Tag Archives: Europe

Gegen einfache Wahrheiten

How would you define home? Can you have more than just one? Have you ever read a text written by a refugee? Are there ways of helping refugees escape the madness of German bureaucracy – at least for an hour a day? What’s it like teaching your own language and culture? And what do you learn about yourself while doing so? Do you believe everything you hear, read and see in the news? What about fake news? Are social media a more reliable way to get informed? How politically correct do you have to be and should we accept a lack of it?

All these questions were discussed on May 31st at the “Aktionstag: Gegen einfache Wahrheiten” held at the University of Augsburg and organized by the Faculty of Philology and History (http://www.presse.uni-augsburg.de/de/unipressedienst/2017/apr-juni/2017_090/).

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Asking

Twenty different seminars between 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. provided new input and an opportunity to discuss the different topics with other students and lecturers.

The seminar “Ich habe manchmal Heimweh. Ich weiß nur nicht wonach“, organized by the Fachschaft Komparatistik, was all about questions such as What is Heimat? Does everyone have one? Can we have more than one? How do we define the term and how does it feel to leave? Can we somehow relate to refugees who have had to leave the place they call Heimat? Are there maybe even more similarities than we would’ve thought?

While – of course – there were no concrete answers to all these questions, the discussion, including interviews with people who had moved, both within and across borders, was characterized by different views, funny anecdotes and many personal experiences.

 

Listening

The cultural event between 12:00 and 14:00 in HS I, moderated by Prof. Dr. Martin Middeke, was a colourful mix of musical contributions, presentations and readings.

Sadly, the band Jammu Afrika couldn’t perform, since their refugee-lead singer had to leave the country and go back to Senegal. Still, the band’s founder Markus Fleckenstein presented the project and played some recordings.

Anita Heckel read from her ‘parallel biography’ “Gratwanderung durch Gestern” and Prof. Dr. Miriam Zadoff gave an insight into living in Bloomington, Indiana, and teaching at the university after Trump’s election. Although we all recognize the worries of those Americans that didn’t vote for Trump, this personal report was touching and shocking at the same time.

“Milch ist der Zwilling von Teer / in weiß oder schwarz kann man lügen / Mutter schiebt ein Bonbon im Mund hin und her / Vater telefoniert mit den Fliegen“

Christina Rossi and her students presented their collage on this poem by Nobel prize winner Herta Müller.

Opera singer Cornelia Lanz presented her project “Zuflucht Kultur”. Together with Mazen Mohsen and three other Syrian refugees, she performed Arabic folk songs with the German translations and the audience fell in love with this music. One of these refugees, a Syrian girl, talked about how she experienced their dictatorial culture even in small groups of refugees in Germany and how lucky she is – and we should be – to live in a free and democratic country like this.

 

Acting

Between 15:00 and 17:00 pm, there were various readings and workshops in the city centre and, for example, a walk around the city highlighting important places related to migration.

 

Watching

At 6:00 pm, the movie “Willkommen bei den Hartmanns” was shown in HS I, followed by a panel discussion about how the movie reflects reality. Does it reflect Einfache Wahrheiten? Since the movie is a comedy, it deals with the topic in a slightly exaggerated fashion; maybe this is the right way to talk about a topic that’s not funny, because at least it’s a way to start raising awareness.

 

Authors and Picture: Sophia Brandt, Eva Sitzberger

 

Guia de sobrevivência para pedir um café em Portugal

Off to Portugal on holiday? Like coffee? This Portuguese article by Isabel Marcante, the second piece published by eMAG in a language other than English, could be of interest. And even if you don’t speak the language, maybe you can understand a bit!

Não, não vamos falar agora da Europa, nem de eleições, nem de crise. Este texto ocupa-se de coisas mais prosaicas mas que provavelmente darão mais prazer à vida, pelo menos por um momento: falamos do café em Portugal, do qual somos grandes aficionados (um castelhanismo! Por favor, substituam a palavra por «adepto» ou «fã»).

Parece que o povo que bebe mais café no mundo são os Finlandeses, mas nós achamos que isso é mentira. As estatísticas enganam, dizemos nós, os Portugueses. E o café que bebemos é o melhor! (Os Italianos dizem o mesmo sobre o café deles). E o nosso café vem, muitas vezes, em pacotes que têm nomes de lugares que nos transportam para paisagens exóticas:

Cabo-Verde, Timor, Angola, S.Tomé…

 

Voltando ao assunto, pedir um café em Portugal é um assunto sério. Até para os nativos. Aqui vai, então, uma espécie de «guia de sobrevivência» para os amantes, os adeptos, os fãs, os aficionados do café ou para aqueles que querem sê-lo.

IMG-20160519-WA0000
ABATANADO (m):  é um expresso que tem a quantidade dupla de água da bica. É servido numa chávena grande.
BICA (f): é um expresso que vem servido numa chávena muito pequena (no Porto chama-se «cimbalino»).
CAFÉ DUPLO (m): expresso duplo.
CAFÉ CORTADO (m): é um expresso curto. O adjectivo «cortado» refere-se à medida indicada no botãozinho da máquina de cafés.
CAFÉ PINGADO (m): expresso com uma gota (pinga) de leite.

Não confundir com a expressão idiomática «gato pingado» que significa simplesmente «pobre diabo».

 

CAFÉ COM CHEIRINHO (m): é um café com uma gota de «bagaço» (Tresterschnapps)

 

CARIOCA (m): aqui não se trata de um habitante do Rio de Janeiro, mas de um café fraco (a segunda tiragem) que é servido numa chávena pequena.

 

DESCAFEINADO (m): um café sem cofeína, claro.
GALÃO (m): café com leite (3/4 de leite), servido num copo de vidro e que é tomado normalmente de manhã, ao pequeno-almoço, ou à tarde, ao lanche, juntamente com uma torrada, um pastel de Belém, um pastel de nata ou com um outro bolo.
GAROTO (m): é um café com leite, pequeno (talvez o Kleinlatte em alemão) com normalmente 50% de leite / 50% de café, servido numa chávena pequena (no Porto chama-se «pingo»).

 

MAZAGRÃ (m): café com cubos de gelo, açúcar e casca de limão.
MEIA DE LEITE (f): 50% de leite / 50% de café, servido numa chávena grande (na Madeira designado por «chinesa»).

 

Já agora, vai um café?20150907_141605

 

 

Author: Isabel Marcante

Pictures: Eva Sitzberger

Tout un symbole

A l’heure où certaines volontés de repli identitaire au niveau européen se font de plus en plus entendre, où certains responsables politiques, surfant sur les vagues de peurs engendrées par une soi-disant crise de l’immigration sur le sol européen, ont de plus en plus voix au chapitre, à l’heure où l’Union européenne connaît sa première crise identitaire, incarnée par le tout récent Brexit, l’eMAG a choisi de prendre le contre-pied en s’ouvrant aux autres langues. Tout un symbole : un geste d’ouverture, de partage, d’unité dans la diversité des langues du Sprachenzentrum.

Unis (pas uniformisés !) dans la diversité, c’est bien là le plus grand défi de l’Union européenne. Au sortir de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, la construction d’une union des États européens est apparue comme étant LA solution afin d’assurer la paix, la croissance économique, la promotion des libertés, et ce de manière durable. Mais l’union européenne devait se faire rapidement, et c’est la voie économico-politique qui a été préférée : la possibilité d’une union d’abord humaine, sociale et culturelle aurait demandé beaucoup trop de temps. Or, c’est de cette dernière dont, à mon avis, le manque se fait le plus sentir et dont l’UE a le plus besoin actuellement.

A eux seuls, les rapprochements économiques et politiques ne peuvent pas construire une identité européenne, même s’ils peuvent apporter un élan aux volontés de complémentarité et d’ententes. A mon sens, la construction d’une identité européenne a besoin de « temps long » couplé à des actions quotidiennes venant des citoyens européens eux-mêmes. L’identité européenne doit venir « du bas », de ses fondations : ainsi, les manifestations Pulse of Europe, par exemple, se multiplient.

Mouvement européen citoyen, au-dessus des partis, les manifestations Pulse of Europe, dont le but est de défendre les valeurs démocratiques et de promouvoir le projet d’une UE forte, ont lieu chaque dimanche dans de nombreuses villes européennes. Augsbourg a d’ailleurs accueilli Pulse of Europe le 2 avril, pour la première fois, et continuera à être le témoin de ces rassemblements tous les dimanches sur la place de l’Hôtel de ville. C’est, pour vous, Européens convaincus, l’occasion d’aller échanger et proposer vos solutions en prenant la parole publiquement : donner de la voix et manifester son attachement à l’UE, comme il est écrit sur le site pulseofeurope.eu.

Ouvrir l’eMAG aux autres langues et cultures du Sprachenzentrum contribue d’une certaine manière à construire l’Europe. Et si, à l’image du geste de l’eMAG, l’université devenait finalement le lieu privilégié de l’intégration et de la construction européenne ? Et si les 20 millions d’étudiants environ, actuellement sur les bancs des universités européennes, devenaient finalement 20 millions d’ambassadeurs potentiels des valeurs européennes à travers l’Espace européen de l’enseignement supérieur ?

Author: Christophe Lips

School’s not out in summer

You think summer and school can’t be combined? You’re wrong! Imagine the easiest combination and exactly this is what summer school means: It’s voluntarily attending a school or university during the summer break while your friends are lying on the beach or at a lido. Why did I choose to attend a summer school for teachers in Salzburg then? It was a new experience that I wanted to try and I think it was worth it, so here are some good reasons why you should at least take part in a summer school once in your life.

Summer school

A meeting point for students, teachers and professors

The first reason to go to a summer school is that you meet a lot of nice people. Some of them are students like you, some of them are already teachers and some of them are even university lecturers. Everyone of them enjoys conversations and you can easily get a first impression about how other school systems and universities are structured. The participants during my time there came from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. So you can get different perspectives on teaching. The exchanges between the participants enrich your experience a lot and it often gives you some good new ideas for your own teaching practice.

Learn teaching by watching teaching

Secondly, the workshops are structured in a cool way. Most of them include active participation by the group members. The lecturers get you to try out different games, give feedback on your contributions and there’s a lot of talking and discussing in groups or with the whole course.

Explore a different world 

Last but not least, you shouldn’t neglect to have a look at where the summer school takes place. In my situation it was one of the most beautiful cities in Austria, Salzburg. Although the courses did take place from the morning until the afternoon, you always had some time in the evening to explore the city. I was glad we stayed in a hostel near the centre, because that allowed us to have dinner and some after-work-drinks (I guess, you know what I mean). My friend, who joined me on this journey, and I really loved the old buildings. One of our personal highlights was the Hohensalzburg Fortress, which you can see from the roof terrace of the university building while drinking a cold beer with other course members. Just wandering around the historic centre in the evening was relaxing.

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The summer school in Salzburg was a great experience and I got a lot of new impressions on all sorts of topics. As I took part in courses about English teaching and how to do small exercises during lesson breaks with your pupils, I guess my future teaching will focus on things I learned about these topics to keep my lessons alive. I hope I’ve been able to get across my passion and excitement for this kind of event. It was a cool trip, I met a lot of great people and I may be part of it again next year.

Author & Pictures: Alexander Gallwitz

Five things to do in Rome

Ahh Rome…la dolce vita! Lots of you have probably already been to the Eternal City, but in my opinion, a trip to Rome is always worthwhile and who isn’t dreaming of summer at the moment? So, let me take you on a trip to the Italian capital and tell you what you shouldn’t miss out on!

1. St. Peter’s Basilica

I’ll start off with something really touristy, but the cathedral is just THAT building you’ve got to visit in Rome. I’m a total church nut and need to visit most of a city’s churches, so I’ve been to quite a lot…let me tell you this: St. Peter’s is breath-taking! Of course, it’s also really crowded, but the splendour of this place will make you forget everyone around you. Make sure to also climb the dome – the people down in the aisles look tiny from up there (but don’t take the elevator – that’s a waste of money!).

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2. Palatine Hill

This is also a well-known place, but it was honestly one of my absolute highlights. In the middle of the city, right next to the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill is like Rome’s backyard. It’s like you’ve stepped through a hidden door and found yourself in another world. You don’t hear a single car. The hustle and bustle of the city is forgotten – it’s just you (okay, and the other tourists), plants and flowers and ruins. It’s perfect to relax a bit before you make your way back to the buzzing streets.

20161017_1323113. Discover things off the beaten track

Yes, that sounds pretty vague at first. What I’m trying to say is that there are things to discover at pretty much every turn! So, don’t follow the main routes. Instead, turn into a side street (not a dubious one of course!) and be surprised. And when in Rome, why not take on the Italian lifestyle? Take things slowly (piano in Italian), sit down at a café and treat yourself for lunch or a really good Italian coffee (I’m not exaggerating – coffee is SO good in Rome!). Just because you deserve it.

4. Enjoy the view!

This is something I can recommend not only for Rome, but for every place you visit. Get on top of things and marvel at the city from a bird’s-eye view. This literally takes sightseeing to another level. My travel guide’s insider tip was to get on top of the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II – judging from the amount of people up there it’s not an insider tip anymore – but it’s still awesome. I spent a couple of hours up there watching the sun set and it was worth every second. Supposedly another great place to relax and enjoy the view is on top of the Pincian Hill in North Rome.

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5. Take a stroll in the dark

Rome is amazingly beautiful in the daytime, but at night, when everything is illuminated, there’s a whole different atmosphere to it! It’s awesome when it’s still warm in the evening and people sit outside cafés and bars. You should definitely join them at one of Rome’s great bars or clubs and enjoy a cocktail outside, maybe even with a monument in sight…

So, whatever you do, have fun and let the beauty of the place impress you. It’s pretty much impossible not to fall in love with Rome. Don’t believe me? Go and see for yourself!

Author & Pictures: Henrike Wilhelm

One ticket – boundless fun

As the semester break is slowly approaching, it’s time to plan your activities, if you haven’t already. If you love backpacking, you should definitely try Interrail. It’s one ticket that allows you to travel by train across Europe. You can choose between one country (One Country Pass) or several (Global Pass, 30 countries). I did this two years ago and had lots of fun. Three weeks with the Global Pass gave me the chance to travel to three countries, the UK, Ireland and France in the summer.

A beach in Cornwall.
A beach in Cornwall

First stop: England

I took the plane from Memmingen to London, so I visited the UK capital first. However, other parts of England you don’t usually visit much were more interesting. So I travelled to Cornwall and was stunned by its natural beauty. St. Ives (Cornwall) is a really small town, but it’s as beautiful as the rest of this region. When visiting Land’s End, you feel like you’re in a different country, because it’s not how I had imagined England: blue sea, sunshine and very nice paths along the coast. Even beaches. The windy weather is dangerous for sunburn, as I experienced painfully.

Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park

Second stop: Ireland

A ferry to Ireland was next. The journey went by very fast and then Dublin was a blast. Street musicians, lovely people, cosy pubs, it has everything. Next stop was the small town of Killarney. With a national park in sight, I rented a bike and explored it. Everything is green and you feel really healthy.

So far so good – but trouble was brewing, unbeknown to me. I mixed up the dates at the end of July. I’d almost boarded the train to the port of Rosslare, when I noticed my blunder. The ferry was departing in a few hours that very day whereas I thought I had an extra day, which is why I booked an extra night in Ireland. Things then got very hectic. Will I ever get to France in time? When does the next ferry depart? Where do I stay till then? I contacted Irish Ferries, and thank God, they were very kind. The next ferry was departing in three days and they cancelled my reservation on the other one. And they got me a ticket for the next trip. I even found a nice hostel in Dublin until then.

seine
Seine sightseeing tour

Third stop: France

Paris was my first choice in France and I wasn’t disappointed. I can very much recommend a Seine sightseeing tour. There are boats leaving every 30 minutes at the Pont Neuf, and it’s a really different view from down on the river, especially at sunset. After only three hours aboard the TGV, I found myself on the Côte d’Azur in Marseille. Finally, 35°C and a beach to relax on. And the restaurants have delicious food, especially fish and vegetables from the region.

Go try it yourself!

In the end, it was a fantastic trip. You even get discounts on ferries, and as long as you’re under 28, the pass is cheaper. So don’t hold back – explore Europe!

Author & Pictures: Thomas Kienast

London on a student budget

If there is any vacation destination that I could call my home away from home it’s London. The British capital captured my heart from the first time I visited and has me coming back as often as I can. But frequent trips to London have one major drawback: this city is bloody expensive! So when my best friend asked me to spontaneously accompany her for just three days, I hesitated for a while, wondering if the expense was worth it for the limited time we had. In the end, I went with her, of course, and spent under €200, thanks to a couple of things I learned during my previous visits.

Museumslondon1

In 2001 all state-managed museums in London abolished admission charges, which means all of the major museums like the National Gallery or the Tate Modern are completely free. This allows you to basically museum-hop, which is what I like doing in the city more than anything else. If you want to visit the British Museum, just to look at the Rosetta Stone and admire the impressive architecture of its main hall – go for it! Tea at the Victoria & Albert and a quick detour through the dinosaur exhibit of the Natural History Museum? Lovely idea!

Churches

London makes up for the free museums with horrendous admission charges to its beautiful churches like Westminster Abbey or St.Paul’s. During a service, however, it’s completely free. I would especially recommend the choral evensong at Westminster Abbey; sit down to listen to the famous choir while taking in the gothic architecture and delicately carved décor.

West End showslondon3

No visit to London would be complete for me without seeing at least one West End show. Lots of theatres offer special daily tickets for a huge discount, but most of them are on a first-come-first- serve basis and require lots of queuing. So if you’re pressed for time or simply don’t want to research all the different deals, drop by the “tkts” booth in Leicester Square. They always have a lot of discounted tickets for evening performances on the same day, so you can go by and just pick what’s cheapest or sounds the most fun.

Food

You can find the best bang for your buck for a quick meal at “Wahaca”, a Mexican grill right beneath Waterloo Bridge. Their 6-pound pulled pork burritos are mouth-watering and satisfy even the biggest hunger. And if you want to make a little sightseeing trip out of it, cross Waterloo Bridge at night for a breathtaking view across the whole cityscape, get your burrito and wander along the Thames in the direction of the Tate Modern. Your path will take you through trees full of twinkling fairy lights and to Blackfriars Bridge, where you can check out “Doggets Coat & Badge” pub for a pint of cider or alelondon4.

Author & Pictures: Anna Reinbold