Monday, July 13, 2009

Back in Karlsruhe

This week in Karlsruhe was an amazing week! We did so many fun things around our hostel and the city.

On Monday, we had class, as usual, and lunch at the hostel. During lunch, everyone sang happy birthday to me (my birthday was actually on Sunday, June 28). Ms. Droms and Dr. Ware had bought me a cupcake from Starbucks and put a candle in it for me. It was so sweet!

It really meant a lot to me! For dinner, we went out to a local restaurant for Tiara’s birthday, and later, we all came back to the computer lab to start studying for our daily quizzes and case studies. We wanted to get as much done that night as we could, so we wouldn’t have to worry about it all week!

I’m slowly starting to pick up on some key German words! Two of our favorite words to say are “danke,” which means thank you, and “bitte,” which means your welcome or please. These words are very important for anyone to know if they are planning to travel to Germany. However, being able to understand the German language when Germans are speaking to you is very tough. They speak really fast! I really wish I would have taken a German language class before I came over to study so I would be able to speak and understand the language a little better. Luckily, many of the Germans I have interacted with know some of the basic words in English, so that makes it easier to communicate.

On Tuesday, we had classes and lunch at the hostel. Afterwards, a couple of us decided to check out the Karlsruhe water park named the Europabad. It was so much fun! They had four indoor pools, one huge outdoor pool (with plenty of chairs to lay out on), two super fun water slides, a lazy river and a sauna. It only cost three euros to stay for two hours! We definitely stayed the entire two hours and we want to try to go back sometime again before we leave! After the water park, we all went to eat at a one of our favorite local restaurants, the Doner Kabab. It is so good! They serve all kinds of sandwiches, pizzas and wraps. Then we all came back to our hostel and passed out because we were so tired from playing at the water park!

On Wednesday, we had our first weekly field trip for the international marketing and management classes! We were lucky enough to be invited to tour the L’Oreal plant in Karlsruhe, thanks to Senator Aurenz and his wife. Senator Aurenz owns a company in Valdosta called ASB Greenworld, and he is also on the board of directors for the Audi plant in Germany. His wife has connections with executive directors at the L’Oreal plant in Karlsruhe, and this yielded us a wonderful experience at the L’Oreal plant. Senator Aurenz and his wife have been loyal friends and supporters to the Langdale College of Business for many years.

Our group received a complete tour of the plant. We started in the room where they actually make the products (shampoo, make-up, creams, etc.), then we saw how they bottle it, label it and package it all up. The machines they are using to do all of this are unbelievable — so correct, exact and precise each and every time.

After our tour, they served us an amazing lunch. It was, without a doubt, one of the best meals I’ve had since we’ve been here. After lunch, we were served coffee and they answered all the questions we had for them. When the tour was over, they gave all of us incredible gift bags with all kinds of products for girls and boys. All of the products were labeled with German words, so we came back to our hostel to look up what the words meant to figure out what products we were given. It was like a scavenger hunt for German words! During our visit, we had tons of fun and learned a lot as well. We were all really appreciative of what the L’Oreal plant did for us. They really showed us a wonderful time. For the rest of the afternoon, I basically just ran errands. I mailed some postcards, grabbed some Starbucks, and ate dinner at the hostel. Most of us went to Scruffys for a little while, then headed back to the hostel to get some sleep!

On Thursday, we did the usual class thing then everyone started to pack up for their weekend trips. I was packing for my trip to London with Kent, April, Tiara, Gail, Lauren, Danielle and Ms. Droms. We left Karlsruhe around 5 p.m. and took a train to Baden Baden; from there we took a bus to the Baden Baden/Karlsruhe airport. We got there about three hours early, but we didn’t really have anything else to do, so it was okay. Our plane left at 9:45 p.m. and arrived in London around 10:25 p.m. London time. They are an hour behind Germany. So, the flight really took about an hour and forty minutes, not just forty minutes. When we got to the airport, we took a bus from the airport to the city of London. When we finally got there, we checked into our hostel, the Bestplace in Waterloo, and went to sleep!

* Mallory is participating in a study abroad program in Karlsruhe,Germany, organized by Valdosta State University's Langdale College of Business Administration and International Programs.


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