2014 International Summer University
By: Kevin Majowski
This past May, eight UW-Parkside students had the opportunity to be part of a two week summer course. They traveled to Wolfenbuttel Germany for the 2014 International Summer University held at Ostfalia University.
These students, along with 16 others from Ostfalia, spent the last two weeks of May taking a biosystems modeling course. This class consisted of theory, computer programming, field data collection, and laboratory analysis applied to a man-made lake. They split up into six teams containing a mixture of cultural and academic backgrounds.
Ozan Kalan, a computer science major at Parkside, thought it was an invaluable opportunity to experience team dynamics with people from all sorts of backgrounds. He said that communicating with students from different cultural and academic backgrounds was challenging but beneficial and helped prepare him for life after college.
Cultural excursions were integrated into the course to help strengthen team bonds. They had the opportunity to tour the Volkswagen and Airbus factories. The German students were excellent hosts showing the American students a variety of historic sites, shopping venues, and nightlife entertainment.
In August the German students visited Parkside to continue their studies. Here they began developing an app to help predict when blue green algae blooms are likely to occur in lakes and ponds.
Students agree the International Summer University was a unique experience that provided them with a great opportunity to work together and network with professors and students from all over the world.