Study Tour "Germany and/in the EU"
From April 25 to May 5, 2012, 15 York University students plus one accompanying faculty member, Prof. Dagmar Soennecken, visited Frankfurt, Berlin and Leipzig as part of an organized group study "field trip" to Germany. The trip included a range of site visits with academic seminars; arts and cultural site visits with history, geography and politics.
In Frankfurt, the trip commenced with a walking tour through selected neighbourhoods of Frankfurt, including the new site of the EU Central Bank, under the theme of "neoliberalism and urban gentrification." Students also visited the City of Frankfurt Office for Multicultural Affairs, the oldest such office in Germany, and the University of Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, where they toured the history building, including the Theodor Adorno library housed there, and had a group dinner at a "bio" restaurant, located in the city's Ökohaus, Arche.
The group's visit to Berlin included a tour of the Bundestag, including the Dome and the parliamentary chamber, a visit to Schloss Charlottenburg, and a day visiting the Berlin Wall exhibit on Bernauer Strasse as well as an underground bunker from the 1970s. Students also visited the EU representation office in Berlin. There, they reviewed the functioning of the various EU Institutions and discussed Germany's relationship with the EU. They also learned about career and internship options at the EU.
In Leipzig, students participated in a brief city walk and group dinner at the Moritzbastei, a restaurant in the city's former fortress, followed the next morning by a presentation about urban renewal at the City of Leipzig, in the new City Hall, which - in contrast to the previous two cities - emphasized the challenges the city has faced since reunification in preventing urban decay and in re-growing its population.
This study tour was generously supported by the DAAD, LA&PS International Office, and the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University.
"I'm very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to go on this study tour. Since I am a German major, it was really great to finally see the country I've been learning about. It was very interesting and it gave an additional context to my studies. I also found the lectures we went to very interesting. I got to see so many things and places in my short two weeks there, and I had an amazing time. I definitely want to travel there again in the future."
"After this trip I fell deeper in love with Germany, its culture, its language, and its people. That is why I advise everyone who is interested in the German language and culture to enroll in the German Studies Program or at least take some of the German Studies courses at York University. German culture is a very interesting subject to study and having the opportunity to actually go there and explore it is a truly incredible experience."