bending course, being taught how to handle large metal pipes and special bending machines. At the end of this course everyone who passed the final test got a qualification and a certificate.
Most of all, it’s fun to do group work with the other students studying in the same field as me, and to discuss the differences in our countries with them.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made this stay in the US possible for me. Also, a big thank you goes to the Georgia Northwestern Technical College and to the teachers who gave me a great time at the college time and my internship. I will never forget these experiences and impressions.
My internship at Voestalpine
Hello, from the lately not so sunny Georgia. Unfortunately, this is the last week of my eight-week internship. I gained a lot of interesting experiences and expanded my knowledge enormously. In Germany, I am currently in my third year of training as a foundry mechanic, at the BMW Group in Landshut.
First, a big thank you to my instructor and the BMW Group that I was able to get on the way to the USA and gain many impressions and experiences! I am still very pleased that I have received so much support and encouragement.
I complete my internship in the USA at the Voestalpine Automotive components Cartersville Inc. Voestalpine, headquartered in Linz, is represented with 500 group companies and locations in more than 50 countries on all 5 continents. With its high-quality products and system solutions made of steel and other metals, the group is one of the leading partners of the European automotive and household appliance industry as well as the aerospace, oil and gas industry worldwide.
For four years, the site has been Cartersville, Georgia, the new headquarters for supplying premium manufacturers in the automotive sector with these body components. The supply at this production site ranges from press parts via assemblies up to hot-formed and laser-welded boards.
I am mainly involved in quality assurance and material testing for the duration of my internship. My main tasks are the execution of tests that conform to standards and specifications. This includes the preparation of tensile and bending tests. We apply only destructive material testing methods. The body components to be tested are separated at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of a production cycle, prepared, checked and documented for the test.
My work steps are usually composed as follows.
The processes of material testing are recurring, but the utmost concentration and accuracy are required at every step of the work. Due to the associated structure, my working days mostly looked very similarly, that’s why smaller projects are a welcome change. Among the projects included the replacement of a defective pump motor. As well as the subsequent commissioning and functional testing of the new pump motor, that I was allowed to perform independently. Smaller projects followed, such as the redesign of the storage area and the cleaning of another storage space. Creating a “Marking Plan-Map” for a component in the development phase, I was particularly pleased. In a project, the trainees of the site manufactured “knurled screws” for our universal static material testing machine.
The company has an apprenticeship program based on the German dual training system. In the morning, the trainees have practice-oriented teaching units within the production site. This is followed by lessons in the “Career Academy”, where they will be taught theoretical expertise. In the afternoon, they will regularly attend high school, taking part in general education. The training period is 2 years.
I am truly incredibly grateful and overjoyed for this exceptional time and I would therefore like to thank the Joachim Herz Foundation for this extraordinary opportunity! I would also like to thank all my colleagues in my American company who supported and encouraged me during the internship. It is also not to be forgotten that the State Vocational School Pegnitz, helped me very patiently with the forms and the preparation of the visa and released me for the program.
The felt that the time in the USA has been incredibly enriching. I hope that even in the next few years many more apprentices will receive this opportunity.
Thank you and all my best regards,
Opportunities multiply if they are seized!
Meanwhile it’s already nine weeks ago that we took the plane from Munich to Atlanta to start our adventure in the USA. Now it’s time to have a look back to many unforgettable experiences.
Jimmy Carter’s Sunday School – a trip to Plains
Two weeks ago I went to Plains together with my hostfamily. Plains, a rather small city, is known as the ‘City of Peanuts’ and for its most famous inhabitant: Jimmy Carter. He is a former president of the USA and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. At least once a month he teaches Sunday School classes before the weekly service at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains.
When we arrived at 7.20am, there were already people waiting in a line in front of the entrance to the church, even though Sunday School was supposed to start not earlier than 10.00am. All visitors who managed to arrive before 7.00am received numbers to assure a
quick, orderly and fair admission to the church. We looked for the person with the last number and managed to save a spot that wasn’t far behind. I met the holder of the number eight and she told me that she arrived at 4.30am this morning. I decided not to think about on which time the visitor holding the number one must have gotten up. We were moving slowly and the line stopped when there were only eight visitors left in front of us. An enthusiastic lady who did a great job in crowd management, told us what nobody wanted to hear: The church is already overcrowded and there is no possibility to bring further visitors in. Nobody complains neither gets angry about that – that’s what surprises me in a very positive way. Our last chance are the seats of the church members. In case they don’t want to attend the service, we can take their seats. At 9.55am, the door opened again: There was space left for 26 persons – what a great message!
Sitting in a small room directly next to the church, we could follow Jimmy Carter’s Sunday School and the service. This man standing in front of us has more than 90 years of live experience and he is – how my host mom would say it – a peacemaker. He spoke about the responsibility of every human-being and at the same time, he pointed out that it is worth trusting in God.
Graduation at Central Georgia Technical College
Two weeks ago, I had the chance to return to the place where everything began for me: The Graduation Commencement for the past semester at Central Georgia Technical College took place at Macon Centerplex. 9.000 people in total participated. The graduates wor the famous gowns and hats in the appropriate color for their achieved degree. After short speeches of councilman Larry Walker and had of school Dr. Allan, all graduates climbed the stage, their names were read and they received congratulations. The crowd cheered the most, when the graduates with grey XY showed up at the stage who managed to receive their high school diploma. I was happy to meet many people, who I got to know in my first two weeks, again.
A Trip to the Beach – Jekyll Island and Saint Simons Island
Three weeks ago my hostfamily and I went on a trip to Jekyll Island and Saints Simons Island at the East Coast of the USA. After spending time on the beach, we visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. It’s a hospital for sea turtles injured by ships, fishing lines or other animals and a research institution at the same time. All sea turtles that have received treatment there will be marked with a GPS-tracker before they are sent back to the ocean to be able to receive information about their speed and their current location.
Afterwards we visited the historic district of Jekyll Island, which consists out of cottages that the Jekyll Island Club has issued to be build starting in 1886 after they bought the Island to stay there in winter. Every year from January to March, the Club Members spent their time at Jekyll Island and employed its inhabitants as servants to be able to enjoy various community activities. Because of world war second and the financial crisis the Club terminated its activities in 1942.
Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets
Together with Simone, Max, Johannes & Kati I had the chance to watch a Baseball-Game in the Suntrust Park in Atlanta. Already before the game began, I was impressed by the beautiful view from the upper deck of the stadium and its enormous size. After the national anthem of the USA had been played, the battle between the two teams began. I had to recognize that the rules were more complicated than I expected, but finally, I managed to understand at least the most important ones. At this evening the New York Mets won with 5-3.
A Trip to the Southernmost Point of the USA
At the past weekend I went on a to Miami and visited among some other sights the Southernmost Point of the USA which is located at the Island Key West. Cuba, which is only 90 miles away from this point is closer than Miami.
As a part of my internship, I had the chance to take part in a Chili-Cook-Out as a judge. Participants of the Region 12 Arabian Horse Show, divided in eight groups, had prepared chili following different recipes. Together with two further employees of the GNFA, I judged the chili regarding aroma, texture, taste and after-taste. The winner was a pumpkin-chili but all the participants did a really great job. Dear Marsha, dear Wayne, thank you very much for all the great experiences I had even thought my internship company is located far away from the huge cities in an area without public transportation. Thank you for making this unforgettable time with you possible.
Greetings from Perry
Now we are already in week 8 of our internship journey. My thoughts so far: I’m not ready to leave!!
I just got used to the differences and learned to love them but the flight back is getting closer. My internship, which I’m doing at Jim Ellis Audi of Atlanta, is leaving me with these thoughts.
Besides Audi, there is Porsche, VW, Hyundai and a few more famous Automobile brands that are also a part of the Jim Ellis family. Audi Atlanta has been honored as the best CPO (certified pre-owned) dealership in the country, this tells you something about the quality that is maintained in this car dealership. My supervisor is Patrick Wolff, Finance Manager and has been with the company for 14 years. In the first weeks of my internship, I got the chance to get to know more about the ways to purchase a car in America.
The process is divided into two steps. Sales people help customers choosing the right car and negotiate the sales price. At this point I noticed that there is sometimes a different motive involved for buying a car, the standing of cars might be a different one as well here in the US. Besides that, I noticed that cars are not kept as long as we might do in Germany. Last step in the sales process involves the finance managers, together with the customer they organize the financing and introduce them to optional products such as service contracts and warranties. I’m always in contact with customers, which is the fun part for me. We talk a lot, also about things besides the business. This helps to get a nice basis for the next negotiations. I also got to experience the climate among the employees, which is nice too, regardless of the standing in the company, everybody treats each other as equals, that makes it very easy to become friends with your coworkers.
I also very much appreciate the mentality, that gives everybody a chance, regardless of their experience and education, to become a good salesperson. This is probably the reason for everybody’s engagement because hard work is very much appreciated.
I’m very thankful for these impressions and will have good memories of this time and will probably miss it very much.
My Internship as Network Administrator at Mohawk Ind.
After attending Georgia Northwestern Technical College in the first two weeks of my stay in the USA, my 8-week internship at Mohawk Industries began. With a lot of experience from my ongoing training as IT specialist for system integration at Fiege Logistik in Hamburg, I was well prepared when I joined the network team of the Mohawk IT department, based in Dalton, Georgia. Mohawk is headquartered in Calhoun, Georgia.
Mohawk Industries manufactures more than 30 different types of floorings for customers around the world. These include carpet, tile, stone and wooden floors. This makes Mohawk the largest flooring company in the world. As of December 31, 2015, Mohawk employed around 34,200 people (source).
My tasks include configuring access points (Wi-Fi access points), creating Wi-Fi surveys in buildings and checking network devices for a specific security gap.
When configuring APs (access points), it is important that APs that are close to each other not beam on the same channels so that they do not block each other. For this I worked with the software “Ekahau”, into which the floor plan of a building is inserted, walls and windows are marked and then radio measurements are carried out at many different locations in the office using a notebook. At the end of the site survey I got a heatmap which shows where the program suspects an AP and how fast the Wi-Fi network is in which position. This can be used, for example, to plan which channels should be set on which APs. The program is also suitable for determining where another AP should be planned in if the Wi-Fi signal does not reach all important places.
„Ekahau“ Site-Survey Software with my heatmap
One of the other tasks was to check for a vulnerability on network devices such as switches, routers and APs. I have checked whether these devices are responding on a specific port. Devices that responded were potentially vulnerable and were protected by a setting or a software update.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Robert Simmons, the manager of Mohawk’s network team, who decided after a telephone interview to accept me into his team for my internship.
I would also like to thank Matt Turso, a network colleague, who took care of my training, the creation of my accounts and authorizations and any open questions I might have regarding my tasks.
I had a great time at Mohawk Industries and working and being together with my colleagues has given me many positive and valuable experiences but also some funny moments. The working atmosphere was always focused and yet very friendly in dealing with each other.
Greetings from Dalton,
My internship as an industrial clerk at Zwick USA
In the meantime, we interns have been in the USA for two months and have been able to start our internship in our host companies for six weeks. If somebody told me that time would actually go by so fast, I probably would not have believed it, but we only have about two weeks left!
Personally, I can do my internship as an industrial clerk at Zwick USA in Kennesaw. Zwick Roell AG founded its headquarters 150 years ago in Ulm and is actually a German company. In the United States, the Group’s Sales and Service Center has existed for 20 years, with approximately 30 employees from over 1350 employees worldwide. Zwick produces testing machines for materials of all kinds and is the global market leader in that industry. With Zwick Roell’s broad product portfolio, the company can clearly distinguish itself from its competitors in more than 20 industries. Zwick is represented worldwide from Johannesburg to Shanghai and is experiencing a great boom, which is why also Zwick USA will be growing a lot in the coming years. With the in-house company software “testXpert“, Zwick is able to perform many different tests. From press- and pull- to bending- and melting tests, there is almost nothing that Zwick cannot offer its customers.
In Germany, I am training as an industrial clerk at Steelcase AG since September 2016, where I change departments every two to three months. At this point, I would like to address a huge T H A N K Y O U to my trainer Lena Huber and the Vocational School II in Rosenheim and send my best wishes to my colleagues in Germany. Here in the USA, I mainly work on marketing projects, which I really enjoy very much, especially because I do not get any real insight into the marketing department in Germany. I was able to gain so much experience and learn new things, which I am very grateful for.
During my first internship week my colleagues, especially my supervisor Jennifer Peacock, gave me a very warm welcome, which made the start here extremely enjoyable. Then I was already incorporated into my first projects. In October 2018 an in-house fair “testXpo” will take place at the company’s headquarter in Ulm. My task is to create personalized invitations in cooperation with the responsible regional sales manager and to keep an eye on the entire process of the organization. In all my time here, my job was mainly to take care of different fairs from Florida to California. From inviting customers to organizing the fair and reviewing campaigns for potential customers, I really had the opportunity to take care of everything myself, which was amazing!
In addition to my main tasks in marketing, colleagues from the sales and service area have also approached me and asked for help. I was able to create many Excel spreadsheets and design presentations. I was also asked to help in the accounting office as well, which made my daily work really varied! I have been able to handle event days for Zwicks global managers and launch a major telemarketing campaign for Canada. I enjoyed the time here so much – the product training, familiarization with the ERP system Microsoft Dynamics or the packing of giveaways. Together with another German intern Selina, I also took care of the digitalization of invoices and the organization of the warehouses brochures.
At Zwick, I really felt that I was a real team member because I always attended the conferences and team meetings. Some of my colleagues are learning German with Jennifer as a teacher and it is really nice to see how much fun they are having. I have never thought so consciously about the German (super complicated) language! I even had the great honor of spending a few hours during lunch break and doing some German exercises with my colleagues!
My colleagues really went out of their way to make me feel welcome here. We cooked German food together or had a crawfish boil for dinner and always had a lot of fun. They always supported me with questions I had and all sorts of tasks.
I would like to thank Jennifer and the entire Zwick team for my wonderful time. You are really a very nice team and I had an incredible good time with you!
Best greetings from Kennesaw,
Our Time at IMS Gear
We mark our eighth week of internship at IMS Gear in Gainesville.
IMS Gear is a German company, which has production areas in Europe, America and Asia.
It is an independent family business that acts as a partner to its customers. They are
specialists in gears and the manufacture of components, as well as assemblies and
transmissions for the automotive industry from plastic and metal. The location in
Gainesville has about 300 employees and a production area of 21.000 square meters. IMS
Gear in Gainesville is divided into different business units and each area produces a
different product. Our area of responsibility is in GA 07 (Gainesville 07).
Because we take different apprenticeships, as in precision machinist and industrial mechanic, we are divided into different areas of the business unit GA 07.
My job is to improve the production process of machines. This is achieved by making new and improved workpieces that affect the process.
Gary, my supervisor and trainer from the assembly, showed me my job at the beginning of the internship. I got a big project with many small sub-projects, were molding machines put the produced parts via conveyors into sorting machines that check the workpieces for correctness. But it does not always work as it is supposed to function.
For example, the plastic parts do not fall exactly on the conveyor belt because it does
not have the correct width. To solve this I cut sheet metal and bent it into a chute. This
makes sure that no more workpieces fall next to the conveyor belt.
In the production of plastic parts there are beside the good workpieces also waste residue that falls through a flap in a box. The position of the box is not located in the right spot, that’s why many parts fall beside it and have to be picked up laboriously. For this I welded three L-profiles together and fixed them exactly under the ejection plate, so that the box is always in the same position and everything falls into the box.
In the sorting machine, which checks for correctness, the plastic parts always run in different positions (right or wrong) through the camera. The wrong parts are recognized as bad and sorted out, which is why I made a custom metal piece, which sends only the correctly aligned parts through the camera. The others fall into a big bowl and are transported again to the sorting machine for another round.
In these activities, I could demonstrate my acquired knowledge and practical skills, I really enjoyed working at IMS Gear. Gary showed me how to make things even
better. But from time to time he could learn something from me as well.
During my internship I’ve got several projects.
As an apprentice intern in the discipline of Tooling Engineering my main project was
to design and prototype a quick change tooling system for an injection molding tool
assembly. This quick change system would allow the mold to be changes between
products without removing the mold from the press. During this project, I prototyped
a working concept before fully designing the system to save both time and money. I
performed these tasks including detailed work with Pro-Engineer and the manual
lathe and mill.
I worked also in several small projects that ranges from safety improvements to
As a second project, I was allowed to redesign and to manufacture a pneumatic device.
With this device, encoder plates are inserted into an injection mold pneumatically by hand. This was a very exciting project because a lot of mechanics with different movement sequences had to be installed and planned in the smallest space.
The third project was to develop a new guide for the funnels in which the plastic granules get melted. The fact that the funnel is very high and heavy, has a large leverage effect on the relatively narrow guide.
I liked working at IMS very well. The fact that I am partly in the office or on the production floor to make my parts, was very varied and made it very enjoyable. The cooperation with my colleagues was also very good. There is a really friendly working atmosphere at IMS and we (Jannick and I) really enjoyed our 8 week internships.
Thank´s for the great time at IMS Gear!
Philipp and Jannik
My stay in Nashville
It is May 4th.and thus the day arrived, where my host and I would travel to Nashville to visit his nephew. Nashville is the capital of the state of Tennessee and is also referred to as the “Music City” because it is the birth place of country music.
After a journey of about two and a half hours and no traffic congestion, we arrived full of anticipation. Since it was already evening, when we arrived, we decided to end the first day in a restaurant. We had a lot to discuss, as we planned the upcoming weekend.
The next day, May 5th. we drove to downtown Nashville after a fantastic breakfast, which we ordered in a well-known café. Unfortunately, the weather was not good, as it rained all day. However, we did not allow that to negatively affect our good mood.
The nephew of my host took us around the city center, where he showed us many historic and city-defining buildings, such as: the city’s first train station, the Ryman Auditorium, and the ice hockey stadium.
After seeing the city’s most significant buildings, we walked along Broadway. There you can see and enjoy countless honky-tonks, shops, billboards, and the unique atmosphere of the city. I especially liked that live country music was played in every bar and sometimes in shops. Thus, I could get a good impression of the many great experiences in country music; especially since this genre is not very popular in Germany.
After the small tour we went to dinner and had a good time.
The next morning, May 6th. my host and I drove to the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, where we learned about the history of country music and many famous country music stars. You could see the original instruments, clothes, and read stories of different country music icons. In addition, various recording studios and personalized cars of the stars were presented.
After a two-hour stay in the museum, we had a delicious lunch. We then said goodbye to the nephew and his wife.
In the early afternoon we drove home again.
I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has helped me to collect these new and exciting experiences. I will remember this weekend for a very long time.
Savannah, ooh na-na
Friday noon, closing time, the four of us started our weekend trip to Savannah. At first a great big thanks to the host Mom Julie for letting us borrow her car. After a four-hour-drive though the blazing sun we arrived at our accommodation. After the check-in, we spotted the River Street in the city of Savannah. There we had some typical southern food like Burgers and other specialties. To finish this cozy evening, we all bought one ball of ice cream in one of the famous candy shops.
The first point on our list for Saturday was to visit the Lighthouse of Tybee Island. Afterwards, we went to the beach to take a swim in the ocean, to play frisbee or to lay out
in the sun. The highlight of the day was the moment when there was a dolphin jumping out of the water right in front of Simone. The dolphin was part of a school, that swam along the beach multiple times on this day. Later this afternoon we walked through the downtown and did some shopping in the different stores. Very interesting for us were the places of interest in the city with the old buildings. For dinner we had a reservation in a restaurant called “The Pirates House”. The food was beyond our expectations and as a dessert the girls ordered the “Ultimate Chocolate Cake”. That ended a day of lots of nice events and we all fell into our beds exhausted but happy.
Although the weather forecast for the next day was supposed to be more cloudy, we decided to visit the beach again. There we got surprised by the sun and we all enjoyed our last day at the Atlantic. After that we took a break from the sun and walked through some of the beach stores. Before we started the trip back home we had a late lunch at a Mexican restaurant on Main Street in Savannah.
Thanks for this non-recurring time, that we can have together!
Sunny best wishes from Savannah,
Johannes, Max and Kati
My internship as media designer
The seventh week has almost passed, and we have been in our internship companies for over a month now! I currently have the opportunity to do my internship as a media designer at the creative agency Public School in the heart of Atlanta. About two years ago, the startup was founded as a subsidiary of the global Czarnowski creative agency and its focus is on conceptual projects, like events or campaigns.
Many well-known brands, especially from Germany, belong to their customer base, e.g. BMW, Mini Cooper, Mercedes Benz and Toyota. Customers from Atlanta, like the Mercedes Benz Stadium (Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United), the Ponce City Market and many charitable projects (such as the Giving Kitchen) are also supported by the agency.
- Annual BMW customers´ meeting presentation on a gigantic monitor in Las Vegas
- Picture retouching Mercedes in Miami
- Retouched an illustration of an artist from Miami on Mercedes
- Collage 60 with Miami-typical images and Mercedes Benz cars
- T-Shirt design “Mini Takes the States 2018”
- Mercedes Benz pop-up store in Miami: Several graphics arranged on the monitors
I think it’s great that I am able to get in touch with almost all projects. I experience a lot of variety and I can work together with almost all of the team.
At my apprenticeship company Bühring Werbeagentur in Erlangen, Germany (at this point very best regards and a huge THANK YOU to my boss Stephan Bühring!), I design mostly print products, which is a lot of fun. The projects here at Public School are something completely new and exciting for me. I am very happy about the experience and skills that I am able to take along back to Germany.
Agency Photo Shoot
During my second internship week I was even allowed to attend a photo shoot at Public School. On this day, all the premises of the agency were photographed, and I had the opportunity to look over the photographer’s shoulder. It was very interesting to see how little equipment she uses to illuminate the rooms perfectly and which method she uses to take photos. Fortunately, since I was wearing the company color that day, they could use me as a supernumerary a few times. That was really fun and I think the photos have come out great!
This week we had our “Spring Team Building Meeting“. We sat together and spent an amusing evening at JCT. Kitchen & Bar.
My conclusion: super cool agency, super cool people and super cool projects! Thanks for the nice time with you! You are a great team – keep it up!
My Internship at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter
The Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter is a state-owned facility for the purpose of supporting the agriculture and especially the prospective young farmers as well as for public education regarding the topic of agriculture. Multipurpose-buildings, different arenas, practice fields and barns for horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs and chicken offer the opportunity for knowledge transfer as well as for the exhibit and sell of livestock animals and further products, which are most of the time related to agriculture. Every year in October, the Georgia National Fair takes place, which is with half a million visitors within ten days the biggest of their events.
In cooperation with the association „Georgia Grown” one of the buildings, which are already available, is currently enlarged and extended to the “Baby Birthing Center”. During the Georgia National Fair the visitors will have the possibility to watch animal-babys being born and to receive further information. Meanwhile the ground breaking is three and a half weeks ago and I can see the progress in building every day.
Meanwhile I’ve spent five weeks as an intern at the Commercial Sales department. Starting with a call of a potential customer and issuing the contract up to set up and billing, the Commercial Sales department takes care of all events which aren’t related to animals. From time to time I´m encouraged to support the Livestock department.
Get Amongst It – Not Just Watch!
For the purpose of documentation & marketing, I´m taking pictures of the set up prior to the events as well as during the shows. I enjoy getting to know and having to deal with kinds of events and topics which don´t exist in my home country.
Additionally, I support the Commercial Sales Team regarding drawing set up maps and the supervision of the set up itself.
During the first week of my internship, the Beef Expo took place. The Multipurpose-Building was divided into halves. In the back part, stables for cattle, which was auctioned in the middle isle, were set up. Nearby the entrance of the hall, information regarding cattle breeding was provided as well as an exhibition area for machines, cattle feed and related products.
Peach Blossom Cluster Dog Show
With more than 1,000 dogs during five show-days, the Peach Blossom Cluster Dogshow is one of the biggest Dogshows in Georgia. Supported by their owners, the dogs had to take part in various challenges: Dog diving, an obstacle course, the fast cat & the barn hunt. Therefore the dogs had to search and find a mouse covered in a box with little holes between straw bales. Furthermore, the dogs were judged regarding certain criteria according to their race. Most impressive was the so called grooming tent where the owners prepared their dogs for the show.
Perry Dogwood Festival
One among many highlights was the Perry Dogwood Festival. This streetlife festival is named after a flower, takes place once a year and makes people form surrounding cities visit downtown Perry.
After all affected streets had been blocked by the police, the vendor load-in began. Divided in groups of two, every group was responsible for the entry to one road section, for showing their spot to the vendors and the fast exit of the cars out of the set up area. At the central check-in point one volunteer announced the arriving vendors on the radio and sent them directly to the correct road section.
As part of the Perry Dogwood Festival, the Hot Air Balloon Ralley took place at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter on Saturday in the evening. Even thought not all of the 18 hot air balloons could have been inflated because of the windy weather conditions and rides weren’t possible neither, I enjoyed an amazing view on the glowing balloons after the sunset.
“Georgia on my Mind”-Day
Last Friday, I had the chance to accompany my supervisor to the Welcome Center in Sylvania on the occasion of the “Georgia on my Mind”-Day. It is located nearby the state line to South Carolina and with it directly at one of the most important and most used roads during the time before the interstate was built. At the Welcome Center, travelers receive information on sights and possible activities in the whole State of Georgia. At this day, institutions and companies offering these activities came, set up their booth and told the visitors – among these were a couple of school- and kindergarten groups – interesting facts about their offers and Georgia in general. One of these exhibitors was the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter. A historic club aimed to teach people about the life circumstances during the American civil war, showed and demonstrated weapons made and used during this time period.
Ashley, Jill, Cindy, Tony and all employees of the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter: Thank you very much for providing me with an insight in your tasks, your events and the American culture.
Sunny greeting from Perry,
Foo Fighters, World of Coke and what else is there
On Saturday, April 28th, it was finally the day that the “Foo Fighters” concert was on!! As we had already bought the tickets in Germany, we were full of anticipation and an amazing feeling for the concert was in the air. Caro, Ben and I made our way to Downtown Atlanta to Georgia State Stadium late in the afternoon. The stadium is the old Braves Stadium, a baseball field, accordingly large and impressive is the Georgia State Stadium.
On the way to the stadium, I even discovered the showroom of my training company in Germany. The Steelcase Showroom is on Peachtree Street in the heart of Atlanta! When we arrived at the stadium, we first had to go through a body scanner and were screened. We had great seats with a wonderful view on Atlanta’s skyline and the stage. Just the view would have been worth it to go there.
Nevertheless, we even got a concert full of great music. The opening act “The Struts” has already created a great atmosphere and rocked the stage with their own songs and covers by Alice Cooper. As expected, the “Foo Fighters” opened their show with a big hit. The mood in the seating rows and in the crowd was amazing. With their classics like Best of You, Pretender or My Hero, they filled out the whole stadium and played for about 3 hours.
Of course, we all had to buy a fan shirt at the end of the day. We had a great evening in Atlanta and for the three of us it was a great experience to be at an American rock concert! By the way, those who have never been to any “Foo Fighters” concert should definitely visit one – they are great! 🙂
Thanks to a classic bacon-and-egg breakfast, despite the long concert night, we returned to full vigor and made our way to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. It is next to the Martin Luther King Birthplace, the Museum, the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr. and the church where he preached, as well as the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Here are a few facts:
– The Ebenezer Baptist Church was founded in 1886
– In 1960, Martin Luther King, Jr., joined his father as a co-pastor and gave the Church international fame
– He remained in that position until his death in 1968
– When the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park was founded in 1980, the church moved to its present location on Auburn Avenue, after seven locations in Atlanta
– Service is every Sunday morning at 9:00 and 11:30
Because we already heard a lot of good things about the service there from trainees from last year, we wanted to convince ourselves of it. With our experiences from German services, which are characterized by a lot of tradition, centuries old buildings and traditional hymns with organ music, we sat so expectantly in one of the benches.
What we experienced then is difficult to put into words: the community there, the openness of the people and above all the gospel music are simply impressive! During our visit, in addition to the usual gospel choir, there was even a choir with pupils of our age. At the beginning, they performed more classical, almost operatic pieces of music. Then two of the students who were accompanied by the choir sang alone. This piece was just amazing! In the end, all the visitors stood with raging applause and could only calm down when the pastor spoke. It really was a unique and valuable experience for us. Definitely recommended!
After our visit to the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Museum, our next stop was the Westin Peachtree Plaza. In addition to the “Westin” Hotel, the building also houses the “Sun Dial Restaurant” located on the seventy-second floor, which also has a viewing platform. The building is the fourth tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere at 220 meters and is one of the tallest buildings in Atlanta. With its location in the heart of the city, you can enjoy an unbelievably beautiful and, on a sunny day, also sweeping views of Atlanta and the region. We were positively surprised by the free access to the viewing level. We also had beautiful weather and could enjoy the view in bright sunshine. We particularly liked the view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Stone Mountain.
After we returned to the ground at breathtaking speed, we decided to visit the Coca Cola Company Museum, World of Coke, next. Definitely one of the many highlights of Atlanta. With the Westin perfectly located in central Atlanta, the CNN studios, World of Coke and the Atlanta Aquarium. We can recommend visiting the World of Coke to anyone visiting Atlanta. You get exciting and incredibly detailed insights designed into the emergence and the present of the largest beverage companies. We would have liked to have done more and seen more of this incredibly vibrant and beautiful city, but unfortunately, as always in life, time passes very quickly, when it is especially beautiful!
Caro, Ben and Lisa
Time to say goodbye… – Last week in USA
The time flies and the six weeks are slowly but surely approaching the end. Therefore, many have used the last week to make the final things on their “To do” list.
One thing that was on the list for many was a visit to Mercedes. So how appropriate was it that last week we had the chance to get a tour of the new Mercedes Benz headquarters.
Formerly in New Jersey, the new HQ is now located in Atlanta (Sandy Springs) and took two years to complete.
Our Welcome was perfect: for us, some vehicles were driven out of the building. From a fully equipped S-class, to an AMG GLE 63 V8 Biturbo – it was all there. We were even allowed to seat ourselves in the cars and start the engines. Perfect!
In the building, the amazement did not cease. Designed by the architectural firm Gensler, the $90 Million glassy box has a minimalist style with open office space on all three floors – for up to 1000 employees. Less Is More!
For the comic and super hero friends among us, one car has fallen directly into their eyes – in the foyer of the building there is a 1:1 replica of Batman’s cars from the movie “Justice League”!
During the tour we saw their own Gym where employees can train before or after work. For colleagues with children, there is even a child care facility in the building. At the end of our tour we had the opportunity to talk to some German staff and ask questions. It was astonishing how different the paths and reasons of the individuals were and how they finally brought them from Germany to America. It was a truly nice and interesting company visit, one of which we will fondly think back.
Up even to the last days until our flight would take off for departure, we had a lot going on. On Thursday evening we were invited at Sabine Smith’s house and ate all together and let the evening end together. Her house is located next to a beautiful lake and so we were able to feed her geese and turtles as well. Many American students were also invited, so once again we had the chance to review the past 6 weeks and enjoy our last days. On Friday morning we had our last ICT (Inter Culture Training) lesson and here we were able to practice and rehearse our final elevator speeches. One has always noticed how close the farewell has been and how quickly the time has ended. In the afternoon we had our farewell dinner at “Track Side Grill” with Suit-mates, Peer-buddies and all German KSU trainees. To go to a typical American restaurant for the last time with the whole group was a beautiful time and rounded the time perfectly out.
Now it’s really saying goodbye! Since most of our flights left at similar times, we were all able to drive together to the airport and say our good-byes to each other, which was easier for some and harder for others. But it’s not “Bye, Bye USA” for all, a few of us still had plans to visit other cities, like Washington, Toronto, Boston and New York. We are all very happy that it is only a farewell for time because we will all see each other in Munich again for the handover of our certificates!
Each of us has experienced highs but also depths, but the experiences and new friendships that were made let us look back on the 6 weeks with very many positive events and we all believe that participation in this program has been very worthwhile and we can only recommend it to everyone to take advantage of this opportunity and to continue to use the experience gained.
Best greetings and Good bye!
Angelo & Sophia
Halftime of the Interns
A sunny hello from Newnan! We work here at E.G.O North America (Simone) and at Grenzebach (Max). Both are companies with their headquarter in Germany, here in the USA they built a components plant. This week we have a lot to report. In our companies there was a film team to ask us some questions about the internship and about our time here. I did the Interview two times in English and Max did it in English and German. With the Film team was Iris from the Joachim-Herz-Foundation with us. She gave a short briefing and right after this, we started with the interview.
Now I will tell you something about my experience at E.G.O North America. I like my job here, I like this little machine shop. The tools just have a weight about 300 – 400 kg. In Germany I work at the BMW plant in Landshut / Bavaria, there are the tools from 900 kg to 40 t. Besides this I work at home in the field mold design and construction, here is everything about punching. It is my job to split the tools that doesn´t work exactly enough to take a look what the problem might be. To every maintenance we have to clean the tools and we grind the cutting punch and the blanking die to reach a perfect cutting result. The tools produce at day and night with 450 strokes per minute a running ribbon out of metal. These ribbons are the heating elements in the burner later. If there is not enough work, I have material to produce special wheels at a conventional turning machine. They are made out of plastic and they have to be exactly measured to guarantee a perfect rolling.
My only colleague is Roger, he makes my American workaday life to a wonderful experience. Every morning when I start my working day at 6 AM is he going to start singing the unofficial song of E.G.O: “Another fun filled day of thrills, chills and delight in the magical world of E.G.O. Where the sun always shines, the birds always sing and the flowers are always in bloom.”
I do my 8-weeks Internship at Grenzebach in Newnan. I like the work here. My apprenticeship (as industrial mechanic) in Germany has a wide field of capabilities. Most of the time in my company in Germany I work with machines (turning, milling, etc.) or in all departments of manual assembly. Here at Grenzebach I work at installation. I work together with Chris on some different projects. Most of the time the last three weeks we worked at a recycling machine for defect solar panels. This machine is splitting screws and glass of an aluminum pieces. It was our task, if necessary, to disassembly the machine and to bring onto the pallet. After this we had to save the split pieces with screws, wood and metal ribbon on the pallet. At the end of this process we put a plastic foil over the whole pallet to save the load of rain, dirt and other influences.
I like to work with Chris. He is very accommodating. At the beginning it was not easy for me to communicate because I didn´t know in which field of my apprenticeship I would work here, so I didn´t know all the English words. After a few days and a lot of explanations it was going to be better.
Grenzebach is doing the training program, which equates to the German apprenticeship, in their second year now. This kind of program is new in the USA. Chris is the trainer for this program.
After work, when the working day is done, we drive home separate or we meet each other (Kati, Johannes, Max and Simone) at one of our host families home to spend the rest of the day together. Either we drive to the city to go shopping, to the cinema or we stay at home and enjoy the evening with archery or we broil marshmallows over the bonfire.
Best wishes from USA – Georgia – Newnan
Max and Simone
Visit of Lanier Career & College Academy, Zwick / Roell and Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
Now that we have been here for more than a month, we can say that we have arrived well in our university life and each of us has found his routine.
As much as we feel at home in the KSU, we are looking forward to a little change in our student life, which the Company-Visits offer to us.
Last Friday, we visited the Lanier Career & College Academy, for short LCCA.
The LCCA is an alternative high school, where students can gain practical experience through their school career.
There is a souvenir shop, a cafe, a restaurant, meeting rooms and a housekeeping facility.
We all were excited about the work of the students there, especially because we have learned that there is a lack of practical experience in the American student life. Our expectations were exceeded with a gourmet four-course meal prepared by the students!
On Wednesday, we visited the company Zwick / Roell in Kennesaw, a world leading supplier and manufacturer of material testing machines. The company exists now for 150 years and has been in North America for 20 years now. Kennesaw has the company’s Sales Marketing & Service Center.
The Headquarter of Zwick / Roell is placed in Ulm, but it also has offices worldwide, including Atlanta, Moscow, Shanghai, Johannesburg and Sao Paulo.
Lisa, who takes part in the Interns program, is doing her eight-week internship at Zwick / Roell. We were allowed to gain an insight into her work tasks there.
On Friday it was time: Lucas last day in the United States!
After a last shared breakfast at the Commons, we (Selina, Nina and Tom) accompanied Luca to the airport together.
At this point: We will all miss you, Luca!
At the airport then, our ways parted. While Luca made his way to the gate, we drove to the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (MAC) was founded in 1859 by twelve businessmen due to protests against rising taxes and rail traffic discrimination. At this time, it was named “Mercantile Asociation”. The MAC helps companies to evaluate in the greater Atlanta area.
It is comparable to the German Chamber of Commerce. From Mr. John Woodward, we received an interesting lecture that told us that while the two chambers of commerce are similar, but there are also some differences.
While the IHK works profit-oriented in Germany, the MAC is a non-profit organization. The most serious difference, however, is that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Germany is a public institution funded by the state, while the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce is a private company financed by membership fees from member firms.
What we all enjoyed most about the presentation, however, was the “Business Facts” about Atlanta. In week three, we explored many cultural attractions with our City Pass. The most interesting was to learn things about Atlanta that we all haven´t known so far. Starting with the fact that Atlanta is, seen economically, a very strong city: it has one of the world’s largest economies and an exorbitant population- and labor market growth. Atlanta is the capital of the South East economic region and has more than 500 corporate headquarters with approximately 5.8 million inhabitants.
This is because Atlanta has a large variety of people which indicates that the economy could develop in infinite directions. While the economy of New York predominantly finds its place in the financial sector and Houston is the area of the oil and gas industry, the Metro Atlanta region is not limited in any particular direction. There are 70 colleges and universities with 275,000 students, also included the Kennesaw State University with its 46 000 students.
The growing and promising economy in the Atlanta region makes it very interesting for companies to expand one of their field offices to Atlanta. We’ve been told that there are usually two main reasons for businesses to open a field office in another country:
Either you already have a certain customer base, or you have a product or service that does not yet exist in this country.
We have learned that Atlanta provides fertile ground for German companies, that´s one of the reasons Germany is the number one investor in Georgia!
Once again, we all have had a super instructive week to register and we all look forward to the last final week at the KSU!
Greetings from the summer in Kennesaw!
Nina and Tom
Final sprint! We KSUers are on the final stretch of our adventure in America. In the last two weeks we are expecting more interesting company visits, activities and course visits!
It all started with the “Day of Service”. Early in the morning we met at the football stadium at KSU and registered for various volunteer activities. After a shared breakfast with numerous other KSU students, the day started for our group! Planting trees, making flower beds and cleaning the stables were a part of the various activities on the agenda. In bright sunshine the time passed fast and we had a lot of fun. A great day and remarkable to see what can be achieved with group work.
The rest of the week started as usual with our English courses. In small courses we are discussing various topics. Due to the different origins of the other students, we are already confronted with cultural difficulties, especially in group work.
These “problematic” issues were discussed by Dr. Sabine Smith in her weekly ICT (Inter Cultural Training) lessons. We talk about the cultural differences between America and Germany and the treatment of different communication styles. We get to know ourselves better and analyze our behavior in daily life situations. Many of us have even set goals to change peculiarities and e.g. be much more open to new people. In addition we deal with the adjustment process when people from different cultures meet. It is a lot of fun to experience American culture so intensely and to reflect oneself. At the same time we tend to see the everyday life here in America more and more with different perspective and know to assess special situations better. For example it is no longer unfamiliar to us when approached by a strange person and compliment us. Overall, we learn to be much more aware of that perception and to compare encounters with people.
Sabine makes these lessons super interesting and we find that much more people should learn such a “lesson”: This would make our life easier in dealing with, if not to beautify the relationship with different people.
However, Dr. Sabine Smith is not just an ordinary teacher for us, she is an extraordinary person for us. She takes care of every problem, always has an open ear, takes care of us in case of illness and we are very glad to have her! Thanks Sabine!
In addition to the English and ICT courses, we also attend other campus courses based on our apprenticeships in Germany. For example, Arne is a trainee as a plant mechanic for plumbing / heating and air conditioning techniques. Therefore, he attended technically based courses at KSU, such as “Fluids Lab “. Topics such as water technology and pump technology were dealt with and the differences and commonality of the respective systems were recognized relatively quickly. The professor and the classmates were very interested in the other view and it came to an involved knowledge exchange.
Nina, Andy and Sophia are training as event managers and visited suitable event management courses. One class was about sustainability in the event industry. This topic seems to be not very present, if only they were to think of the plethora of single use items, which we Germans alone already have consumed. The students, however, seemed to be quite aware of this problem and for example, they discussed how much nature suffers from an open-air festival. Nevertheless, it seems that environmental awareness is a very new thinking for Americans and first the foundations have to be created, which we already almost take for granted. Nevertheless, we found it very positive that the students were very active and took the topic of the environment very seriously. An event manger has a very important role to play in helping you deliver the value to your customers to show the ecological alternatives of an event and to stear it in the “right” direction.
Another noteworthy course was Entrepreneurship. The topic of this class was rejection. Everybody is afraid to get rejected. Be it, you have a different opinion or a new idea. This fear hinders many to really make something out of their life. That’s exactly what the professor wanted to work on in his lesson: “Today’s gonna be weird” was his greeting. First he told us some successful entrepreneurs who had received many setbacks and nonetheless stuck to their idea. None of these entrepreneurs was successful from the beginning or got immediate support. But their courage and perseverance has paid off. To bring us closer to this realization, he divided us into groups and presented to us several little dares that we should perform on campus. Some of these tasks were: asking strangers for a compliment, sitting on the driver’s seat of a police car or asking to go with someone for dinner. For some, these tasks were a big challenge, but everyone got involved and overcame at least once and we laughed a lot. As all students were back again in the classroom, everyone talked enthusiastically about their experiences.
Together with the professor, we realized that we got a “yes” much more often than expected. Even if you got rejected, that was not so bad as feared. The more often the overcoming, the smaller the fear of being rejected. To summarize: “Life begins where the comfort zone ends”. You can transfer this sentence to all sorts of life situations and encourage yourself to become more involved in your life and to trust yourself.
These and many more exciting courses were already very enriching for us. It’s a shame that we do not often have the opportunity to try new courses! Nevertheless, we want to suck up the last days here at KSU again, before we have to start the journey home.
Arne & Andrea
Internship at Panalpina Atlanta!
The working life has started for the interns, we can be diligent in our companies now. I spend my 8-week internship in a forwarding company in Atlanta – Panalpina. A huge company, which exists on all 6 continents in the world.
In the first two weeks I was already able to collect a lot of great impressions.
On my first day I was warmly welcomed by my supervisor and during this time an employee ID card was created for me. With this I have access to both existing buildings here. After that, my supervisor made a little tour around the company with me and introduced me to the different departments and employees. In addition, she showed me my “place to be” for the next two months. I am allowed to support the “Ocean Freight Import” team. Surprisingly, I was directly involved in the tasks there.
I got to know many new processes, a new keyboard and new systems. But some of the systems I already knew. The reason for that is that I am completing my apprenticeship as a forwarding agent at Panalpina Hamburg. This means that, I am working for Panalpina in Hamburg, too. Due to that I know many internal systems.
I was able to do a lot in my first two weeks; E-mail contact, create customer tables with the associated Incoterms and carriers and even invoicing our customers. There are a lot of steps that need to be taken to get the right amount at the end. Additionally I had to get in touch with our colleagues in Manila sometimes, too. Just to compare and share some things.
The fact that I had to deal with the sea freight in Hamburg already, the pick up of a container and the billable details are not unknown to me. However, there were also many new things to learn, with which I never had to do in Hamburg, such as detention and demurrage at the port. Actually, the keyboard was also a small adjustment, but as we know, humans are creatures of habit and now I do not mix up the Z & Y keys that often anymore.
Furthermore, I have generally seen how the American working life in my company works. Last week, the employee of the month was chosen who then enjoy additional services, such as a parking lot in the front of the office entrance. In addition, a small “star” was distributed by each department to an employee who, in their opinion, deserves recognition for work and kindness.
So far I have received a warm welcome from my colleagues and I am very happy with my previous tasks. It’s also unbelievable how fast the previous weeks went over, but I’m looking forward to the next few ones.
At this point I would like to thank my dear supervisor Brenda, who has a lot of patience with me and always takes time for me. Also best regards to everyone else from the Ocean Import Team.
Greetings from Atlanta,
Career Fair 2018 & Porsche Cars North America
On the 9th of May the week began with the „Georgia Skills Roadshow“, which is taking place every year at the KSU. Right after our English lesson we met at the “Student Center” to prepare our booth for the fair. We brought presentations of our companies, some information material and giveaways for decorating. Each one of us had his own table to introduce himself, his company, the German dual education system and his individual tasks within the company for the visitors. The fair was opened by a speech from Dr. Sabine Smith and everyone who was taking part in the event received a raffle ticket. The prizes were KSU fan merchandise (t-shirts, caps, bottles) and an Atlanta City Pass, which gives access to several cultural facilities in Atlanta.
The American students were very interested in our booth even if their major studies had nothing to do with our jobs. Their interest was mainly based in the German dual education system because a lot of them had never heard anything about it before. It was a lot of fun to talk with them about it and to provide them some further information, because their responses were all positive. Furthermore it was a great opportunity to get in touch with many students and to talk about our own experiences in the US so far. The American students are very friendly and interested!
Besides our booth, there were a lot more such as the booth of the Joachim Herz Foundation represented by Iris Schultz.
At the End Dr. Sabine Smith held another speech and opened the buffet at the room next door. That is how the fair came to an end!
Porsche Cars North America
On Wednesday we visited “Porsche Cars North America”. You can find the Porsche Center near the Atlanta airport and it even has its own test track. At first they showed us a presentation about Porsche and we learned something about the history and philosophy of the company. Afterwards we were showed around the office of many different departments. It was very interesting to feel the pleasant atmosphere and to recognize how quiet it was, although there were so many people working at this open space.
Right After they showed us around, we went through the Porsche Museum. There were a lot different Porsche models exhibited, such as racing cars or privately owned classic cars. It was really impressing and exciting to get to know the progress of these cars through the decades!
At the end we were able to see the car workshop where we learned interesting facts about the Porsche 918 Spyder. This company visit was a great and exciting experience for all of us!
Spring Break in Georgia – a trip to Florida!
After having spent two exciting weeks on the campus of Kennesaw State University the traditional “Spring Break” began!
Six of us (Andrea, Sophia, Kristina, Nina, Arne and Luca) made our way to the airport in Atlanta on Saturday 31st of March where we took off to Miami at 10 am. The program had to be well prepared because we have only had three effective days in Miami.
After landing, we moved into our apartment in Miami. A small, really nice and newfangled house in the “Little Haiti District” in Miami. Every one of us wished to be at the beach as soon as possible, so we packed only the most necessary things and went to the sea. The first beach we visited together was South Beach. The water was really clear and the weather fantastic. We simply relaxed and enjoyed the nice view. Not having been to the sea since last summer, the day became even more awesome to all of us! Our first day in our really excellent harmonizing troupe of six ended with a dinner from the scratch.
On Sunday, we (Luca, Nina, Andrea and Kristina) went on a tour to the alligator park of the Everglades National Park in Miami by bus. At first, we made a really exciting boat tour on the river through the park. We saw alligators in the wilderness and that was so amazing. The tour guide told us the difference between crocodiles and alligators: We all didn’t know that apart from the teeth and head shape, there is a much greater difference:
Basically, alligators belong to the family of crocodiles, but the glands of the alligators cannot excrete salt as well as the ones of the crocodiles, which means that alligators live predominantly in fresh water, while crocodiles can predominantly be found in salty waters.
Arne and Sophia took the unique chance of seeing the finals of the Miami Open at this day! It was particularly exciting because Germany was represented in the final. Unfortunately the German player Alexander Zverev lost the tennis game.
The last day before departure we all spent in the city. After our city tour through Downtown Miami, we decided to go to Crandon Park – a real stroke of luck. The sand was bright white, the water was crystal clear and there was not a single cloud in the sky. A major difference between South Beach from day one and Crandon Park on day three was the water temperature. Crandon Park lays in the Gulf of Mexico, so the water is much warmer than the Atlantic Sea at South Beach.
We spent our last evening with a dinner in our apartment. We all agreed that our group worked really well in handling problems and simply enjoying time and we are glad to be able to say that we have had memorable days in Miami which pulled us closer even more.
But, before setting off to the Airport, we enjoyed the beautiful sunrise at South Beach. We all had breakfast together in our garden for a last time with wonderful warm weather and talked about the last few beautiful days.
Afterwards we all headed back to the airport, where our return flight went back to Atlanta in the afternoon and so, the exciting rest of our week in Atlanta could start.
We all enjoyed Miami and Atlanta very much and are happy to be returned sunbathed to Kennesaw.
Best regards from Kennesaw
Nina and Kristina
Our time at the Georgia Northwestern Technical College
Full of anticipation and great expectation our time at the Georgia Northwestern Technical College at the campuses in Rome and Calhoun on 03-19-2018 began.
The reason why we were not all on the same campus is that the Georgia Northwestern Technical College has a total of six locations in northern Georgia and each campus specializes in different subjects. The courses offer content for aircraft mechanics, metal and electronics specialists and medical professionals.
On our arrival we were warmly welcomed and we were shown the many different rooms of the school. After the small guided tour we were divided into our fields of study.
Jan went to the electrical engineering classes because he is an electronics technician for energy and building technology in Germany, where he got an insight into American control technology, motor control technology, operating technology and pipe and pump technology.
Benjamin attended the metal engineering courses because he is an apprentice in foundry mechanic in Germany. In the courses he gained an insight into CNC programming, the handling of conventional turning and milling machines, welding technology and technical communication. Together with Jan he also attended the pipe and pump technology course and the hydraulics course.
Christoph attended computer science courses, the contents of which were largely reflected in the contents of his training as an IT specialist for system integration. This included the configuration of routers and switches, but also the assembly of a computer from its components.
During this time it was very interesting for us to experience the many differences between the American and German teaching and learning methods. For example, we were very surprised at the friendly but always respectful relationship between teacher and students. We also noticed that the teachers take more time to answer the students’ individual questions in detail. The equipment of the campuses is also commendable. This is mainly due to the long-standing cooperation between the Georgia Northwestern Technical College and leading manufacturers in the fields of electrical, metal and medical technology. This cooperation enables the college to educate its students with always modern and practice-oriented equipment.
One of our highlights was the visit of the Ministerial Council Dr. Robert Geiger and some school principals from the Free State of Bavaria (Germany) to the campus in Rome. They got a view into the Technical College and showed interest in the “Azubis go USA” program. The target is the cooperation of other schools and institutions in Germany with the Georgia Northwestern Technical College in order to allow apprentices from Germany and the USA to participate in an exchange program in the future.
It was also exciting to take part in an interview with the local press in Rome and to read the published article.
We would like to thank the Georgia Northwestern Technical College for the excellent hosting, the many great impressions and experiences we were able to gain.
We wish you all the best:
Benjamin, Christoph and Jan
Experience the best of Atlanta!
Before we left Kennesaw and Atlanta for Spring Break on Saturday 3/31/18, we had the chance to visit the Delta Airlines Museum in Atlanta. After an interesting circuit inside a Delta Machine, we received a tour through the history of Delta Airlines. We have been shown how everything –from the uniforms up to the looking of the airplanes- has changed through the years. This background view behind a world leading Airline was quite impressive to all of us.
During Spring Break, our group was split into two:
While some of us spent a cozy weekend with shopping, nature activities and a bonfire, the rest got on his way to Florida in order to get some Vitamin SEA and discover Miami.
Back from Spring Break and reunited, we made our way back to beautiful Atlanta. From Dr. Smith, we received some City Passes, with which we could join several sights in Atlanta within nine days.
Wednesday, 4 / 4 / 2018 was the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King. Due to this event, our tour to the MLK-Museum got even more interesting for all of us, and furthermore, for free. Because Atlanta is the birth city of Coca Cola, the World of Coke also was one of the “must-sees”. At the beginning, you get a Can of coke in order to get in mood for the introduction movie. This moment was quite emotional and those goose bumps moments were incredible!
Our evening program was a highlight, too. We got some tickets for a basketball game:
Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heats. The game took place at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. We had great Seats with a perfect view! And even though the Hawks lost with 86 : 115 our whole group enjoyed the evening very much!
On Thursday, we started our day with the English class. Afterwards, we took our way back to beautiful Atlanta. The Atlanta Aquarium Georgia, which opened in 2005, brought absolutely memorable moments to all of us. About 500 different species living in or at the sea could be seen there. We were most impressed by the Panorama pool and the Beluga Wales. The pool is connected to the Ocean Voyager which allowed us to see those gigantic animals from all sides.
On Friday, we have been on a Company Visit at Printpack, the leading production of package in the food-industry. This was quite interesting because first, we were shown how those template are produced. Those template have be transformed any time the costumer changes even little parts of the package. After that, we made a trip through the production and stopped at the Quality Management Department. With a special magnifying glass, we’ve been allowed to have a look at the package and the therefore needed particles. The next step was about separating those huge rolls. We thought the dog food packaging was quite interesting. This production must be done much slower and with more expensive material due to the dog’s strong smelling sense.
Last but not least, we went to the High Art Museum in Atlanta, were we saw lots of different arts. Real difference between the expensively produced white and the cheaply produced black art.
For all of us, the Atlanta tour brought exiting and educational moments and we really look forward to use our city pass in the next few days.
Best regards from Kennesaw!
Kristina and Nina
Atlanta – the best 4 things to do.
During the classes at the college, we’ve used our free time to see and learn more about Atlanta. Because of the many different attractions, we’ve done most of them within the first two weeks before our internship starts. The first highlight was the tour through the headquarter of CNN.
At first, we bought the tickets followed by a short instruction from our tour guide – as a result, we can get started. During a short movie in the small cinema of CNN, we learned more about the history and foundation of the company.
Then the main part of the tour began. Our tour guide showed us the workplace of the employees. We were fascinated of the many screens. There was an open-plan office for every news sector. Social Media, Politics, International news and news for all the different countries in the world. It comes all together in the same building.
We passed the offices and our tour guide showed us the studios. We were impressed about the size and the quantity of technical equipment. When you watch TV you always think you are watching a “one-man show”, but there are many people involved and it only works with teamwork and a good communication.
The next part was really interesting. Our guide showed us how the weather reporter moves his hands over the green wall without a map. The important and real map is only projected in television. At the end, we tried our best to be a weather moderator, but unfortunately we had rainy weather.
The next attraction was the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. We have heard good feedback about it and it’s not without reason the number one in the US. We wanted to see all the shows, attractions and the four themes aquariums.
But we will start with the beginning. We bought our tickets and went in. Suddenly we were standing in the main building of the aquarium. It was so huge, so we tried to decide which kind of show we wanted to see. Then the next question was “where can we find it?”
We decided to go to the sea-lion show first, it was a great adventure.
Within half an hour the “Entertainer” showed us a lot of different things they have learned with their trainers. It was fascinating too see what sea-lions are able to do. It is awesome what kind of relationship the animals have to their trainers.
It got much more amazing at the “Dolphin Show”. We had to sit down in the 11th row, because the first ten rows were known as the “Splash Rows”. Unhappily we forgot our umbrella; due to that nice warm South American weather it was inexplicable. In the beginning of the show the animals did some amazing feats with their trainers. In addition the dolphins showed us how high they can jump, up to 5 meters high.
After the shows we went to the four different themes aquariums, the tropical diver, cold water guest, river scout and the great ocean voyager. In the last one we discovered the huge “fish” on our picture.
Finally we wanted to mention also the “World of Coca Cola”. Due to Atlanta being the city of origin of the sweet drink, you can visit here a kind of museum with a lot of attractions and history.
It all started with some information about the different commercials of Coca Cola. The red room was decorated with all the impressive billboards from all over the world.
After a short movie in the movie theater of the museum you had a lot of different options to do. You were able to learn something about the history, the secret recipe, the production and you were able to deal with the different TV-Commercials from all over the world. Even the wonderful Coca Cola Ice bear was there to take some pictures with the clients. The different things that were produced for Coca-Cola and the development of the Coke bottle were great to see, too.
But the best thing for us was to try Coca-Cola’s many different manufactured drinks from around the world. From every continent there were all sorts of sweet drinks to taste, also you could mix your own sweet drink at vending machines. It was wonderful and amazing to see. An everyday drink of a well-known brand with so much history and development behind it.
After the time at the colleges, we used our last weekend, which was also the Easter weekend, to go on a last adventure.
On Easter Sunday we made our way to the Stone Mountain Easter Sunrise Service. We started our trip at 4:30 A.M. Just to hike the mountain and see the Sunrise and the Easter Special. It was a wonderful ending of the two weeks of college, before the work life at our companies would start.
We enjoyed the first two weeks of college and our free time, too.
Atlanta is just an amazing city!
At this point, we would also like to thank the Joachim-Herz-Foundation for giving us this unique possibility.
Stefan & Izabella
Campuscruising: Police-Shuttle from A to H
Monday morning & our first day at Central Georgia Technical College: We were looking forward to two exciting & interesting weeks.
JaMelle (if you ever read this, U´re the best! <3) welcomed us and showed us around at the Campus in Warner Robins and Macon. Starting with hairdressing and healthcare up to technical professions many kinds of vocational training are offered.
Central Georgia Technical College – Campus Warner Robins
Last week, Kati attended – as one of many other courses – the welding class: I got to know different procedures to unpick a weld seam. Starting with plasma cutting & laser cutting to blending & cutting – the teacher let me try all the machines, which I really enjoyed.
Annemarie attended courses referring to communication & presentation skills, HR and accounting: Additionally, I was allowed to visit some courses in healthcare to get to know a different field of study. The course “Introduction to video production” was the most interesting one. In a special classroom the students are encouraged to develop their own projects by using the provided technical film equipment: Green- and Bluescreen, cameras and microphones. Furthermore, they are involved in pre- and postproduction as well as they learn skills regarding animating and photoshop.
Since ways from one building to another appear to be too far to walk, the campus police officers drove us from one course to the next.
Police at CGTC
On Tuesday, different companies provided us with an insight into the American working routine.
Rooftops made out of plastic bottles? – Freudenberg makes it happen!
The German company Freudenberg Performance Materials is a world leading supplier of nonwoven fabrics. Combined with tar they are waterproof and stable and therefore used as rooftops. Recycled plastic bottles are used as raw material. Thank you for the chance to get to know the whole production process.
Freudenberg Performance Materials in Macon
11.000 tires each day – Welcome to Kumho Tire
The South Korean tire manufacturing company employs about 400 workers in Macon (Georgia) and produces by using modern roboteer techniques. We got to know the required steps and processes to produce a tire out of raw material.
Small but eminently capable!
With only 70 employees, cascade is the world leading manufacturer of high capacity rotators for forklifts. With justification, the company is proud of the high connectivity of their employees. During the past 30 years only four workers quit their job to get hired in another manufacturing company. This is reach by the offer to switch departments and the possibility to take part in development and improvement of their products.
Interactive company visit at cascade
Greetings from Middle-Georgia
Kati & Annemarie
Reunion at the GACC South
On March the 23rd, 2018 it was time of our first little reunion. We spent the first few days here in Atlanta and got to know our host families. The first week at the Technical College was over and we all had a lot of new experiences. Since all interns are housed in different areas and families, most have not seen each other in the last few days. It was, of course, even more beautiful that we were able to share our individual experiences with the other interns on this Friday!
The reason for our meeting was the Kick-Off seminar at the German American Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta. On this day many people came together: the presidents and responsible persons of the Technical Colleges – where we interns spend our first two weeks – and employees of the Joachim Herz Foundation and the GACC South.
At the beginning of the meeting we had time to get to know all the people and to talk about the past few days. At 10:00 am the seminar began. We interns were in a room together with Alexia Falkenberg and Nicole Heimann from the GACC South and Rita Wuebbeler from INTERGLOBE. First, each of us briefly introduced ourselves, with content such as our training company in Germany, the Technical College we visit, our internship company in the US and much more. Afterwards, the speakers also told us how they came to their work at the GACC South and what connects them with Germany, which was very interesting for us.
Alexia Falkenberg gave us a wonderful presentation about Atlanta: A guide to getting to know your new home. She mentioned different places that are a must-see when in Atlanta. The famous World of Coca Cola, Centennial Olympic Park and various neighborhoods will certainly be part of some of our planning for the weekend.
A presentation about the Current market development and the evolution of the dual education in the Southeastern of the USA we got from Nicole Heimann. It was incredibly interesting to see that the Southeastern of the United States is experiencing huge economic growth. Many european companies rely on branches in this location. The fact that the German dual training system has already been adopted by almost 100 companies in various sectors was very surprising for most of us.
A very important point for all interns was mentioned by Rita Wuebbeler. Working and Communicating Effectively in a U.S. Work Environment: How to Bridge the U.S.- German Culture Gap at Work. To be well-prepared for our 8-week internship, we were warned in many ways of how the German work ethic differs from the American. With the motto “Better ask for forgiveness than for permission” some of us realized that the American working world is acting much more pro-actively than it is used to in Germany.
After the presentations, we had the opportunity to talk with the representatives of the Technical Colleges and all Interns at lunch. We had a wonderful day at the GACC South for which we would like to thank all participants at this point!
Best greetings from Atlanta
… settling-in period and the first courses chosen …
After the first few exciting days here in Kennesaw, we experienced our next highlight on Thursday; the “foreign language day“, which was organized and presented by the Students of KSU. Each language had its own booth where the students explained the language and culture to other students, teachers or people interested. It was very organized interestingly. One example being; American students who are visiting a German class at KSU performed a German fairy tale as a skit.
It was already Friday and the time went by very quickly and there was not much time till weekend … unbelievable. After our intercultural training we had the first company visit at MEBUS house (Music and Entertainment Business) near the campus. It was very exciting. At first we were welcomed with snacks and coffee. Afterwards we visited the rooms which were full of vinyls and jackets of many famous stars. Then the employees told us about their jobs and the development of the music industry because of the digitalization. The highlight was the recording of our voices. Then they tuned the voices and mixed them together in front of us. That was really cool.
The first weekend at Kennesaw …
Now, the weekend could start. Some of us went shopping, some went to the “Amicalola Falls” in northern Georgia, and we (Sophia, Selina and I) decided to watch the last American football match of the season for KSU. It was just a friendly match but the stadium, the atmosphere and the hole experience were fantastic and incredible. On Sunday we also had to celebrate Selina’s 23rd birthday. “All the best from all of us Selina!”
… it’s really getting started now …
After that exciting weekend we visited our first personally chosen courses. On Monday we started with our every days English lesson from Monday to Thursday. Afterwards we had the intercultural training while we worked with the six steps of intercultural competence. Then we met Gray McCalley who is a lawyer at Printpack and who also worked for CocaCola and had lunch together at the Commons. After the lunch Mr. McCalley made a presentation of himself in German language in the German course we were visiting as well. He told us something about his résumé, his stays in Germany and his work in the US. It was very impressive.
After our English lesson I had my first two chosen courses. I visited the courses “Entrepreneurship” and “Marketing”, which both have a directly connection to my apprenticeship. In the marketing lesson we spoke about the retailing what was in general far away from my business. During the entrepreneurship course we thematized the legal basis for surety ship when opening a new business. That was really interesting. Last but not least for the day we had a German lesson. I could meet new people every day because we visited some different lessons each day. I am still very impressed of the Americans being so pleasant and have a positive attitude all the time. I feel very good in that type of atmosphere.
On Wednesday we had the first company visit of the week. We were at the Airport of Atlanta; the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport who is the “World’s Busiest Airport“. We drove around the airport, visited the fire station, and we were also at the role field and in the tower. At the end, the employees showed us confiscated things. For example, some were bones of animals, skin and hide of animals, heads of animals and even a whole baby crocodile … it was a terrifying sight. After that we had lunch and went home where we enjoyed the rest of the day.
Two great week at Lanier Technical College
After we passed the first ten days with many new impressions we now report about our
time at the Lanier Technical College.
A short Information about the Students at the College:
The Students start working direct after High School or College, without practical
skills. Anyone who wants to raise up and get a better job studies at the Technical College.
Most time they have to pay it by themselves or get a scholarship witch is very difficult
Our Supervisor Christian Tetzlaff showed us the College and introduced us to the
teachers. After that we got a plan of the different courses for our different jobs
precision machinist and industrial mechanic.
The courses were Drafting, Machine Tool Technology, Industrial System Technology,
Motorsports Vehicle Technology, Welding and Accounting.
In the course Drafting by David Roberson we could choose one of the different CAD
Programs and started working with them. Firstly with easier drawings to get to know
the program and later David gave us more difficult drawings like compex parts,
moduls and gears.
The Team “Corvette Racing” had training on this day and we saw the corvettes live
on the track, we saw the cars during training, talked to the crew and saw the pit
stops up close. In addition, we were allowed to visit the trucks of the racing team, in
which a complete workshop is set up.
Until our stay at the College we were visited by John London the General Manager
of IMS Gear. IMS is the company we will work after our stay at Lanier College. He
introduced himself and the company and told us what we were going to do at IMS and that they have interesting and nice projects for us. It sounded very exciting and exciting.
We thank the Lanier Technical College for the extraordinary hospitality, the many
great impressions, as well as the numerous discussions from which we can take a
lot for the future.
Now we are looking forward to the time at IMS Gear.
Best regards, Philipp and Jannik
The 16th of March was different for everyone, but we all had something in common: Anticipation and excitement affected us, for some more and for others less.
Together we have used the time to clarify all the remaining questions. It has been nice to prepare for the upcoming journey, together with all the participants. Due to the anticipation and excitement, the flight felt shorter than expected.
After a few misunderstandings at the entry, we have been warmly received.
On the weekend we used our free time to settle in and to get to know our host family a little more. Gretchen and Allan live in a beautiful house near downtown Atlanta. We have found things in common, had a lot of fun, laughed a lot and feel very welcomed. Thinking about leaving them soon, makes us feel sad.
The first week at Georgia Piedmont Technical College has begun with a warm welcome as well. We have been introduced to our teachers, who accompanied us to our classes.
In general, we have found out that the training has differences regarding the organization. What we like the most, is the teacher’s dedication, the students get actively involved, engagement is required and appreciated. Moreover, we have the impression that teachers and students get along very well, they almost have a friendship with each other. This could be because they are sometimes close to age. Due to this good relationship between teacher and students, we came into classes with a very good and happy atmosphere.
During our time at the college, we also found out southern hospitality to be completely true.
It has always been fun to talk to other students, because they welcomed us too.
During our brakes Jeryll McWorther, program director, looked after us. He brought us to interesting places and restaurants, we wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for him.
It is awesome that we have seen so many things, all though it is just the first week. We can’t wait for what we will experience in the upcoming weeks.
Already at this point, THANK Y’ALL, for making this happen, it has been a pleasure meeting you!
Simone, Can & Johannes
Finally the time has come!
After weeks of preparation and anticipation it’s finally starting: We’re in the United States of America! And it’s so awesome!
But from the start:
On Saturday we flew from Munich to Atlanta. Over there we were warmly welcomed by our coordinator Sabine, our Peerbuddies and the host families of our Interns. After moving in and getting to know each other there has been the first cultural shock: shopping in the Walmart. Everything is so big!
After the first – for most of us very short – night there we went for brunch with our Peerbuddies on the campus. After that we had a quite interesting city tour through Atlanta. First stop was the Ebenezer Baptist Church, were Martin Luther King was preaching for a long time. We also visited the house of his birth and his grave.
After that we drove with the Bob-bus to Cabbagetown, a hipster-neighborhood with many colorful houses and amazing street-art. From there we walked on the Beltline, a newly created park area for pedestrians and cyclists, that connects the different neighborhoods.
On Monday the serious part of our trip started: the first day at KSU. We started with a placement test for our English intensive courses. After that we were able to visit some intercultural training and German courses of the American students to make new contacts.
We finished the evening together with our Peerbuddies with self made pasta in the hotel.
On the next morning the English courses in small groups started. Our fellow students are from all over the world, for example from China, India and Bulgaria. The cultural differences are very interesting and instructive.
Wednesday after our English classes we drove to Kennesaw Mountain. There we visited the museum of civil war and had a hiking tour to the top of the Kennesaw Mountain.
On the evening we were at line dancing in the Electric Cowboy. For all of us it has been much fun and of course it was very interesting to talk to the Americans in such a relaxed atmosphere.