Alabama in Germany 2019

Dates June 14th to July 20th

UA in Germany 2018 students visit the Deutsche Welle studio
UA in Germany 2018 students visit the Deutsche Welle studio

Cost: $5,500.00
Program Director: Frau Raegan Lemmond (rlemmond@ua.edu)

Meeting the Group

Students may choose to fly with the group or travel to Berlin on their own. The group will depart Friday, June 14 (arrival June 15) and return to the U.S. on July 20. Students need to inform the program director about arrival time in Berlin and departure time from Munich.

  • Option 1: Meet Frau Lemmond at the Info point in Terminal B at TBA. The meeting point is just under the Red Baron.
  • Option 2: Meet Frau Lemmond at TBA.
  • Option 3: Make your way to the A&O on your own.

The group will travel together from Berlin to Munich on Saturday, July 13. Details are TBA.

Travel/Lodging Information

Please keep in mind restrictions for carry-ons. Please check airline schedule for updates and changes. Do not disregard email communication!

If you travel on your own to Berlin, make sure to inform the program director. If you arrive at the Berlin airport, either meet the group at the airport (if you arrive on the same day) or at the designated meeting point as confirmed by Frau Lemmond.

If you arrive at the airport later for whatever reason and cannot contact Frau Lemmond, follow the signs for public transportation, buy a ticket (EUR 2,80 ), get on Bus 128 to U Osloer Str. Get off at the U-Osloer Str. stop. Take U8 to S+U Hermannstr. Get off at U Heinrich Heine Str. Take the Bus 265 to S Schöneweide one stop. Get off at Michaelkirchstr. From there you will walk 3 minutes to the hostel. Please identify yourself by name. You should be registered with the hostel.

If you arrive a day or more early, you will have to find a place to stay, and you can either meet the group at the airport or proceed on Saturday directly to the hostel as described above.  Please identify yourself but be aware that check-in isn’t possible until 2pm.

Europe uses 24 hrs (military time), so 18 Uhr is 6 pm; also do not forget that the date is written differently July 10 is 10. Juli or 10.7 or 10.07.

Address in Berlin: 
A&O Hostel Berlin Mitte
Köpenicker Straße 127-129
D – 10179 Berlin
Tel. 001-49-30-80947

Address in München: 
K+K Hotel Am Harras
Albert-Rosshaupter-Straße 4
D – 81369 München
Tel. 011-49-89-746400

Emergency Contact Information

It is always good to have emergency contact information while traveling in case you do not have a cellphone or do not check your e-mail.  Please note that your parents or others should use the phone numbers below only in case of an emergency.

  • If calling from the US, add 011.
  • Frau Lemmond (cell while in Germany): +49 1575 2706437  (US cell) 256-749-7381
  • Dr. Fox

What You Should and Shouldn’t Pack

Don’t forget

  • Passport (& a paper copy in the event of an emergency)
  • CISI policy number (CISI insurance provided through Capstone International you received during orientation)
  • ACT card from UA for student discounts
  • Medical insurance information
  • All medication you take on a regular basis
  • Comfortable shoes – prepare to walk a lot!
  • Your ATM card or credit card. Make sure your bank lets you withdraw money while abroad.  Check what your bank charges to withdraw money.  Let your bank know that you will be traveling & what dates so they will not lock your account.
  • Towel/s. The student apartment provides you with linens, but not towels.
  • Possibly a (prepaid) phone card you may use from abroad, but see section below on cell phones while in Germany.

Experienced travelers will tell you to pack light. Do not forget we will be also traveling for a week at the end of the program. Consider taking a large backpack if you have one or a small rolling suitcase. Bring also a small backpack for day trips. I personally prefer to travel with one small suitcase on wheels.

Most important: You must be able to handle your own baggage! You will have to walk with your luggage, and you will encounter stairs.

Bring

A battery powered alarm clock, a wrist watch, an umbrella and/or rain gear, a sweatshirt or sweater, a light jacket (rain resistant, if possible), swim suit, broken in walking shoes, small backpack/messenger bag, comfortable clothes that can be layered (stay away from dry-clean only or items that might be ruined easily in hot water), sunglasses, a spare battery for your camera, your personal toiletries (deo, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.), a refill of any prescription medicine that you take, a towel, a favorite paperback book, your favorite over-the-counter pain reliever, if you wish also stomach medicine for indigestion, and sunscreen. If you have a sensitive stomach, consider bringing medication for both diarrhea and constipation. Tap water in Germany is safe to drink. Bring clothes that you can wash easily. Flip-flops are fine indoors but not sufficient for walking in the cities. You need comfortable shoes!

Some old T-shirts, maybe old shoes that you can donate or throw out to make room for any purchases while in Germany. IF you are hot natured, bring a small battery powered fan for sleeping. You might need it or not, the weather is unpredictable. For ironing, bring a small spray bottle.  You can fill it with water & spray your clothes down before hanging them up. As they dry most of the wrinkles will fall out.

Don’t Bring

Jewelry, expensive clothing or other personal possessions of value, pillow, or any appliances with electric motors that are not dual voltage (110~240 V).

Electrical

Battery chargers and contact lens disinfectant units work with plug adapters IF they are running on 220/230 volt, otherwise you will need a transformer/converter.

Hint: If you have several electric devices running on dual voltage, such as laptop, phone and camera chargers, consider bringing a small power strip. Then you will need only one adapter (for the power strip) to charge all those devices.

Do not bring hair dryers and the like unless they are dual voltage, meaning they are running on 220/230 volt AND you have an outlet / plug adapter. If you cannot live without a hairdryer, you can always buy one in Germany for about 10 EUR. Learn more about electricity in Europe and adapters.

What about Internet Access?

While in Berlin, you will have internet access at the university and in the apartments.  There are also locations around the city with WiFi.

Internet access will allow you to Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, etc., and you can call home for free.

There are several prepaid cell phone / internet providers, who offer no contract plan pre-paid plans (Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, etc.).  Take a look in advance at some of the plans & prices so you have an idea of what you’re looking for.  If you have an iPad with a SIM card, you can often get a prepaid internet flat rate per month, including the micro SIMcard.

You will have internet access while in Munich. Do not forget: If you bring a laptop you also need a power cord / charger. Make sure it is dual voltage (110~240 V) and get an outlet / socket adapter.

What about phones? Will my cellphone work there?

You can get calling cards to use abroad or better an international phone plan through your provider, but those can be very costly.

You will be required to get a local phone number while participating in the program. A small amount of money has been budgeted to cover the cost of the SIM card &/or cell phone. Cell phones are called “Handy”. Your cell phone may work while in Germany but you will need to check your carrier (must be unlocked and GSM compatible, quad band cell phone) so that you may exchange the SIM card. You can get a SIM card to put into your unlocked cell phone as a starter set with a phone number, the SIM card, all for about EUR 15.

You can also buy a cellphone while in Europe with a prepaid SIM card from various carriers for different prices.

If you use your US cellphone abroad with your existing US carrier, your phone might work, but you will be paying international roaming charges, and those are huge. Be sure to check with your cell phone provider what those costs are.

iPhones: Make sure your phone is unlocked.  I personally had to contact T-Mobile to request it be unlocked.  You may use a German carrier while abroad.  You should first back up you iPhone before leaving.  When you set up your phone in Germany it may delete some of your information from your phone.  There are several German carriers who have prepaid plans that will include data.

Do not forget: If you bring your cell phone (recommended only if unlocked and GSM compatible), you also need your charger. Make sure it is dual voltage (110~240 V) and get an adapter so you can charge it. If your cell phone is NOT unlocked, but it will be working in Germany / Europe, and you plan on using it with your US provider, make sure to check with your cell phone provider about costs. It has happened in the past that students / parents ended up paying a huge amount upon return from Germany.

More information about cellphones:

Weather Information

The weather is somewhat unpredictable, but in general cooler than in AL. Definitely plan for layers. Check out the current weather in München and Berlin.

What about Money?

Austria and Germany both have EUROS (1 Euro = 100 cents).

Exchange rate as of June 1: 1 EUR = 1.12 USD; 1 USD = 0.89 EUR

If you wish to check the current exchange rate, follow XE.

Visa® or Mastercard® with PIN (it doesn’t hurt to have a spare card), Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) Cards also work in Europe, but check with your bank first to make sure.  Travelers checks are inconvenient and expensive, but if you prefer those, they also work.  The easiest way to get EUROS is to use your ATM card once you are in Europe. This will give you the best exchange rate, however check with your bank how much they charge for a transaction abroad. It might be smarter to use the ATM once a week instead of every day if you need cash, so think ahead. Do not carry all your money in US $, if it is stolen, it is gone! Keep only a small amount of $ 100 as an emergency fund. If you can pay with a credit card, do so if you have one and your bank charges are not prohibitive. Credit cards charge usually the exchange rate of the day without any fees or little fees, but again, check with your bank. Be aware that credit cards are not as commonly used in Europe as in the US, so always have some cash handy. Check the exchange rate. It is hard to predict fluctuations in the exchange rate, but it is a good idea to keep track of it if you plan to make a larger purchase.

Where will I be staying in Berlin? What to expect?

Address:
A&O Hostel Berlin Mitte
Köpenicker Straße 127-129
D – 10179 Berlin
Tel. 001-49-30-80947

You will be staying in the hostel in Berlin Mitte. You will share a room with students from the UA program. Bed linens and breakfast are provided. There is a common area of gathering and access to wifi throughout the course of your stay.

What you should find in the apartments:

  • bed linens
  • bath towels can be rented from the hostel so please bring at least one with you
  • washing machines are available

What you will not find in the apartment:

  • telephone
  • TV
  • A/C or fan

Courses

Language Course

Once in Berlin students will take a placement test to determine the correct level of language course. The language courses will meet daily during the week. Organized after-course activities are offered in the afternoons by the UA program (UA) as well as Humboldt University (HU).  Many of these after-course activities are mandatory.

  • Humboldt grade Your Humboldt instructor will give you a grade at the end of the course. You will receive a certificate with that grade and will need to email or text me a picture of that at the end of the four weeks.
  • Participation You will have things scheduled with your class. These are mandatory unless our group has something scheduled at that time. Then you will come with us. This is an intensive course so multiple absences are not tolerated. You are allowed ONE absence with no questions asked. After that, Frau Lemmond and Dr. Fox will determine the validity of the absences.
  • Journal You will be asked to write at least 50 words a day in German about your activities. Other entries will be assigned for excursions. Those will also be at least 50 words in length. The grade from the journal will focus on subject/verb agreement, tense, word order, & completion of the assignment. I will also grade based on your improvement; Are you attempting new material? Are you repetitive in your entries? Are you making the exact same mistakes? This is an excellent platform for practicing new topics covered in the language course. You will not be penalized for attempting new topics. (Those taking 462 will be asked to write two longer essays in German and submit those via BB.)

GN381: Germany past and present

Everyone will be participating in this course. This course covers a variety of topics. Materials & schedule can be found in BB & in the Facebook group. Upon arrival in Berlin, I will have copies of the calendar for you to post in your rooms to keep up with the various events.

While in München, Nürnberg, Potsdam, and Berlin you will visit numerous sites related to the history of Germany. Since this is a hands-on course, your grade will consist in three parts of participationPowerPoint presentation/online postings, and response papers.

Your grade in this course will be based on the following:

  • Participation Tours and site visits have been scheduled. Unless there is a major emergency, you are required to attend. There may be times when you are tired, hungry, hot, cold, etc. but you should respect the tour guide and participate. Your grade will be based on the following criteria; punctuality, engagement, interest, respect. You should take notes for your response papers and pay attention so that you can ask questions of your guides. You are encouraged to visit other places of personal interest.
  • Presentation/Postings Your PowerPoint presentation will be given in München (date TBD). You will give 5-6 minute presentation on a site not visited with the group. You will need to include images, links, and information for your classmates. You will have access to a list of recommended sites to sign-up for. You may also get approval for a site not on the list. Remember that a good PowerPoint does NOT have a lot of words on the slide and that you should NOT read. You will also be assigned various postings on Facebook. These will be assigned throughout the 5 weeks.
  • Response papers Each week, you will submit a response paper via BB. This paper will be in response to the sites seen during that week. The length and content requested will be given at a later date. Upon returning from your 5 weeks, you will be asked to submit one longer paper in response to the full five weeks. MLA citation is only needed if using an outside source. If you use the information provided on site or via BB, you can simply cite those within your paper but do not need to use full MLA guidelines. For example, “The guide discussed the theory behind the architecture which includes both baroque and gothic.” It is apparent you received the information from the tour.

Schedule

A daily schedule will be given upon arrival. You can also find more information in the Facebook group and in BB. Updates will also be posted to the Facebook group and BB.  Please continue to check those platforms.

More Questions

Please let us know in case you have any further questions so that we can include them on this page. Please email Frau Lemmond at rlemmond@ua.edu with questions, corrections and comments.