Summer Semester 2019
Even though we had rainy weather, we were motivated and on our way to Rüdesheim. After arriving there, we headed towards the “Niederwalddenkmal”, well equipped with raincoats and umbrellas. We walked through a beautiful old town and got a first impression of small picturesque alleys with timbered houses and many wine taverns. Directly behind the old town, the hiking trail took us into the vineyards and we could already see our destination, the “Niederwalddenkmal”, and a lovely view of the Rhine Valley.
With this end in view, the ascent on the hill was easily managed. At the top, we enjoyed the view and informed ourselves about the “Niederwalddenkmal”, which is a commemoration of the founding of the German Empire in 1871 after the end of the Franco-Prussian War. Instead of the planned picnic, we grabbed a bite to eat at a snack bar so that we stayed dry. Afterwards, we hiked back to the old town. A small group of students chose the comfortable way back and took the cable car instead. Back in Rüdesheim, there was still plenty of time left to discover hidden corners of the old town, to warm up in a cozy café or to taste the regional wine.
Many students arrived at the meeting point to join our tutors at the highlight tour through the “Hessisches Landesmuseum”. Part of the tour were i. a. the sections of art, cultural and natural history. In the latter department, the students gained an insight into the history of Neanderthals.
Afterwards, we gazed at the collections in the Zoology section, which have their origins in the “Natural History Cabinet” of Duke Ludwig X. and cover a representative range of mammal, bird, mollusc and coral species. Some objects of recently extinct species were also displayed, such as the quagga.
There was simply no way around the “peale’s mastodon”, which is about 15,000 years old and was excavated 1801 in the U.S. In the art and cultural history section, the “Trans-Siberian Railway” (1961) by Joseph Beuys – one of the major German artists of the second half of the 20th century – provided great interest and topics for discussion among the students.
Winter Semester 2018/19
At the start of the winter semester, our tutors from the Intercultural Tutors Team (ITT) have planned - together with TUtor International - a treasure hunt through Darmstadt for you.
On a sunny autumn day, the students – divided in small groups and each of them accompanied by tutors – set out to hunt for “treasures”, which were several places in Darmstadt, with riddles or tasks awaiting them.
Besides of “classical” places like Staatstheater, Großer Woog and Mathildenhöhe, this time the “Arcade of the Fundamental Rights in the German Constitution”, the Jugendstilbad and the Memorial at Kapellplatz were newly added to the “treasure map”.
All riddles and tasks were challenging in different ways: At the memorial at Kapellplatz you had to deal with historical facts about the place or at the Mathildenhöhe you had to take photos in a creative way, which you can see in the group pictures below.
A reward (or a “small treasure”) was prepared for everyone at the final station “Prinz-Georgs-Garten”: all students got a free ticket for the “Schlosskeller” and the first two groups were surprised with a voucher for the popular “Café Chaos”.
Last but not least: For the next treasure hunt, we will – of course – think of new tasks, riddles and “treasures” for you!
For our second event during this semester, we went to Ludwigshöhe in Darmstadt, in cooperation with the Exchange Network Darmstadt (END). After having walked together from Böllenfalltor to Ludwigshöhe, we had a great view over Darmstadt and could even see for example the Frankfurt Skyline. For many of the participants it was the first time on Ludwigshöhe.
We were not frightened by the stormy weather and had our picnic as planned. Meanwhile the participants had the possibility to get to know each other. Afterwards some of the students went up the tower (“Ludwigsturm”) to have an even better view, whereas some others played the game “werewolf” / “mafia”.
At the end of the event we were able to get back just in time before the storm.
Summer Semester 2018
In the beginning of May we have discovered the airport of Frankfurt during a round trip. After a security check, which also has to be done from every employee, we got on a bus and for the next 1.5 hours got a ride across the airport.
During the tour, we were able to wonder at different types of airplanes, small private jets, the biggest passenger plane A 380, the newest plane from Airbus A 321 and cargo planes.
Our tour guide was very entertaining and told us some interesting, odd and funny details about the FRAport. To the amusement of Brazilian participants, he called planes from Brazil “Mango bomber”, as they also carry fresh mangos. We learnt that an airplane on the ground at the airport just causes costs to the airline because of fees for landing, parking, taking off, etc. and that’s why ground times are as short as possible. The heart of the airport is the computer-operated machine to transport and sort luggage. It is completely underground and has a total length of 81 km. Benno, the cash beagle, is hard-working, for example in 2016 he sniffled 54 Mio € of cash. Wooden objects are always suspicious and just shortly 6.2 kg of cocaine were discovered in a wooden piano from South America. What’s more, there is an animal lounge for elephants, hippos, tigers, … if they for example have to travel on the plane for zoos.
All participants were impressed from the numerous airplanes and some got wanderlust and planned where to go next...
IGeMDa and the Intercultural Tutors Team invited to the tour “Welcome to Darmstadt” at the beginning of the summer semester. During nice and sunny weather, we were exploring some sights of Darmstadt together.
We started our tour at the Karo 5 with a view to the “Schloss”, the “Hessisches Landesmuseum” and the public record office. The next stop was the “Darmstadtium” that has its name from the element darmstadtium, which was discovered in 1994 in Darmstadt, and is a science and congress center. Following next was the Mathildenhöhe, with the Russian Chapel, which was built on special imported earth from Russia, and the wedding tower or also called “Five-Finger tower” because of its shape and known as the town’s landmark.
After having climbed the stairs, we had a nice view of Darmstadt and its surroundings.
The tour continued through the park of the “Rosenhöhe” and the “Oberfeld” until we reached the “Oberwaldhaus”, a popular destination of the habitants of Darmstadt. There we had a picnic, played frisbee and enjoyed the sun.
In the beginning of the summer semester, ITT challenged students to a scavenger hunt through Darmstadt.
The students had to solve small riddles or tasks at each station to find out where the next station could be found.
Of course, the tutors themselves tested all riddles, tasks and prices before. 😉
Starting point was Karo 5, other stations were “Langer Lui” (Luisenplatz), Staatstheater, Mathildenhöhe and Herrngarten.
The challenge for all participants at each station was not only solving tasks but also finding the tutors who “hid” at each station and could be identified by an ITT flyer in their hands.
The task at Mathildenhöhe was to build a small “human pyramid”.
All groups arrived successfully at the final station “Herrngarten”. The tutors had prepared gummy bears for all participants and the first two groups were surprised with a voucher for an ice-cream parlour.
Considering the warm spring weather with 24 degrees Celsius and bright sunshine, nearly all students decided to finish the day with one, two or three scoop(s) of ice cream.
Last but not least: For the next scavenger hunt there will be new riddles and tasks!
Here are some riddles from the scavenger hunt for you to solve:
1. You can add these street names together with a particular method.
2. Today is April 4th and there is a German saying: April, April, does what it wants….
1.Solution: 366 (Each letter can be matched to a number, letter “A” is equal to “1”, “B” is equal to “2” and so on.)
2.Solution: Herrngarten (The letter “D“ becomes letter “H“, so that means that each letter becomes the fourth letter following in the alphabet.)
Winter Semester 2017/18
Before the turn of the year and in the middle of the Advent season, ITT invited students from Darmstadt to visit the wonderful Christmas Market in old-town of Michelstadt. After a side trip to castle Fürstenau, built in the 14th century, we strolled through the busy Christmas market.
In the streets and alleys around the famous historic Town Hall out of the year 1484 festively decorated stands offered everything the heart desired. On the one hand there were many goods which would make an ideal present, on the other hand hot beverages, Crêpe by the „Weltmeistercafe“, potato pancakes and many more hearty to sweet dishes were offered in abundance.
In the late evening, it was already time for the return, hands and feet were a bit cold but stomachs were full with warm food and/or beverages and the cozy atmosphere from the Christmas Market could still be felt on the train back.
Last but not least:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!