By Samantha Savaglio
The UW-Parkside Computer Science Department will travel on its annual trip to Germany May 21-31, 2013. The two-week study abroad opportunity is in conjunction with Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, located in Wolefenbuettel.
UW-Parkside has held a steady international partnership with Ostfalia University. Student and faculty exchanges, as well as study abroad trips have successfully taken place for the past five years.
Heather Miles, systems administrator in the Computer Science Department, spoke of her second time traveling with this group. As part of the International Computing Experience course (CSCI 490), students engage in classroom lectures and labs while exploring Germany and its culture in their free-time. The course will focus on knowledge mining, or how knowledge can be extracted from large amounts of data, allowing predictions on customer behavior and product improvement.
UW-Parkside Professor Jesus Quevedo will teach Knowledge Discovery, while Professor F. Klawonn of Ostafalia University will teach the Data Mining course.
Miles describes the Ostafalia faculty as welcoming and willing to help in any way they could. "The professors there have been here a few times, allowing them to adapt to our culture," she says.
A noteworthy stop to Duke August Library in Wolfenbuettel gives students a unique opportunity to see one of the best collections of 16th century books in the world. Also, visits to the metropolitan city of Hamburg will provide students with a tour of the Airbus factory, a leading aircraft manufacturer.
The Berlin Wall and the Harz Mountains in Braunschweig, home of some of the most famous fairy tales, provide travelers with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Past travelers also mentioned the Volkswagen auto plant as one of the most interesting visits of the trip.
The trip not only acclimates travelers to Germany, but to the many cultures of other study abroad students. Miles specifically remembers working on a project with a group of students from five different continents.
As part of the culture and language learning, UW-Parkside Professor Siegfried Christoph, a Berlin native, teaches German language, history, and culture. Stuart Hansen, associate professor of Computer Science, has also traveled with this group before.
"I hope it's a good growing experience for them to appreciate cultures and hopefully learn some good computer science along the way," Miles says.
She encourages students to take part in study abroad opportunities as a way to explore cultural differences. Scholarships are available.
Miles' advice to future travelers? "You just have to go with an open mind and take the experience all in. It's not easy, but it's worth every minute."
Students interested in attending must pick up a study abroad application at the Center for International Studies (CIS) in room L210 of Greenquist Hall and pre-approval credits to transfer to your major or minor. The CIS office will also check eligibility and help students apply for study abroad financial aid. International Education Program Associate Director Consuelo Clemens can be reached at 262-595-2701 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information