Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Week 1

August 3, 2012

It's hard to believe our group arrived in Konstanz almost a week ago! There are 8 of us from Rutgers and one German student from the University of Konstanz who is studying with us.

This whole week we have had lectures in the morning, hands on work in the afternoons, and have been planning research projects in between. We're working in groups of 3 on different projects, along with a professor and grad student from the university. My group has decided to study the mixotrophic population in Lake Konstanz. We're using water bottles  to create 12 samples of lake water to test how algae growth response to different nutrients. There's a lot of lab work ahead of us but I think it's going to be an exciting project!

So far the program has been so great- the professors are amazing and the lake is a beautiful place to eat lunch and swim. One thing most exciting about being in a new country is trying out new food! I love to cook and bake at home so I am really excited to try some new things while I'm here. Of course we all have all bought some groceries to keep in the dorm- mostly nutella and haribo. We've also had the opportunity to try some traditional German cuisine that I've really enjoyed!

The first day here I had a delicious soft pretzel with my dinner! They are a specialty of southern Germany and the perfect snack with a little mustard.

I tried kasespazle on Sunday night. It is a mix of spatzle mixed with grated cheese and fried onions. Spatzle is another regional dish- it is a type of homemade egg noodle with a soft texture. It was my favorite thing I've had so far! It was salty, chewy, and really delicious- kind of like a German man 'n cheese (but way better than Kraft.)

I also tried wiener schnitzel when we had a welcome dinner with the entire program on Tuesday night. Everyone you ask in Germany doesn't seem to know what type of meat it is, but it's definitely breaded and fried and served with plenty of french fries.

Hopefully I'll have plenty more culinary adventures to share within the next two weeks!

- Alyssa DeVincentis

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