by Katja Blöchlinger
Sunday was the day for everyone who loves to dress up formally and to show off their favorite outfits: the dress code for the IstKon Student Exchange is traditionally interpreted as a mixture of “fancy pancy” and “formal western business attire”. We celebrated the official start of our exchange in the rooms of the Archäologische Landesmuseum of Baden-Württemberg. Our honorable guest speakers included the vice mayor of Konstanz, Dr. Andreas Osner, who also welcomed the participants to his city and talked about the significance of Konstanz and the youth to bring life to the place. Additionally, the vice rector of the University of Konstanz, Prof. Dr. Malte Drescher, held a speech about how impressive it is to him that the IstKon team manages to binationally organize a multiple day event. He was echoed by the representative of the Marmara University, Dr. Zuhal Mert Uzuner, who thanked all of the students who contribute to the project by investing their times, hearts and souls. Since the project is always supported by the Department of Politics and Public Administration of the University of Konstanz, its representative, Werner Palz, also spoke to us and expressed his admiration for the IstKon Student Exchange.
Then the Combined Core Team of the Konstanz and Istanbul team introduced themselves to the participants and some parts of the programs were presented. As a surprise, the Konstanz Core Team prepared a music video showing one of the Core Team members driving a Bobby car through Konstanz to some famous sights with a German-Turkish rap song in the background. Mercedes by Eno (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnHv0ne0xjY) emerged as the unofficial hymn of IstKon 2019.
A challenging city tour and German Food Culture
After the official welcoming, a brunch buffet was already waiting for the participants. This recharging of the batteries was dearly needed, as the interactive city tour in the afternoon was more than just sightseeing but more of a path full of challenges. The participants strolled through the town in groups, doing some teambuilding exercises at different stations and photo challenges. One of those was to take one with a fountain – some of the participants saw this as an invitation to take a dip in the cold water, although it was rather cold that day. Props to them!
This again called for a nice meal, which we had at the Constanzer Wirtshaus located directly at the Seerhein, the river flowing through Konstanz. The talking, mingling and eating then really started, as the participants were enjoying a typical German dish, either Badische Kässpätze, Knödel, or Chicken with capsicum-cream sauce and Spätzle. Additionally, the German participants offered their knowledge on the tastiest beers and were more than happy to share their recommendations with the interested Istanbul students. And although not everyone would agree on the amount of salt food needs, this deep dive into the German food culture provided an excellent start to a great week.