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Summer in Munich

by Cheryl Aine Morrison

This summer I was afforded the opportunity to take part in an exploration seminar, led by Jochen Scholl, in Munich and Berlin, Germany. It was a very interesting and enjoyable experience. Rather than the typical library focus, the seminar explored information management in an international business setting.

Professor Scholl worked very hard to set this up, and because of all his efforts, we were able to meet representatives of several major corporations and organizations including the European Patent Office, BMW, Siemens, Allianz Arena and the city of Munich. We discovered, in viewing their presentations, the many different ways in which information management supports their businesses. Although I am primarily interested in pursuing a career in libraries, I found it very thought-provoking to learn about what other job opportunities might be possible with this degree.

We had a very interesting and diverse group, including business and engineering undergraduate students, four Master of Science in Information Management and one Master of Library and Information student. Once we arrived in Germany, we were joined by a number of students from The Technical University of Munich, which increased our opportunities to learn about German culture in Munich. The different perspectives and views afforded by this mix of disciplines and studies were invaluable.

We attended presentations every morning, but were usually done by 1 p.m., and so were able to explore Munich and the surrounding area during the afternoons and on weekends. Several people got together and traveled to Salzburg on the first Saturday, and then embarked on a grueling 40-plus mile bike ride around a local lake. Others explored medieval towns in the area, such as Rothenberg, or castles like Neuschwanstein, which inspired the "Sleeping Beauty" castle at Disneyland.

On the second weekend, a large group of students traveled to Amsterdam, while others explored Austria and Heidelberg and hiked in the Alps on Sunday. Oktoberfest began on the second weekend as well, and we were able to attend the festivities in the afternoons and evenings after class. It was an amazing experience. For the final weekend, the group traveled to the northeastern Germany city of Berlin and spent two days exploring the area before flying home, just in time for the commencement of fall-quarter classes at the University of Washington.

I was extremely lucky to be able to spend nearly two weeks in France preceding the beginning of the German seminar. I spent three days in Normandy, and discovered a love for Northern France that I had not expected. The highlights of the trip for me were hiking in the Alps – what a beautiful country! – and being able to spend my birthday in Heidelberg, exploring the castle ruins. I miss Europe already and can't wait for my next visit. It has been the greatest experience I have had so far in the iSchool.

December 14, 2009
Vol. XIII Issue 4

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