As in previous years, the 2016 seminar invited participants to learn about Freiburg, its location in the state of Baden-Württemberg (BW) and the state’s economic importance within Germany. Behind this background, course participants read and discussed articles and local news comprising a range of topics: the history of Freiburg (founded in 1120) and BW (combining the territories of Baden, Hohenzollern and Württemberg), the state´s contributions to Germany´s leading export – the car industry – the region’s dialect and cuisine (contrasting ‘Badisch’ with ‘Schwäbisch’) to Freiburg’s reputation as a ‘green’ city. Through visits to local highlights, e.g. the dominant Freiburger Münster, the Wentzingerhaus, Freiburg´s history museum or a ride on the light rail to Schauinsland and its mining museum, participants were able to bridge classroom learning with the concrete and immediate experiences available to the curious learner. As a culinary reward – and still connected to student learning – , participants enjoyed local treats, for example, the ´Bobbele´ a patented Freiburger chocolate treat, and Münsterwurst, the Freiburg hot dog.
Just two days after their last excursion, SCU Broncos once again made their way out of Freiburg. This time, direction Breisach.
With approximately 16,500 inhabitants, Breisach is situated along the Rhine about halfway between Freiburg and Colmar. Atop the hill amidst the surrounding city, sits the Romanesque St. Stephansmünster, which SCU students had the opportunity of visiting.
Inside, visitors are able to admire the high altar and stained glass windows of the cathedral. Just outside, stands the sculpture of a bull, whom of course, visitors must climb atop to snap a worthy picture.
On Wednesday of Week 3, SCU Broncos made their way up Schauinsland, one of the Black Forest’s largest mountains. Accompanied by Professor Hellebrandt and Mr. and Mrs. Fox, the group ascended the 4,213 ft mountain via cable car. The viewing platform at the top of the mountain provides its visitors a staggering panorama of the Black Florest and its surrounding cities.
Having made it to the top, students were rewarded with both a view and the opportunity to explore the mountain’s historic mining tunnels. A part of an old ore mine has been transformed into a museum that has been open to the public since 1997. On tours, visitors are shown a wide range of medieval tunnels and shafts from the final stages of when the mine was in operation.
Following the 45-minute tour, the group made sure to stop at the Talstation to indulge in cake and coffee before descending the mountain.
For the past 10 years, the Freiburg summer study abroad program has offered Santa Clara students the opportunity to gain insight into the historical, cultural, and social aspects of the German-speaking world, all within the span of 4 weeks. Nestled at the foot of the Black Forest mountains, Germany’s Green City with its historical monuments and ecological policy offers a classic blend of old and new.
Geoff and Josie Fox, pictured left, are long-term friends of the German Studies Program at Santa Clara and provide annual on-site support to students who choose this city as their study abroad destination.
Walter Schmidt, pictured right, is a Freiburg local known to the students of this program as an adventurous tour guide, comedian, and pro-bicyclist.
Welcoming SCU students Max Rauenbuehler, Karl Baumgartner, and Emily Hamlin, the Freiburg study abroad program continues to grow in the members of its family, marking a decade of its success.
Just a 40-minute train ride east of Freiburg, Lake Titisee charms both tourists and locals alike. Against the Grimm’s Fairytale backdrop of the Black Forest, Lake Titisee provides one of the most picturesque settings of Baden-Württemberg. Lined with tourist shops, visitors to the lake are provided the opportunity to sample local cured ham, purchase travel-sized bottles of schnapps, and may even feel inspired to start a collection of the intricate Coockoo clocks renowned to the region.
This week, Professor Hellebrandt welcomed this summer’s students to the city of Freiburg. In the next coming weeks, he will join them in excursions around the city and be of assistance during their integration into the German culture. The best of luck to him and his students!