International University of Bremen (Germany)

Postcard dated: 27 February 2007

[Postcard/Picture]

On the reverse of the postcard...

Greetings from IUB, now Jacobs University Bremen!

I'm here studying with just over 1,000 students from 85 different countries. There are 21 Lafayette-IUB exchange students, and 2 from Rice (in Texas). We are part of an exchange program that includes learning about German politics and culture, travelling in the area, and gaining an exposure to fields and views outside the US norm.

The campus is situated on what used to be a military base, which means three things:

  1. Security is great,
  2. Architecture is efficient, boring, and red-brick rectangles everywhere you look, and
  3. the dorm walls are quite thick (effectively blocking noise).
  4. The conversion from a military base to an international university also really says something about peace-building. The image of turning weapons into plowshares is not just a myth here but rather SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). Barracks become dorms, drill grounds become soccer fields, tank garages become labs, communications towers broadcast campus radio, and public transportation nearby becomes a good way to get places. This land is now growing cross-cultural connections; preparing for the prevention of war and not the beginning of battle. What a great way to start off this trip, given its goals and plans!

    Grace and peace,

    Ben

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