Sprecken Sie Englisch???

            I have discovered that entering a country without speaking the native language can be one of the most terrifying experiences of your life.  You are suddenly thrown into a completely different way of life.  Luckily I was met at the airport by my roommate Suzi and representatives from EBS who drove us to our flat.  Unfortunately the people who were sent to pick us up from the airport did not understand a word of English.  We did however make it to our flat in one piece with just enough time in the day to go exploring.

            Here is a helpful hint for anyone planning on studying in
Germany.  All of the shops are closed on Sundays so if you need something to eat you better stock up during the week because you won’t be able to get anything.  Also most of the stores in small towns, such as Oestrich-Winkel and Hattenheim where we are currently living will shut down at around lunch time for 2 or 3 hours so that they can go home and rest while eating their lunch.  A fact that Suzi and I learned on our first day while we were wandering around trying to find something to eat.  There are however a few restaurants in the area that are open so don’t worry you won’t starve.

            Other than the odd shop hours I have to tell you that this area is amazing.  Every available piece of land is covered with grape vines.  We live in Hattenheim Germany which is outside of
Frankfurt.  Apparently all of the wine made in
Germany is made in our area.  The flat provided to us by EBS is located right along the

River.  It is the perfect scenery for jogging and riding bikes.

            From what I can tell so far Hattenheim is a small quiet town.  We are within walking distance from just about anything we would need, and about 20 minutes from
Frankfurt in case we decide to have a fun night out.  The citizens of our quiet little town seem very friendly yet private.  They really appreciate it when you try to speak German, which you will have to do a lot of because a lot of the older citizens do not speak English. 

            I love
Germany so far but we haven’t started classes yet so there really isn’t that much I can tell you.  I will write again when I have more tips and information.


Tschuss!!! (Bye)

Kristen Dresselhaus

Congratulations, Argentina on the Olympic Gold Medal in soccer!

This is Emily reporting to you live from Argentina!  It is 3:30am here, and 2:30am in Louisville (well, it was when I wrote this note before my laptop crashed)…and Argentina has recently won the GOLD medal in soccer in the Olympics.  I have just come back from the centro, where I filmed a short video of the celebration.  As you can imagine, folks were in the street in the centro dancing and jumping up and down.  Cars were honking wildly.  It was really fun to be here for it.

I wish I could upload it, but it seems this WordPress application has not been allowing me to upload pictures, let alone videos for the last few months!  I have played around in the help me files several times to no avail.  I can upload a file, but once I do, it’s corrupted.  But this post is about….Congratulations Argentina!  And have you ever noticed how North–centric it is to call the Olympic summer games by that name when it’s the middle of winter in other parts of the world?


Germany is beautiful, especially where I live.  My flat is Hattenheim which is about a 15 minute bike ride from EBS.  The entire town is surrounded by vineyards, wild blackberry bushes and the Rhein River.  Hattenheim is very small, but very cozy.  Everyone is really nice and people always greet you with a smile.  However, most of the locals don’t speak a lot of English so it’s a good idea to know a few German greetings before you come.  In Hattenheim it is also very popular to ride bikes.  We are guaranteed to see at least 15 to 20 bike riders every day on the way to school.  EBS has two campuses, The Schloss and The Burg.  The Burg campus is really beautiful too.  The school is surrounded by vineyards and EBS also has their very own wine cellar with a wine tasting club.  When you first get here though, you have to take an intensive German class and that is located at the Burg campus.  The classes are really intensive, but they really help in getting around the city.  Another great thing about the classes are that you meet people from all over the world.  I have met people from China, Canada, Guatemala, Spain, Mexico, Poland, Sweden, and more.  And everyone is really nice.  EBS also plans lots of activities for us during these two weeks.  They have already taken us to a local winery for dinner, a boat tour around the castle in Radesheim, and next week they are taking us to Frankfurt.  That’s all for now, and I will post later with hopefully some pictures!

¡Que vivan las universidades públicas!

I hopped a plane from Michelle to Cristina.  (Michelle Bachelet is the president of Chile; Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is the president of Argentina.)  I figured that was a good sign for a solo female traveler.  In Chile, I picked up an Economist in English for a full $10!  Still, I needed some familiar reading and to get back into current events.

Four things I LOVE: maps, navigating public transportation systems (here I bought a Guía T in a local kiosko for about USD $2), speaking Spanish, and urban centers.  Using the combination of the three to navigate myself around the latter has been quite an enjoyable adventure.

FOR THE RECORD, a little myth-busting: I want to comment on the EXCELLENT service I have received so far as an international student at Argentina’s public university.  Everyone told me that I should try to enroll in a private university because surely there, I would find much better assistance and services.  I was told that the public system and bureaucracy would be a nightmare to navigate.  So far, so good.  I have found the class lists online with little difficulty and have navigated their website easily.  I was given a list of requirements to apply, which I fulfilled, and when I arrived, there were no surprises about some form they needed.  I showed up to my Facultad (college) yesterday my first day; I thought class enrollment could be a potential nightmare.  I was given one, (again, that’s ONE) sheet of paper to fill out with my desired classes, which it seems I’m guaranteed as part of the services and courtesy I receive being a visiting student.  ¡Que gentileza!  True, finding the office of International Services on the 2 ½ floor above the graduate school offices was tricky, but it was a pleasant adventure wandering the halls of the lovely, old colonial building.  At every step along the way, I encountered kind people willing to help direct me and/or chat.  La Secretaria directed me to the foreign language school, and I am enrolled in an intensive Spanish class for a month until the beginning of September in Level 7 of 8.  So far, Universidad de Buenos Aires….te amo.Early on in January, I attempted to contact the Universidad de Palermo, a private university.  I got bounced emails and unhelpful responses, sometimes no responses.  I got responses that the woman in charge was on vacation.  Apparently, she was on vacation for months.  I tried to get help from their MBA offices, explaining I was still an undergraduate.  All I got was their newsletter – which I still get.  I STILL have not heard back from them.  In short, a private university, UP, whose MBA program costs maybe $15,000 a year has – terrible service.