By Brian Silver, Astrobiology ‘12
I have finally arrived in Germany with the Congress-Bundestag Exchange Program (CBYX). Included in this blog post are pictures of my arrival in Frankfurt and of the introductory seminar held in Eppstein. Since this is my first blog post since arriving in Germany, I would like to mention a bit more about the CBYX program and some of my goals for the coming year.
Currently I am staying with a very kind host family in Cologne, Germany and attending the Carl Duisberg Centrum language school. At the end of September, I will transfer to Munich for the rest of the year. There, I will be attending the Technische Universität München (TUM) for one semester (until January 1st), when I will begin an internship in which I will work for the rest of the year (until the end of July). During the semester at TUM I will be responsible for locating and applying to an internship, but I will be assisted by the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH). GIZ sponsors the American participants in Germany for the year.
My general goals of this year-long program are to learn the German language, to see as much of Germany and its culture as possible, to experience first-hand how career fields are taught in a German university, and to gain experience working in an internship in Germany. Since astrobiology is a highly interdisciplinary program, I hope to see how its teaching and research are conducted in wide variety of areas. I will also try to meet different researchers and professors to gain a better understanding of what German views are regarding research and education of the sciences.
I have chosen to major in astrobiology because I am interested in studying the connection between chemistry, physics, and biology. In the U.S., I have come across a mixture of opinions
I have already had the chance to see much of Cologne, and was able to meet people from various backgrounds and cultures. The landscape and culture of Germany is unique, and Cologne has a variety of historical sites, museums, and interesting artwork.about what
In research, an important concept is the ability to look at problems in a variety of ways. I will highlight unique opinions and different ways of living I may encounter during the year. I hope through this blog to gain and share an idea of the vastness of options and fields that exist in scientific research.