Apr 21

Germany – First Week of Classes/2nd Weekend

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4

One could say I’m still in the honeymoon phase.

I am completely in love. Traveling around Europe is such a unique and breathtaking life experience. I am taking 5 classes during my term here (Fluid Mechanics, Dynamic Systems 1 & 2, Germany at the heart of Europe, and German language). Each of the professors are enthusiastic and captivating. They convey a lot of passion and are excited to teach the exchange students. It seems that most of them fit it into their schedule because they enjoy it. I am eager to learn, although, it is surprisingly difficult to get into the academic mindset in such a beautiful place. In Flint, it’s easy to find motivation to study hard, but here it’s a different story because our classes are later in the evening and everything is so beautiful, green, and intriguing! This last weekend we went on a field trip to the manufacturing plant for the Audi R8 (which was impeccable) then we ran to the train station from the museum and caught a train to Vienna, Austria.

Vienna was stunning. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting much from Austria, but I was amazed. It was sunny and lovely, and the architecture of the buildings is just unbelievable. We explored the city and went to the Natural History museum and came across a random festival in the city which was great! We also had the most delicious cake known to man. Later on Saturday evening we caught a train to Salzburg, Austria. Also, an amazing city offering a lot of green, history, and beautiful views of mountains (real mountains, not Michigan “mountains”). It reminded me a lot of Seattle, minus the significant historical and architectural differences. We explored a massive fortress located at the top of the city. Four of the people in my group took a cable car to the top, but Ryan and I decided to save ourselves 3€ and climb our way to the top. Worth it. The design and the view from the top was amazing!! The castle was built in 1460! It’s hard to even fathom that as an American. Everywhere we have been has a slight resemblance to Harry Potter world in Universal Studios in Florida, but I have to remind myself that these buildings are the real deal! It’s an incredible experience. Everyone needs to study abroad, or travel abroad for an extended amount of time.

Apr 14

Germany – Week One

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3

 

So far, I have had such an amazing experience in Germany. Last weekend we went to Munich and got to experience the joys of a biergarten and eat some traditional German food (which I’m now making for myself during the week at the dorms) while roaming this beautiful city. It’s truly breathtaking how historic and beautiful the buildings are here. Just being here is such a wonderful feeling.
We walk just about everywhere, and we have a 45-minute walk to school/downtown so all the pretzels, sausages, and bread are not affecting us as severely as one might think. I actually think I’ve lost weight since being here.
Being a stranger in a new country is so eye opening. The way people live and interact is so exciting because it’s so different. We are quickly learning that most Germans are used to staying out much later than Americans are. The classes we have and the professors are all incredible. They are scheduled later in the day, so most days our first class isn’t until 3:45 p.m.! Which means we get to fill our mornings with jogging, reading in the park, espresso at the local cafes, and just chilling out with the Germans students we meet.
One of my personal favorite aspects of European culture is the style. The community as a whole takes very good care of themselves, and they are very hygienic and stylish. I swear, this whole country smells like cologne and flowers.

Today we are heading to Audi for an excursion with our class. From there, myself and five others are jetting off to Austria for the weekend. We plan to hit up Zurich and Salzburg! It should be another fantastic weekend.


Apr 14

Germany – Day One

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2

Last night, I slept with the window open (which I never do in America but I’m taking on European ways of life as best I can) and it was absolutely wonderful. I woke up to birds chirping and a lovely breeze that was incredibly refreshing. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and went for a run. Took a shower and definitely used a washcloth and a flannel shirt to dry myself off because I didn’t bring a towel and couldn’t find one on Tuesday.

Then I met with my group, we stopped off at the market for breakfast. I got a breakfast cinnamon roll honey fritter thing which was quite the comedic scene when I attempted to order, I don’t know a lick of German so I suggested that I point to what I want and she didn’t know what I meant by “point” so the lady was nonetheless very confused and I couldn’t do anything about it. But after stumbling through some awkward pauses and charades, I got my cinnamon roll honey fritter thing.

Then we caught a bus to downtown Esslingen, then walked through the city lost, but not admitting it, and finally found the building our orientation was held in. We had an introduction, then went for lunch in a cute little cafe downtown. I decided ordering the “special” is the way to go because I get a traditional German meal that is new, delicious, and cheaper. So once again we fumbled through ordering our food and enjoyed a nice lunch, and an incredible cup of tassee kaffee.

After lunch I was on a serious mission to find a towel before we had our next orientation session. Finding a towel was excessively difficult! After wandering and going through numerous stores, I asked someone “where can I buy a hand towel?” Using a translator app, I finally received a detailed drawing on where to go. 

 

Apr 14

Germany – Arrival Day

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1

I have anticipated this moment since before I attended Kettering, and the time has finally come! I am sitting on the plane headed to Philadelphia, then will fly into Frankfurt where I will connect to Stuttgart, then take a shuttle to Hocshule Esslingen! I checked one bag that was exactly 49 pounds (I can thank Kettering for that precision, because I have had a significant amount of practice tetris-ing all my shoes and 3 months of my life into a suitcase). My first flight was intended to depart from Hartford, CT at 1:45 p.m. on March 31,  but as expected, the flight was delayed an hour. Which will make for a sprint in the Philly airport, but it will work out in some way or another. Traveling is all about learning to roll with the punches. Half the adventure is figuring out what to do and where to go when everything goes wrong. Nothing ever goes as planned when you travel, so I’ve learned to expect it, then smile and be pleasant to the employees who can connect me to my flights and hotels :)

I’m meeting Savannah (my best friend, roommate, and travel partner) at baggage claim in the airport in Stuttgart and we have scheduled for a shuttle to pick us up and take us to the school, so that is the plan (assuming our flights allow it).

So, although the times in the airport were fast paced and stressful, everything ended up working out as planned. Savannah and I met up in baggage claim, then met up with the shuttle driver who drove us directly to the dorms. We got our rooms, dropped our stuff off, then went for a walk around town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went to the market place (where I bought cheese and sparkling apple juice, both excessively random choices, I know) then walked to an Italian cafe and ate outside in the sunshine. It was glorious. Although, it was 11 a.m. and it felt like it should be 6 p.m. My body was whacked out. I unpacked and took a power nap and after that everything was very smooth. I wasn’t tired, and haven’t been tired since. We went out for drinks and dinner later in the night after discovering the most amazing ice cream (that was only 1€!) and just chilled out until we walked home around 10:30 p.m.

Apr 07

Back to your regularly scheduled work term

Jessica Bruce

Jessica Bruce

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering senior Jessica Bruce, who is from Flint, MI and is majoring in Industrial Engineering, will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Jessica’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3

Wow, what an academic term and apologies for the lack of posts. This past school term has been a whirlwind for me, with my class load surprising me a bit, but I handled it and came out on top. Over winter break on New Year’s Eve I actually got engaged to a Mechanical Engineering student on B section, and I’m very happy; though currently not planning anything until after graduation, school first.

Now I’m a senior! YAY :D

Finals week was interesting for me.  I was rear-ended while waiting for the red light in front of Einstein’s to change on my way to my 10 a.m. Human Biology exam. No major injury, and my car needs a new impact bar, but the whole experience was not what I had planned for the first morning of exams. However, the mini-station adjoined to Einstein’s was ridiculously convenient as I didn’t even have to call 911 to report the accident. Then later that night I went to the clinic to get checked out, as my neck was really bothering me,  and got diagnosed with minor whiplash and was given a doctor’s note for my 7:30 a.m. exam the next morning, efficiently ending my Winter 2014 academic term. All healed now though. :D

My alumni FRC robotics team, Megatron Oracles a.k.a “Big MO” team 314, is having a fantastic 15th anniversary season! They have won two of their competitions this year and at their last competition they received the Chairman’s award! Currently they are ranked 4th in the state and are qualified to go to the State competition. I am so proud of my alumni team for doing so well, and congratulations to all the members on the team! I wish you guys the best and can’t wait to see how you fare at states and worlds.

Now back to our regularly scheduled work term.

This term is going to be a bit hectic, but hey…when is Kettering not hectic? First official thesis term and I get to begin the process of testing. I’m excited for my first really big work project. Also I’m hopeful to get to travel for work a bit this term; a change in scenery is always nice.

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