81°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Willkommen in Deutschland, Prost!

All+in+all%2C+the+trip+was+both+a+blast+and+a+whirlwind%2C+and+the+ten+days+passed+faster+than+I+could+have+imagined.+I+gained+new+friends+from+dozens+of+different+countries%2C+both+from+UMass+and+Uni+Kassel.%0A

All in all, the trip was both a blast and a whirlwind, and the ten days passed faster than I could have imagined. I gained new friends from dozens of different countries, both from UMass and Uni Kassel.

 

 

Words cannot even begin to explain the incredible ten days I spent traversing the heart of Germany this January. As part of an unprecedented joint-venture between UMass Boston and Universität Kassel, our multinational group took an action-packed journey covering German business, economics, politics, culture and history. I can honestly attest to the fact that my life has forever changed.

My name is Paul Ventresca, and I am a part-time graduate student with the College of Management. As both an MBA and MSIT candidate, I began the fall semester at UMass Boston with an inherent thirst for adventure to supplement my busy work and school schedule. I found my answer in Professor Edward Romar’s winter study abroad course, titled “German Management and Business Practices.”

As part of the program, Uni Kassel assigned each of us a partner to live with throughout the week. A fellow UMass Boston student and I lived with two Uni Kassel students in their apartment not far from campus. It was great to share space with similarly-aged students, and as our group became better acquainted, we spent a good deal of time visiting each other’s residences throughout the city. Their lifestyle subtly reminded me of UMass Boston, with students scattered across the city, riding trains to campus each day.

Each day in Kassel came with a full itinerary, starting in the wee hours of morning and ending late into the evening. On most days, we had class with the Uni Kassel students in the morning and day trips in the afternoon and evening. Among other things, we visited the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, a Volkswagen factory in Kassel and B. Braun headquarters in Melsungen.

During the middle of our trip, our entire group took a trip to Berlin and stayed in a youth hostel. We visited the Pergamon Museum, Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate and glimpsed at portions of the former Berlin Wall.

Outside of our scheduled trips and classes, Uni Kassel students obliged us in experiencing some of the nightlife and dining in both Kassel and Berlin. Needless to say, the food and drinks were phenomenal, ranging from various selections of schnitzel, bratwurst and pasta to Turkish specialties and even some American classics. Local German hefeweizens and pilsners lined the beer taps at every corner, with each city and town proudly showcasing their local brews.

As a musician, I was curious about what types of music Uni Kassel students listened to and whether or not tastes remained similar to the U.S. I remember hearing some familiar Dropkick Murphy’s songs at The Shamrock Irish Pub in Kassel, and we sang along to the likes of Mumford and Sons, Psy, Bruno Mars and Imagine Dragons. My iPhone has had the song, “Einmal Um Die Welt” by German rapper/singer Cro, on repeat since I returned home.

All in all, the trip was both a blast and a whirlwind, and the ten days passed faster than I could have imagined. I gained new friends from dozens of different countries, both from UMass Boston and Uni Kassel. The entire group developed great chemistry, including the professors and staff that made the trip possible. I would whole-heartedly recommend this trip in the future, and I hope to return to Germany soon. Danke schön, Deutschland!