Yesterday, I was invited to an event hosted by the Heidelberg Alumni U.S (HAUS). This organization is for alumni of the university that live or has lived in the U.S. This was a good chance to network with people but also meet other Americans who have affiliations with the university. They have branches in New York, Louisiana, California, Massachusetts, Washington DC, and more.
When I first got there, everyone was speaking German…I thought I was in the wrong place to say the least. I was with a friend and we slowly started to mingle with people in English. I met some interesting characters. The very first person we spoke to approached us and said, “You two look so young and handsome! I have to get a picture.” Once she took our picture she started talking to us about her life in Heidelberg 40 years ago. She visited in the 70’s, met her husband, and hasn’t been back to Germany until five years ago. It was cool to hear how she explained the way the city has changed. There were only a few stores on the main street but now it’s filled with them. She also told us how she stayed 10 months past here visa expiration and almost got in trouble for it. If we tried doing that today we would get deported immediately.
I also met some students from all walks of life. One girl from Boston is doing her P.h.D in Berlin on German literature to film adaptations. Another group of students were here for the semester from New York to Massachusetts to North Carolina.
I got a chance to talk with Dr. Adam Seipp, who was one of the speakers from our colloquium the night before, at this event. He asked where I was from and I said North Carolina. He asked where in NC and I said Elizabeth City. He knew were that was because his wife is from Greenville and HE STUDIED AT UNC!!! SMALL WORLD! We had a good bonding moment over the best University, but it gets better. He asked what I studied and I answered History and Italian. Since he’s a historian he asked what professors I liked or had. I mentioned that I loved Matt Andrews’ class (he was actually one of the reasons why I started to love history). Come to find out, he and Andrews went to school together as well! Ahhh!
I had a really good time at this event. It was great to meet new people and hear their stories about their time here in Heidelberg. One guy has been here for 50 years! Anyway, that’s all for now. Peace!