Heidelberg Trip

People were captivated by the old city that Mark Twain described with such picturesque detail. The city he spoke about? Heidelberg, Germany! This year, two Reserve students traveled to Germany and participate in the Heidelberg Program. The program is an opportunity that allows students to study abroad with other students from around the world for one month. Allowing them to engage in specific concepts within science.

Elizabeth Wren ‘20 and Ilyana Smith ‘20 participated in the program, where they studied in fields of their choosing. Wren studied in the field of Biology and learned about stem cell differentiation; on the other hand, Smith studied in the field of Astronomy and learned about the shifts of stars and their usefulness. Each got to work with other students, including some graduate students, and mentors that helped them during the program.

The average day in Heidelberg started around eight in the morning. After waking up and grabbing breakfast, they would then head to their prospective buildings for their field of study. Wren would head to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory while Smith would go to Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. Once they arrived, they would chat with other students and mentors before working on their projects. After breaking for lunch, they would go back to work again. Afterwards, Wren and Smith would head back to the hotel and have dinner. After dinner, the students in the program usually would go downtown, get ice cream, hang out, and watch movies.

Wren and Smith encourage people to apply for the program, because it’s an awesome experience and an opportunity to grow. It’s also not only about science and work. A large part of it is based on scientific work, but it’s a study abroad trip! You get to explore the city! Wren added that the language barrier isn’t big saying that “I learned enough to buy something at the store and call for help, but that was the extent of it.”

Smith was inspired by Hanley Jeffris ‘19 to participate in program and Wren was inspired by that past students’ presentations. Both added that it was one of the best experiences they’ve had at Reserve. Who knows? It may become your most memorable event at Reserve!

– Angela Benzigar ’22

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