SAA Germany Group Study Visit is ON!

Thank you for following us throughout the months.  We had a successful application process and we have a full group of 20 participants signed up for the trip.

We will no longer be posting on this blog about the program but we will leave it up for reference for everyone who is interested (there could be intermittent posts). If you have any questions, please contact us directly.


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Applications due Today!

Thank you for all of the interest in the SAA Study Tour to Germany 2013!  As a reminder for those intending to still complete the application process, the application and deposit are due today by 4:30PM Central Standard Time.  If you are mailing your application and deposit via post, please be sure that the envelope is postmarked with today’s date: October 15, 2012.


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Recommended Cologne | Discover Germany

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Day-trip! Köln, here we come!

What better of a way to see Germany, than to have a road trip via train!?!

Cologne is Germany’s 4th largest city after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.  Furthermore, it is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with a population of more than 10 million inhabitants. Cologne is a major cultural center of the Rhineland and has a vibrant arts scene. Cologne is home to more than 30 museums, including the Chocolate Museum, and hundreds of galleries, it is considered one of Europe’s centers for gay and lesbian life, and shopping is at every shopaholic’s finger tips.

Although we will visit a couple places together, you will have the rest of the day to adventure out into the city and discover what you like.  Places that we recommend seeing while visiting Cologne will be the city’s famous Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), the Brauerei Früh(we’ll see as a group), and The University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln), which is one of Europe’s oldest and largest universities.

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The application deadline is coming up quickly! October 15, 2012. Shortly thereafter we will be submitting our application for the DAAD Group Study Visit Grant (50€ per day/student).  November 1, 2012. Next thing we know we’ll be starting our online course and stepping off the plane into Germany.

If you have any questions, please contact or

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Discovery Germany | Recommended Bonn

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Cheeky Bum, Bonn.

Beneath the Kennedy Bridge, on the Bonn side, you will find The Bröckemännchen. The Brückenmännche is a figure of a man pointing his bottom at Beuel – the city on the other side of the Rhine. From the Roman times up to the arrival of the Prussians, the Rhine had no crossing but in the 19th Century the Kennedy Bridge was build. The citizens of Beuel refused to pay their share of the construction costs, so only the city of Bonn paid for it, in turn, erecting the statue on the bridge in revenge. Interestingly enough, the original Bröckemännche was rescued after the Second World War, when the bridge was bombed, and it can still be seen on the wall of Ristorante Rossi. Even today, the two sides poke fun at each other for living “on the wrong side of the Rhine.” Another fun fact – a copy was made of the original figure, but this time his bottom pointed towards Frankfurt instead of Beuel.  The message being “We got capital city status – not you!”.

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Sprechen sie Deutsch? (Do you speak German?)

So, we have already gone over the basics of what phrases you may find useful in German.  For those of you who would like a fuller understanding of German, I found two excellent videos to help you develop German grammar, pronunciation, and comprehension.  The first video, Learn German – Lesson 1, goes through some vocabulary words and personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, they, we).  Most of it is listening and repeating back what you hear and see.  The second video is one episode of a series for German language learners. You will get to learn about Katja and Alexander through simple dialogue. It is an entertaining video that I am sure will get better as the weeks progress! I don’t want to give away any bit of the storyline, so check it out!

Learn German – Lesson 1

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… Lions, and Tigers, and Bears… OH MY!

When I think of museums, my mind instantly fast forwards to art only, no talking, and my index finger on my chin pondering the meaning of a renowned masterpiece.  I must admit, I avoid most museums that I deem as “boring” (a.k.a. where you can’t touch anything); however, I have come to appreciate a multitude of museums with age.  One museum that may excite everyone’s inner child is the Museum Koenig. As Lonely Planet describes it, “Across from the Villa Hammerschmidt, the museum is a natural history museum but it’s hardly your usual dead-animal zoo. The ‘Savannah’ exhibit re-creates an entire habitat with theatrical flourishes: elephants drinking at a watering hole, a jaguar holed up with its kill and vultures surveying the scene from above. Other highlights include a talking baobab tree in the ‘Rainforest’, a colossal sea elephant in the ‘Arctic’ and a condor with a 3m wingspan in the ‘World of Birds’.”

Moving to the musician within, how about Beethoven? He was pretty fantastic. He was also from Bonn. The Beethoven Haus is a unique site, it is Beethoven’s birthplace, a collection site, research center and concert hall. As part of Beethoven’s request for future music discovery and creation, the Beethoven Haus is dedicated to preserving, researching and exploring, presenting, publishing and communicating. In turn, it offers its visitors the opportunity to experience music and culture first hand.
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What to do in Bonn…

Bonn offers a plethora of activities for visitors to explore.  They range from the Haribo candy store to museum tours to meanderings through the botanical gardens that encompass the Popplesdorfer Palace.  Interestingly enough, the palace was constructed for nearly a half century in the 1700’s, designed by a French architect.  However, in 1818, Bonn University absorbed the palace and surrounding park, which now places an important role in the research of evolutionary history of plants and cataloging of plant biodiversity.  The botanical gardens house over 5,000 species of plants (combining the outdoors and green houses) including the world’s tallest flower at the height of about 10 feet!

Moving away from nature’s beauty to the sweet tooth’s haven, Haribo is a confectionery company that began in 1922.   Their journey to celebrity status was the invention the gummy candy by Hans Riegal Sr., nonetheless gummy bear (Can you imagine life without gummy bears?!?!).  Today it remains one of the largest jelly and gummy manufacturers in the world with 18 factories throughout Europe and sales offices in many countries worldwide.  Hmmm Hmmm sugar!
Next week, we’ll cover more destinations, such as the local museums and Beethoven Haus. Auf  wiedersehen!

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