I have always been fond of outdoor activities. One of my favourate hobby is bicycle riding. The campus Contact provides students with the service of lending electro bikes. This summer, me along with some of my classmates, toured around the bicycle trials around the area. There are about more than about 20 beautiful bicycle routes, extending from 10-60 km forth and back, in the region. The tour we we went on took us around two and half hours, which was in total 32km. For a quick break, we visited a local cafe called Treibhaus in the town of Birkenfeld. Lucky, they also had a charging station for electro bikes for emergency situations. Some of the bicycle tours are also guided. I would recommend a guided tour for longer tours for better information, as the area is rich in its natural diversity.
It is very practical that we have a small but well equipped gym on the campus ground. That is where I can do my daily training. The gym is located just two minutes away from my dorm room, which is very convenient and keeps me motivated to workout every day. But sadly due to the current corona situation, the gym is temporarily closed. I have found an alternative to the situation and started discovering wonderful jogging spots around campus. One of my favourite jogging spots is along the small river, through the bicycle way, which eventually leads to the town of Birkenfeld. In summer, it is also ideal for rollerblading as well as skating.
In addition to that, there are various student created events that help keep us engaged. Personally speaking, I made a lot of friends at such events. Every Monday evening, students gather together for a collective freeletics session. It starts from 7:30 pm until 9 pm. Due to the corona regulation, the total number of participants is maximum 30 people. For safety and fairness in the participant list the organizer students have made an online registration system. You have to be pretty fast on registration as the event is very popular among the students.
Its a tradition. Like every year, the International students office organized a gingerbread house competition. This event always takes place in the second week of December, somehow reminding us about the upcoming holidays. But this time it was much different. A national lockdown was announced in Germany reflecting on all the public meetings. Since the International office had already prepared all the materials for the event, they sincerely put an effort to deliver them to our door steps. I found the gesture entirely overwhelming, as holiday season does make me miss home a little. Along with my two friends we decided to build a very cute gingerbread house and took the challenge very seriously. It was indeed a quality time spent together and a good start to the holiday season.
Merry Christmas!! Christmas is always about family and friends. Since most of us international students couldn't travel around to celebrate Christmas, along with four of my close friends, I decided to have a decent Christmas dinner. We made sure we had a small tree to replicate the christmas vibes in the apartment and cooked a three course dinner. For starters, I made a warm lentil soup with lots of Nepali spices. For the main course, we decided not to go very fancy. We individually cooked each element for a semi warm Buddha bowl. Desert was quite student-like, vegan ice cream with fruits. All in all we had a good time singing and dancing for hours and had a nice sleep over.
The Biodiversum is located in Remerschen, Luxembourg. It is very close to the Haff Reimech Nature Reserve. The visitor center building is quite special from its design and purpose. It has very low impact on the surrounding landscape and is purposely integrated into the cradle to cradle approach. The energy source emphasizes eco-friendly technologies and sustainability. The inside of the building exhibits taxidermied birds for information and topics related to environment awareness. The location is preferable for short walks and also surrounded by lakes for summer swims.
I am Subhasini, an International student at the Environmental campus Birkenfeld.
I always dreamed of studying abroad, which finally came true after deciding to come to Germany. I am currently studying Sustainable Business and Technology at the Environmental campus Birkenfeld. I was drawn towards this course, due to the global awareness about sustainability and my curiosity about Business strategies. Environmental campus Birkenfeld has been a global exposure to me, as we have a large International community here at the campus. The campus itself speaks to its name and is a practical site to practice and experience sustainable ideas. I´m captivated by the idea of urban farming and love cooking. I must say food is my greatest weakness and having friends from all over the world has been a great exposure to global culinary as well as hospitality.
It is very important to know where our food comes from. Having a small campus garden has made me realize how difficult it is to grow our own food. As sustainability being my course of study, I am very conscious about my carbon food print caused by food waste and packaging. Growing seasonal vegetables was one of my favourate activity during the lockdown. Me along with some of my friends have created a collective activity during the corona crisis.
Due to corona there has been limited activities on campus. But every wednesday, International students get to jointly spend some time with music, culture, languages and food from all around the world. These events are organized by the International office through the students. In each event, a person or a group gets to represent their country and share some of their culture and tradition from back home. They are also very entertaining, as the storytelling is followed by games and creative activities. Being a foodie, I get to please my taste buds trying all sorts of typical as well as festive foods from Peru to Kazakhstan. Here are some pictures of one of those events, where we get to know some fun facts about Morocco. Did you know Morocco is very popular for its tribal pottery? Neither did I. So to make that fact more authentic the event was followed by creative pottery time. Keeping in mind the risk of corona, the event was properly organized with proper hygiene rules and to encourage us to get out of our dorm rooms. The number of participants were registered and separated into 2 groups to minimize the risk and to keep the distance . I highly recommend this event, as it is a very casual way of meeting new people and sharing new culture and having fun together.
I personally have been struggling to stay motivated during this semester. It is indeed a strange situation for everyone to stay focused and motivated. I am glad that campus premises are open for students. Under right regulation; I am able to come and study on campus for few hours. Small events and gathering such as the international event and seminars are still taking place, which keeps us students a little motivated to come out of our dorm rooms. It is mandatory to work or attend an exam with mask and offcourse always keeping in mind the social distancing policies. In November, after the announcement of second lock down, the maximum number of participants in learning groups among students in the university's premises was reduced to a maximum of 5 (previously 10) persons.The library has normal opening hours but unfortunately, we are not allowed to stay and study. There are many PC poolroom on campus and that is where I am most productive.
For me representation is very essential for growth. Since I joined the campus, I had a feeling campus needed some international representation, not just in participation but also in decision making. It was quite easy for me to make friends on campus as I am adequately fluent in German. But for some of my classmates it was a struggle to even understand our emails and couldn't inform themselves about different events happening on campus. Some milestones have already been achieved for so many other study courses but not much for sustainable business and technology. This is when I decided to join the faculty, as a student council member, locally known as Fachschaft. I encouraged some of our Junior students to also participate in the election and now along with two other international students, I was also elected as a Fachschaft member. We have regular meetings every Wednesday at 6 pm (offcourse online) where we discuss; organizing different events, social media representation, collecting old questions and building a bridge between the professors and students. For more information on fachschaft and other student council please check the following website https://www.umwelt-campus.de/campus/organisation/gremien .
Like the Red hot chilli pepper once said ‘Deep beneath the cover of another perfect wonder Where it's so white as snow’. This year's snow kept us captivated in its beauty and brought us the little wonderland in the times exam season. A couple of my friends and I decided to go around campus, looking out at the majestic landscape covered in snow. Located at the highest part of the region about 816 meters, Eberskopf is a perfect winter getaway. It is mostly famous for its view point and its hiking trails but for winter it is one of the closest ski destinations. It is just about a 20 minutes car drive away from our campus dormitory. When we reached there the snow was about a half meter deep and we were not the only one enjoying the winter wonderland. We saw families with kids building Igloos and snowmen. Overall, it was a nice getaway from the exam stress.
Most of the cafe and restaurants are located in the central town area of Birkenfeld. Which is about ten minutes bus ride from our campus dorm. Here are some of my favorite restaurants around campus that are students pocket friendly as well as mouthwatering.
1. Artechino: It is a cozy cafe with lots of vegan alternatives. Before the pandemic, I visited the cafe at least once in a week to treat myself with their delicious Bagels.
2. SARA'S Vintage Tea Rooms and Gin House: It is a delight just to sit in this nostalgic Teahouse. I often go there for their English breakfast and delicious cupcakes.
3. Gleich 4: This restaurant/ bar is located right next to the train station of Neubrücke. They offer wonderful burgers and the most delicious fries.
4. Nur bistro and restaurant: This restaurant is just about 15 minutes walking distance away from the campus and could also be reached via bus route within 2-3 minutes. I usually go there with my friends during exam time to save our time from cooking and the cleaning that follows. My favorite thing to eat here is their fresh Falafel and Pide.
5. Namaste Indian restaurant: This restaurant is relatively expensive than others. Nevertheless, whenever I am home sick their food reminds me of home. I would highly recommend trying Palak panner with fresh garlic naan.
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In Germany being a student has many benefits. Being a non working class, it is very expensive to travel in Germany. Trier University of applied sciences has a multifuncing chip, student ID card. One of the most worthy functions of the ID card is also being a travelling ticket. The ticket is limited to certain areas of course, but has put a great contribution to my student pocket. With my Student card I am connected to two major cities; Mainz and Saarbrücken. Mainz is approximately ninety minutes away from campus, whereas Saarbrücken just fifty minutes away via regional train. It would take an absolutely similar amount of time with a car to reach the campus but since it is an unlimited travel pass and environmentally friendly, I would definitely recommend you to take the train. The train ride from Mainz to campus is an absolute thrill in summer, as we drive alongside the Nahe river and the great stony mountains of Rotenfels. The train connection is a direct connection from central station Frankfurt am Main via Frankfurt International airport to campus. It is very convenient for travellers as well as quite easy to figure out for new students coming from all around the world.
Schengen is a small village located about half an hour away from the center of the city. Schengen has historical importance as it is the place where the Schengen agreement was signed. It was personally interesting for me, as my visit to Luxembourg was possible due to this agreement. We visited the Schengen castle and took a challenge to climb the tower located in the castle garden.
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