third week thrills!

Hello! I’m actually enjoying blogging more than I thought I would, so I really hope I’m able to keep it up throughout my UWC experience!

I had a wonderful, relaxing weekend following our test run with the project week bikes. I slept before 10 pm on Sunday, but woke up just before midnight to celebrate my roommate’s birthday in our house’s common room. (I really love sleep, so this was a bit difficult, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.)

On Tuesday evening, I went for a short walk in my hiking boots to make sure they were comfortable and to explore the area behind our campus.

(I learned this week that in Germany, you’re not supposed to wish someone a happy early birthday because it’s considered bad luck… I kind of wish I knew this earlier but now I’ve learned my lesson!)

Today after school we received information about the first-years’ Outdoor Weekend, which will be taking place this Saturday and Sunday. My 2 first-year roomies and I were put into the most challenging hiking group – we will be hiking ~ 6 hours each day. The weather looks really nice, so hopefully everything goes smoothly and we make it to and from the school without too much trouble! I’m a bit nervous because it’s been a while since I’ve done an intensive hike, but I really look forward to bonding with my group and appreciating the great outdoors.

Tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, is the Mid-Autumn Festival (which I didn’t even know until my Thai housemate told me this afternoon…); I felt a bit nostalgic because I knew my family would be celebrating with mooncake back home, but I got an email this evening saying that we’ll have our own little celebration tomorrow evening complete with mooncake, fruit, and tea. I can’t wait to learn how other students usually celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival at home!

I think that’s all for now – here’s to Mid-Autumn Festival (and living to tell the tale of hiking almost 40 km over 2 days :’))

Until next time!

Advertisements

two weeks later…

Friday marked two weeks since our arrival at Robert Bosch College, but it honestly feels like it’s been more than a month. Spending all your time with your classmates definitely leads to deep, meaningful relationships in a short amount of time. It’s hard to believe so much has happened in just 16 days.

Last weekend, my Swiss roommate and I went for a short walk (well actually, we got almost all the way to the mall before realizing it was a Sunday and German stores are closed on Sundays).

I love the style of the exterior of European apartments
a nearby school

Over the past week, we got the chance to attend CAS “taster sessions” to try out the CAS activities we might be interested in, and I really enjoyed bouldering at the Blockhaus, a climbing gym about a 30-40 minute bike ride from our school. It was really nice to get off campus for a few hours and do something physically and mentally challenging. We came back quite late, and it was amazing to bike under a night sky full of stars; I almost forgot what it feels like to look up and be unable to count how many there are.

I also tried contemporary dance and mountain biking, both of which were fun! Right now, I’m most interested in joining the school orchestra for Creativity (and to keep up practicing piano!), and bouldering for Activity. We haven’t been presented the Service activities yet.

Classes started on Tuesday, and so far I’m enjoying them. I’m quite happy with the courses I chose, and I look forward to getting deeper into the content this week. Orientation week made RBC feel like a vacation, so it was a bit strange at first to have to begin associating it with classes and academic obligations, but we are after all here (at least partially) for school!

I didn’t end up getting my first choice Project Week (canoeing in southern France), but I did get my second choice, biking along the Rhine up the Black Forest. I’m a little nervous for a full week of biking and camping but also excited for the experience. Yesterday we did a (5-hour) test run with the touring bikes we will use for project week (which is three short weeks away!).

after an exhausting climb, a beautiful view of Freiburg (picture taken by a student in our project week group)

I also found out this week that I was accepted into my first choice college job! (My parents asked if I get paid, but all college jobs are voluntary :)) Over the following weeks, five other first-year students and I will be receiving first aid training and serving as the First Responders of the school.

I didn’t think it would happen this quickly, but I’m definitely starting to miss food from home… Perhaps I’ll be able to cook some meals in the near future, but that involves a bit of planning to find all the ingredients and carry them back – I now realize the luxury of having a car and knowing your way around a city!

Until next week!

settling in

Orientation week has been packed with meeting lots of new people, learning about facilities, activities and programs at the school, and climbing (very many) stairs to get to and from my “house”. Here are some pictures of the campus and the beautiful sunny weather we’ve been having (my German co-years told me Freiburg is Germany’s sunniest city!):

Over the past week, I’ve met with my roomies, housemates, house tutor (adult who organizes house meetings, helps us organize living together, and generally serves as a parent at home), and personal tutor (adult who also serves as kind of parent, but more on the academic side of things). In groups, we’ve met with the school counsellor, attended intercultural workshops, been introduced to over 30 project week proposals (more on that later), taken placement tests for English and Math (which made me realize how lucky I am to have English as a mother tongue), chosen our courses and partied… and it’s been exhilarating and exhausting.

my absolute favourite: waking up or looking out the window to our sheep!

We are also beginning to choose college jobs, CAS activities, and project weeks – our timetables will be full in four short days!

  • College jobs are positions you can take on to help out in the community; jobs include being a library assistant, an IT assistant, a First Responder (becoming trained in advanced first aid), or helping organize our free secondhand store, the Chic Boutique.
  • CAS stands for Creativity, Activity, and Service, and makes up a large part of the extracurricular activities that students participate in after classes and on the weekends. Over the next few weeks, we get the opportunity to try out some activities we might be interested in before we commit to our CAS activities for the semester.
  • Over the past two days, we received an introduction to Project Week, a week where staff and students pause classes once a semester (twice a year) to pursue a project that may be outdoor (eg. camping and hiking or biking), regional (within 150 km of the campus), service (eg. helping to build fences for a summer camp, serving at a non-profit that assists refugees), and/or achieving a specific goal (eg. a piece of theater, an exhibition of photography). This is one of the opportunities we have to travel, from as close as the Black Forest to as far as Denmark, Italy or Croatia. We listened to 3-minute pitches from the second years’ proposals and submitted our first choice project week yesterday. Hopefully, I can go canoeing and climbing in southern France at the beginning of October, but I will know within a few days!
a picture of the Dreisam from when I walked to the mall

Yesterday we had our “bike test” where we took the school bikes for a short ride into the city to assess our basic biking skills and knowledge of hand signals and the road. Fortunately, I passed, so now I can borrow a bike to explore Freiburg and go shopping!

Classes begin on Tuesday, and for the first time in a long time, I can’t wait to begin school!

our 500-year-old school garden where we can pick fresh fruit and veggies

Until next time!

the adventure begins

we’re off!

So somehow it’s happened. I’ve arrived at UWC Robert Bosch College! I’ve been waiting for this for so long that it still seems kind of surreal despite this being my third day here. I wrote (very short) drafts of posts in April and two weeks ago before I left home, but I kept putting them off and so I never finished them. Hopefully that doesn’t become the norm too quickly…

I spent a week vacationing in Germany before heading to school which was really enjoyable and also helped me get over my jetlag. Here are some of my favourite pictures:

Frankfurt
Schloss Heidelberg and a beautiful view of the town
The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart
Pictures from Munich

We walked so much our feet were aching – our first day in Munich we walked 31 000 steps! But the towns, architecture, and weather were all very beautiful so we had a wonderful time exploring southern Germany.

Schloss Neuschwanstein near Füssen

I arrived with family on Friday. It was a whirlwind of meeting second-years, my co-years, roommates and figuring out what was where, but things have settled down the past few days. I’ve already become pretty close with my Swiss roommate and some other co-years.

I still can’t believe I have the opportunity to be here for two years but I can’t wait for the things that are in store for me! I haven’t been bringing my phone outside of my room so I don’t have photos of the campus, but I will eventually take some and include them.

Until next time!

hello!

bonjour! good day! how is your wife? (beauty & the beast)
(I’ve always wanted to be a blogger, so this is exciting)

Hi friend! My name is Jasmine, and I made this blog to share my experiences at Robert Bosch United World College in Germany. Robert Bosch is one of 18 United World College (UWC) campuses around the world. Students attend UWC for two years, completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) alongside a diverse cohort of incredible students.

Reading UWC blogs was a fun and helpful way pass the time as I waited to hear back throughout my application process, so I thought I would try and give back to future applicants and to curious friends and family by writing my own. I’ll do my best to update regularly, but wherever you’re from (or whoever you are @friends back home), feel free to contact me at any time; I’d love to hear about you or answer questions or comments!

upward and onward!

the dorms in all their glory (image credit: Guido Erbring (Google Images))

tschüss! (bye!)

(look at my impeccable one word of German!)