Gathering Thoughts in Reutlingen

First a brief introduction.  Not that it matters, as a majority of readers will likely be my parents, but we will proceed regardless.

 

I’m Kenneth Bouman.  4th-year (9th-semester) mechanical engineering major from Cincinnati, Ohio.  Though I’ve crossed borders into Germany a total of five times, this is really only my second time here.  I arrived with (most of) the rest of the group on 27 August, but unlike (most of) the rest of them, I’ll be staying for a full year.

 

The program I’m enrolled in is called Valparaiso International Engineering Program, or VIEP.  If you’re enrolled at VU, they’ve bragged (and rightly so) about it in their ads, and you should totally know what it is.  However, since even some of my engineering classmates still don’t know a thing about the program (or inexplicably haven’t heard about it) despite walking past several prominent posters that explain the big points, I’ll fill everybody in.  VIEP takes engineering curriculum and adds foreign language.  It also adds a year to your study plan, but considering that this year is split between studying abroad and an overseas internship, this extra year is easily worthwhile.  There are impressive statistics that accompany the program, but you can look those up yourself if you’re really that interested.

 

We’ve been busy enough that I haven’t found time to properly formulate coherent thoughts that can give a blog entry a good flow.  Instead, I’ll talk about several things that I’ve noticed.

 

Euros are incredibly well-designed.  You can sort through different denominations of Kleingeld (change) and Scheins (bills) by touch alone, and the size of everything is more indicative of its worth than the US equivalents.  All of our bills are the same size, while larger Scheins have greater value.  Simple.  You can read more about the coins if you’re really interested, but I’m just going to share one fact that I find interesting: the front of the coin (the “Common Side”) shows the denomination and some map-like image of Europe, but the reverse (the “National Side”) will be different depending on the country in which it was minted.  This is a cool way for the countries to maintain some semblance of a self identity while still associating with the much larger entity of the European Union.  The Scheins also have a bunch of security features which I find fascinating, but these don’t need to be discussed here or now.

Euro size comparison with US $1 bill

The bills are different sizes, which among other things, facilitates transactions for people with visual impairments.

 

Infrastructure seems to be developed far beyond that which I’m used to from back home.  Recycling is the big one in particular, but much more on that later.  Or maybe not, come to think of it.  Infrastructure, though interesting to me, is most certainly not interesting to many people.

 

City planning seems to be more relaxed.  Houses don’t necessarily have places to park cars next to them.  Some had stair climbs to get from the houses to the road, and these houses may or may not be accessible by car or have a road going to them.  (Google Earth helped me confirm this).  This may not be true everywhere, but it certainly seems to be the case in Reutlingen.

 

There are quite a few playgrounds around.  Seems like a great place to be a kid.  These playgrounds even look to be far more exciting than their US counterparts, though this could be my fresh optimism talking.  We’ll see if this is still the case in a few weeks or months.

 

When walking from Stadtmitte (city center) toward the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) – a 300-meter (3 block) distance – there are a minimum of 5 mobile phone stores.  This seems like kind of a lot for a country that I didn’t really imagine as very consumer-centric.

 

You know how “there’s a Starbucks or a Walmart on every corner” in the US?  It seems as though the German analogue might be a Kebob place on every corner. The closest one to our dorms, Campus Kebap, is about a block away.

 

Smoking seems fairly prevalent, but I could be biased by the fact that my room is situated immediately next to the two-seat smoking balcony for my floor. You get carded at grocery stores if you look like you’re under 18, much as one does in the US with alcohol. Interestingly enough, alcohol doesn’t have nearly the same taboo factor here as it does in the US. It’s perfectly acceptable to be seen in public with open containers of it, and none of us have needed (or likely will need) identification to purchase it.

 

My group is great.  As usual, more on them later.  For now, here are their names in alphabetical order:  Aaron, Adam, Brittany, Jessica, Jordan, Kellie, Kelsey, Kenneth, Lauren, Nick, Mackenzie, Maria, Micah, Reid, Ryan, and Teddy.  We’re spread pretty evenly across three apartments for international students.  My experience of meeting more english-speaking non-germans in the dorm echoes what I’ve heard from the rest of the Valpo cohort.  Carter Hanson, our director, lives with his wife Michelle and daughters Sophie and Elsa in a nearby apartment building.  Classes are all in one room (but at different times, fortunately), which is about a 10-minute walk from the dorms.  It takes about 20 minutes to walk into town, but the bus can get you there in less time.

 

By the way, the ‘eu’ in “Reutlingen” makes an “oy” sound, and rhymes with “boy” or “Freud”.  If you’ve been pronouncing Freud incorrectly this whole time, now’s a great time to fix that.

 

As you may guess from these disjointed observations, they’ve been keeping us very busy. We’ve had two cursory days of classes so far, and are already preparing for a group trip to Berlin beginning tomorrow morning. Though there has been time to relax – to climb a nearby mountain and spend an afternoon at the pool, among other things of course – the whirlwind of stimuli has left room for barely anything else. I would hope that before too long, everybody will be able to settle into something of a routine, but in the meantime, we are a bunch of fulfilled yet busy travelers.

And I’m Off!

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            I am excited to say that I am officially on my way to Australia! Today did not start as smooth as I had hoped but I cannot really complain since I am having this great opportunity of studying abroad. Basically what happened in a quick nutshell is that my visa did not match my passport. The airline and the embassy tried to help but could only help me to a certain extent. I found a way to fix my visa and well that was solved luckily. Unfortunately I missed my flight from South Bend to Chicago but fortunately my parents were both able to drive me to Chicago and say our goodbyes there. As I currently sit on this flight to San Francisco I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to not only have this opportunity but the support from my parents and family. I cannot wait to share my experience with you and I look forward to spending the next few days in Sydney.

Emily

The Journey/El Viaje

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The bus terminal at the Madrid airport, one of my first impressions of Spain

I am here at my home for the next 4 months, España. The act of coming here by myself sounds slightly terrifying, but it actually could not have gone smoother. The trip was long, but, call me crazy, relaxing in a sense. I think when you are left in an airport or in a plane for a certain amount of hours, there is nothing left to do but use those moments to take a break. I left my home in Bay City, Michigan around 9:00am on Friday, August 28.  My parents and I were at the Detroit airport around 12:30 (after a stop for breakfast) and a few minutes later I was saying goodbye. Then I took a flight to Atlanta and around 7:00pm I was on the 8 hour flight to Madrid. On this flight, I sat next to a student from Ohio who is spending this semester in Madrid. Before I left for this trip, I was told by veteran solo travelers that I’ll meet people easier when traveling alone. I was pretty surprised at how quickly that happened for me. I enjoyed her company just being reminded that there are a lot of people like myself not only studying in Spain, but studying across the globe. After landing at 9:45am local time and getting my luggage, I had a few hours to kill before boarding the bus to Zaragoza which was spent people watching. Once aboard the three and a half hour ride to Zaragoza, I took in the Spanish countryside in between moments of sleep. I noticed a few things during the bus ride. 1. Mountains for days.  No, they are not the huge ones in Colorado or Alaska, but they are mountains nonetheless (especially for a flatland girl like myself). 2. The countryside looks pretty dry (at least where I was). I did not see much green grass at all 3. The heat. The inside of the bus showed the temperature, but of course, in Celsius and I am not super familiar with Celsius. I saw 35° and thought, “Oh, that can’t be too bad.” Then I got out my phone and used the converter and saw that 35°C is about 95°F. Definitely warmer than when I left The Mitten State.

The view from the bus ride

The view from the bus ride

I arrived at the bus stop around 5pm local time which was 11am Eastern Time where I was greeted by my gracious host mom. Much to my surprise, I was not that tired even though I had only gotten a few hours of (not so great) sleep on the plane and bus. My host mom and I took a bus to her neighborhood and then walked to her apartment (during which I was wondering why I had packed so much) where I ate some food and took a much needed shower. That night, we went to some stores near her apartment and walked around the city. It was then when I got my first view of the famous Cathedral in Zaragoza. La Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar is known throughout the world and is a truly fantastic sight. We turned down the road to the Cathedral and a musician was playing Ave Maria on the violin. The music, people, and Cathedral all together resembled a dream.

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The musician with the Cathedral at the end of the road

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La Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

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La Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Since then, I have gone inside the Cathedral briefly and have seen only a portion of the beauty that this Cathedral holds. I’m looking forward to going back often. My host mom showed me around some other famous sights of Zaragoza, and I tried to take it all in. I was also struck by how Europe, in some cases, is just like the movies. Yes, I have only been here for a few days, but the mopeds are everywhere. It’s so picturesque when I see them coming down the cobblestone road with a gorgeous old building in the background.

As far as first impressions go, this one was pretty wonderful. My journey here went very well and my first few days have been great. I’m looking forward to an adventure-filled semester here in Spain!

Willkommen in Deutschland! (Welcome to Germany!)

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The day we arrived, Thursday, August 27th, was a very tiring one during our meeting with Professor Hansen in his family’s apartment. Regardless of being exhausted all managed to put on a smiling face for our group picture!

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One day after arriving (most of our jet-lag gone by this point), we took a tour of the city of Reutlingen, which will be our home for the next slightly over 3 ½ months. Although much of the city is newer than many other German cities, the cathedral luckily survived the bombings and fire during the last few centuries. This photo was taken on a later night with the moon in the background; the photo alone can’t show how picturesque it was!

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Also during that tour of Reutlingen, we went through the world’s narrowest street, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

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The tour of Tübingen, Germany was arguably more beautiful than that of Reutlingen, between the cathedral, river, castle, and flowers scattered throughout the city.

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Earlier today we started off early (9am, so very early for college students) with a hike to the top of a “mountain” visible from our dorm rooms. The views from the top were spectacular, and we all cannot wait for the leaves to start changing color in the fall to go up there again!

Beijing and Coming home

Summer Palace located in Beijing.

Summer Palace located in Beijing.

This post was written by Tom Abbott, studying in China this summer.

For the last stretch of the trip, we took the high speed train from Hangzhou to Beijing. The bullet train was really something to actually see in person. We traveled at about 300 km/h, which had us arriving in Beijing about 5 hours later. The ride was really smooth!

Our first stop after arriving in Beijing was to see the Temple of Heaven. The Temple of Heaven is actually much more than just a temple. It is surrounded by a huge park and other great monuments. There were tons of people relaxing and playing games with others in the park and temple area. The temple itself was quite large and serves as a great spot for wedding pictures (three couples were there at the time we were).

View looking up at part of the Great Wall

View looking up at part of the Great Wall

Looking down.

Looking down.

The next day was the Great Wall. Often times you will hear people say that they have “walked” the Great Wall.

View looking up

View looking up

This can be deceiving, however, because the part of the wall we visited was located in a very hilly area and I would call it more of hiking or climbing the Great Wall instead of walking it. The image29views from the wall were spectacular and it was a warm day with very clear skies. The part of the wall we went to was about an hour from our hotel in the downtown area and we spent at least 2 hours climbing the wall.

The Birdsnest, 2008 Olympics

The Birdsnest, 2008 Olympics

For the time we were in Beijing the skies were actually really clear and the air did not feel like it was extremely polluted, as many people assume. Actually, the skies in Beijing were the clearest that I saw in all of my time in China.

Building inside the Forbidden City

Building inside the Forbidden City

The last day of activities was spent at the Forbidden City. The shear size of the Forbidden City was unbelievable! We walked through the whole thing and it took us close to two and a half hours. There is something like 8000 different rooms in the city and we got to see the political buildings as well as the halls for celebration. The Forbidden City served as the living quarters of many emperors but now it has been turned into a museum.

Me sitting on a royal chair

Me sitting on a royal chair

Beijing was one of the coolest cities for me in China because there is so much history, yet it is also quite modern. It was a mix of all the other cities we saw all out into one. image27The night life in Beijing was also quite superb as well. There were numerous night markets and food markets that Valpo students checked out and found to be satisfying.

Writing this final blog after having already landed and arrived home, there are definitely some last things I would like to say about China. First, although it feels great to be home, I already miss China and the people I met there and the things I saw even though I have not yet been home for one full day! I am already thinking about when I could go back again.

The thing I will miss most will be how affordable everything was, especially food and transportation. I ate a good sized breakfast every morning for less than $2 and took a cab home from work everyday which normally came to about $1 when split three ways. I always felt safe in China as well. I think this feeling was shared by all of the students there, even with the ones that were not able to converse with the people of China.

Tienanmen Square

Tienanmen Square

 

This experience has been one that I will definitely never forget and it has shaped me in so many different ways, as well as given me the opportunity to meet and get to know some great people. I am forever grateful for Valparaiso University for offering this trip and for all of those who have helped me to make going to China for a month possible!

Picture Blog From China

These photographs were taken by Tom Abbott, studying in China this summer.

 

A group of Valpo students on one of the peaks of the Yellow Mountain.

A group of Valpo students on one of the peaks of the Yellow Mountain.

A neighborhood street in the Yellow Mountain area with many small shops.

A neighborhood street in the Yellow Mountain area with many small shops.

Drum tower in the ancient capital of Xian.

Drum tower in the ancient capital of Xian.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian.

The largest exhibit in the terra cotta warrior museum.

The largest exhibit in the terra cotta warrior museum.

A view from atop the Yellow Mountain.

A view from atop the Yellow Mountain.

The Life of a Monk

This post was written by Tom Abbot, studying in China this summer.

View from the outside of the Lingyin Temple

View from the outside of the Lingyin Temple

Being raised a Catholic, I knew little to nothing about Buddhism until I learned about the religion’s beginnings and basic principles in world history my sophomore year of high school. However, I knew from studying Chinese that Buddhism is a major religion in China, with many temples all across the country and millions of devote members. It was my hope when I decided to travel to China for the summer program that I would be able to experience Chinese Buddhism first hand, and that is exactly what our group did when we visited the Buddhist Academy of Hangzhou.

     It was evident from the moment

Inside a classroom at the Buddhist Academy

Inside a classroom at the Buddhist Academy

we stepped onto the grounds of the academy, and even before that, how different the lives of the monks that live there really are. Even before we arrived at the academy, we visited the Lingyin Temple and the surrounding area and it was interesting to see how different it was from anything I had ever seen. We observed carvings in the rock and ponds with fish and turtles that created a very peaceful environment, even with the temple being such a large tourist attraction nowadays. Once we had left the temple, we proceeded to have lunch at a local eatery that was on the way to the academy. Even at this restaurant, which I don’t believe was actually on the grounds of the temple, the food was vegetarian, which I was quite surprised by. This just goes to show how dedicated the people in this area are towards their religious beliefs.

View of one side of the campus

View of one side of the campus

When we arrived at the Buddhist Academy, we were greeted by one of the head monks along with maybe 10 students of the academy. They were all extremely friendly and eager to practice their English language skills. I was really surprised at how young they were! Most of the girls seemed like they were 14 to 16 years old. We were given a very nice tour of the campus, which was absolutely beautiful, and then led to a room for meditation. The meditation was very relaxing. The monks helped us to properly position ourselves to partake in meditation and we sat in silence for about 15 minutes. The meditation was unlike anything I have ever done before! It was actually a lot harder than one would think. First, to be able to cross your legs and sit as they do can be quite uncomfortable even for a short time. Second, it is also difficult to keep your mind from wondering. Overall, the meditation was a great experience that really opened my eyes to the power that total relaxation can have on the body and mind.

     Next we proceeded to have dinner. The meal is very structured

Inside the Buddhist Academy

Inside the Buddhist Academy

and done in a very specific manner. I was thoroughly impressed with the fashion the meal was carried out in and the overall taste of the food. For a vegetarian meal, the food was very good and diverse, as well as being filling. I only had one serving of everything and when I was finished I was actually pretty full. The monks make sure to give an amount of food that you can finish so nothing is wasted. It was also interesting how fast the monks eat their food and the servers came around to give seconds. I was not even half way done with my food by the time they came around again, so I could not get more even if I wanted to!

Valpo students with the monks of the academy

Valpo students with the monks of the academy

When the time had come for the two groups to part ways, many pictures were taken and Wechat IDs were exchanged so that we could keep in contact with the monks of the academy. It surprised me that most, or maybe even all of the monks had smartphones. I’m not sure why, but I have always been under the impression that monks do not possess such objects having to do with technology because it may become a distraction from their focus. The life of a monk is so different from that of a normal westerner’s that it is hard to comprehend. From their outfits, to the strict schedule of their daily life, and the constant focus that must be maintained, it is hard to imagine myself being able to take on the life of a monk. However, after visiting the academy in Hangzhou, I feel as though I have a much deeper understanding of the like of a monk and also a much higher level of respect for what they do. Getting to spend the afternoon with a group of Buddhist monks is definitely one of the most unforgettable things I will ever be able to do in my lifetime.

Tom Abbott

Shanghai

This blog post was written by Tom Abbott, studying abroad in China for the summer. 

Shanghai buildings lit up at night

Shanghai buildings lit up at night

For our second weekend in China, we traveled to Shanghai as a group on Saturday, spent the night, and returned to Hangzhou on Sunday. We took a small bus that we booked through our travel agent. The driving in China is really quite hilarious. The drivers are all so impatient and taxi and bus drivers are always honking. This trip was no different, as our bus driver probably honked anywhere from 150 to 200 times throughout the 3 hour journey. Also, when on the road in the city anything goes. I have seen people drive on the wrong side of the road to make a turn and even drive right at oncoming traffic! It’s a lot different from driving in the states, even in big cities like Chicago.

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Shanghai actually reminded me a lot of Chicago, which is where I am from. There is the big city part with all the tall buildings, the skyline on the water, and all of the expensive shops on the street. We walked Nanjing Road, which is similar to Michigan Ave. with regard to the expensive shops. Later that night, we walked around the town and back to the downtown area to see the city lit up at night. The city is very majestic and it looks awesome with lights on all the buildings.
The next day we visited a famous Buddhist temple and saw the

Statue from the Shanghai Museum

Statue from the Shanghai Museum

largest jade Buddha in the world! My favorite part of the trip was seeing the skyline and especially the Pearl Tower. Shanghai is definitely a westernized city, with restaurants like McDonalds and Starbucks appearing on the street quite frequently. However, it is still a very Chinese city. It does not take much at all to find an authentic Chinese restaurant on the street to eat at. I would recommend having a plan of what to go and see and do when you arrive in Shanghai because it is easy to get lost and not know what to do in this massive city.

Inside of a temple in Shanghai

Inside of a temple in Shanghai

We stayed in the Swan Hotel, which was very nice and western. However, for being such a bustling city it was quite difficult to get wifi in the hotel and out on the street, which surprised me. I also noticed that the prices in Shanghai for food and souvenirs were much higher than in Hangzhou, which is similar to prices in the U.S. increasing in big cities. Shanghai was very fun and offered a different picture of China than seen in Hangzhou. I would most definitely want to go back and see more of the city!

Tom Abbott

Settling in…maybe??

This blog post was written by Tom Abbott, studying in China this summer.

As a group, we try to take advantage of the time on the weekends as much as possible because the weekdays can be very busy with internships and class, making it difficult to sightsee and experience the city. Saturday afternoon was mostly a relaxing day where people caught up with family and did whatever homework they had. Saturday evening we made our way by bus to one of the night markets in Hangzhou. Taking the bus in China is very easy once you have rode it once or twice. You just have to figure out what bus number you should take and a bus of that number comes to the station every couple of minutes. Its that easy!
Night Market

Night Market

The night market was very interesting. There were dozens of booths selling various items from pearls to watches at very cheap prices. Some referred to the market as the “knock off” market because most items have a brand name on them but are actually fake. The night market was also where I experienced street barbecue for the first time. It was pretty cool and very efficient how they prepared the food that you wished to eat. You selected what you wanted them to cook, gave it to them, and they cooked it! All of the food was on a stick and was grilled on a small griddle off to the side. The food ranged from squid, to chicken, to beef, and some other interesting things that I did not know what they were. Overall, the night market was a very pleasant experience and I plan on going back to buy some gifts for people back home.

The next day was Sunday, and we traveled to the hills

The group hiking near Zhejiang University

The group hiking near Zhejiang University

that are right next to the campus to hike. It is deceiving that these are called hills because we probably climbed some six to eight thousand stairs! It was very tiring but the views from the “hills” were very nice and it was a really enjoyable experience hiking it as a group. We hiked for around 4 or 5 hours as a group of about 10. Along the way many locals stopped and wished to take pictures with the group. We image8visited one of the temples in the mountain which was awesome! Inside the temple was a giant budda statue and they had dozens of candles burning outside the temple area.

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Temple located in the hills near campus

Temple located in the hills near campus

Monday we began our internships and had our first official class period. It was a struggle getting to our internship because we had to take the bus and then walk to get to the office. We ended up getting off at the wrong bus stop and having to call one of the employees to help us arrive. It was no problem though, since it was our first day. My internship seems like it will be beneficial, for I am working in a technology company that makes devices that power electric scooters and motors. I also get to practice my Chinese with the employees. I am starting to finally feel like I am getting into a routine and understanding how the Chinese go about their daily lives.
Tom Abbott

VU Takes on German Engineering

So it’s officially been a week since we started our travels here! Still so beautiful, as you can see from the cover photo! Plus, this week has been super fun.  And that’s not just because we only 3 classes instead of 5 or anything… wink wink. Surprisingly, I ENJOY class. I never thought I would say that. It’s all extremely discussion based where we talk about the different ethical decisions we will have to make and the different dilemmas we will be presented with as engineers.

Anyways, enough talk about class! We were very fortunate to go on two engineering tours this week. We rode the train from Reutlingen to Stuttgart, and got to see the Bahnprojekt. (On a side note, Professor H pointed out to us that the railroad ties were made out of concrete, not wood like in America! Check it out!)railroad ties

To continue, the goal of the project is to create a sort of ‘round-a-bout’ to help the trains go in and out of the Stuttgart train station faster. Also, the whole rail system will be moved underground and additional high-speed trains will be added. In total, the project could cost up to 10 billion euros. Such a HUGE project, all to add additional space to the growing city of Stuttgart. There was a model of what the station would look like and it was really quite an amazing project. There was four main tracks within the station, all underground though. There were many entrances to the underground station from a park surrounding the main station building. They hope to have the project completed by December 2021.

project model                                                     project map

Outside the station, the construction is already started. There was a path and park around the construction, so we walked along it and could see the site. Unfortunately, Monday was a holiday so there was no work being done. The project is quite a process, as they must have pipes and pumps for the ground water, they must put up steel walls while digging, and they must test the dirt. If the dirt is toxic, then they must add bacteria which will take a few years to cleanse the area, which sets the project back a couple of years. I never realized exactly how much work must go into such a project!

construction                                                 statue

After we walked along the paths, we came to some old ruins of an old palace which had been moved to this location. Continuing a little further, we entered a beautiful park. There was a fountain, a pond, and so many flowers! There was a little garden and café. Such a lovely place. This part of the country is so beautiful, I keep going on walks because I can’t get enough of it!

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Now onto Tuesday, we had class and then we had free time. Of course us girls went shopping (no dad, I didn’t buy anything! OK.. maybe one thing. I’m a girl. It’s what we do!) while the boys went to a knife shop. After, we all met up and ate dinner and then got one euro gelato! It was delicious!

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On Mittwoch (Wednesday), our lives were changed forever.

Just kidding.

But our views on faucets certainly changed! We visited the small city of Schiltach, Germany, (about 3,000 inhabitants) for a tour of Hansgrohe. This green company produces beautiful, extremely high quality mixers and faucets for tubs, showers, sinks, and kitchen sinks. The company itself was very sharp; around every corner there was a little drink station so if you needed a coffee, water, or cola you could take a break and have one! We took so many coffee breaks during the tour, I definitely felt pampered.

everybody trying out the shower heads

The company is very family oriented, the chances that the current employees are following in their parents footsteps are very high! The pay here is even better in the cities because the town is so small, the company wants to keep their valuable employees there instead of losing them to the city. Everybody we met that was working was so friendly and happy, they really seemed to love their job.

You’re probably wondering what was so amazing. Well, the faucets were incredible! We went through the show room and we saw one of their new products in the making: a clear faucet which has air in it to create a visual vortex. Simply stunning. Also, they had waterfall faucets and rain shower shower heads. I really wanted to take a shower right then and there. Additionally, they have shower heads where you can click between the different shower head effects. My favorite was the one where the water spun as if to give a massage! How nice, I don’t think I would ever leave the shower. Once we had a presentation, we got to test the different shower heads. Hansgrohe has created a shower head with air to help preserve water. With the air effect, it feels as if you are using more water than you actually are. The cool part was when we turned the lights off and shined a light onto the shower heads. You could see the air in between the drops. It looked awesome!

air vortex faucet shower head  air shower head

After we spent awhile messing with the different designs of shower heads, we got a walking tour of the actual factory. There was a huge orange robot to help with different stages such as polishing. We have a similar orange robot in our engineering building! Only much smaller.

Overall, the tour was great. I not only loved seeing the company respect for its employees but I also loved seeing the employees and their families’ loyalty to the company. It’s not something you always see now-a-days. They even gave us a gift for visiting! A towel and flip-flops, so thoughtful.

Since yesterday, we have all been looking at the different types of faucets around the campus. Mostly all of them are Hansgrohe. It’s like a little game, who can find a faucet that is NOT Hansgrohe brand.

It has been a nice relaxing day, reading & writing our papers. Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day! We are going to Munich!!!! I am so excited, but not so excited to wake up at 6 AM. Since high school, I think I forgot how to do that. Oh well, it will well be worth it!

Watch for my next post! Tschüss! (Bye!)

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