While I haven’t been here long enough to integrate myself in all of the campus happenings (at least to the extent that I did at Drexel: WKDU, Sierra Club, Smart House, The Triangle, etc. etc.), I have partaken in several campus events that I will here share with you for a more comprehensive vicarious experience on your part, and a more comprehensive record of my experiences on mine. I will also share some of the activities I didn’t do but would have granted more time were available, or the duration of the program were expended.
Let us begin with on-campus events. As I have mentioned or perhaps described in the past, there are frequent social affairs organized by the University or associated groups (Akafö, for example). These not only include the all-out wild and crazy “college party,” but also some more sophisticated events as well. For example, there are frequent concerts in the Kultur Café, one of the on-campus bars, (located conveniently near the international student’s office) which span a variety of genres such as blues, jazz, or different forms of world music.
There are sometimes DJ/techno music parties, (which, by the way, is an absolutely essential thing to experience in Germany) one of which took place at the campus beach-bar on a rainy Friday evening.
There are film screenings in the Audimax (the main auditorium of the university), a place I have yet to enter.
In the residence halls there are also many organized activities. These are usually more socially oriented, and geared toward international students, thereby ensuring my attendance whenever I am available. For example, last Thursday an international dinner took place in the common room adjacent to the housing buildings (just outside Europahaus, the dorm where I live). This was a hugely enjoyable event for me, as I not only had the opportunity to try authentic homemade foods from several foreign countries (see photo above of my dinner plate), but also had the chance to meet and socialize with the very people from those foreign countries in a relatively quiet and laid back atmosphere. It is this sort of event that would be almost impossible to find at Drexel if at all in the United States. Which brings me to a major point or revelation, if I may. That is: to take full advantage of being in a foreign country does not mean associating with only people of that country, but simply meeting as many people as possible, because they all become part of the experience, and they are what make it memorable.
Perhaps I’ve gotten a bit off topic, as happens occasionally in the ever-candid blog format. But to conclude, there are innumerable activities organized by students themselves, or outside the campus, — especially in the warm days of the year—including barbecues and outdoor festivals (the Ruhr International festival just took place last weekend right here in Bochum). Thinking of all this makes me disappointed to leave Germany, just as I’m becoming comfortable here. But that’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid, and I’ll save that story for another day.