Days 3 & 4 – Bremen

DAAD Days 3 & 4

June 19, 2013 – After a night of rest we began our visit to the University of Bremen. The university was located a short bus ride from our hotel.

We were welcomed by Dr. Annette Lang, Director of the International Office. She explained that Bremen is a comparatively young university having been established in 1971. Nevertheless it has recently been recognized under the German Excellence Initiative and there are two designated clusters of excellence, MARUM and BIGSSS. The former is focused on marine studies and the latter in the social sciences. The university also has strong ties with the Max Planck Institute in Microbiology. Many of the master’s programs are now offered entirely in English. This has been done to attract foreign students. Graduate studies under the umbrella of MARUM and BIGSS are also taught in english.

Next we were welcomed by Professor Michael Schulz who directs MARUM. MARUM focuses on training the next generation of young researchers and does quite a bit of public outreach. There is a structured graduate program though MARUM is not designated as a Graduate School. MARUM houses deep sea cores in a fabulous storage facility similar to FSU’s Antarctic Core Facility. The group toured the refrigerated core storage facility and learned about the chemical and biological information that is extracted from cores.

Professor Yasemin Karakasoglu, the Vice Rector for Intercultural and International Affairs provided an overview of the various programs under her umbrella. I was interested to learned about a certificate in global competence that they offer for students to foster mutual understanding and tolerance. Later in the day I shared information about FSU’s Global Pathways Certificate and the certificate we offer for faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistantships It was clear that we had very common goals.

After a long day of great discussion we adjourned and were transported to the town of Bremen for a tour of the historical parts of the city. This was followed by a wonderful dinner in a windmill…very picturesque.

June 20, 2013 – Day 2 in Bremen focused on the second center of excellence BIGSSS. This is designated as a graduate school with a focus in several areas of the social sciences. We were provided an overview by Professor Steffen Mau of the University of Bremen and Dr. Franziska Deutsch from Jacob University, a private institution. The graduate school program is a joint effort of the two universities. As we learned doctoral students are admitted in cohorts and receive a more structured experience than the traditional German doctoral experience. We heard testimonials from 3 students about their experience with the program. All were wonderful representatives, articulate, and enthusiastic. Two were american and one was from Eastern Europe. There were many questions from our group and active discussion which transitioned into the lunch period. We thanked our hosts profusely for an excellent visit that fostered lively discussion and interaction, and generating many ideas for future possibilities.

We are now on the bus for a 2 hour ride to Braunschweig.