This summer, I participated in a pharmaceutical science research internship at the Max Planck Institute for Polymers in Mainz, Germany. Prior to conducting research studies, I attended a 2-week introductory German language course held in Munich, or “München”, where I was able to gain some German language fundamentals that helped me during the rest of my stay in Germany. I was housed with a local Frau who knew minimal English, allowing me to practice what I was learning in the course and to learn about German culture. Not to mention that there was no Internet where I was staying, so I had all the more reason to practice my language skills. In addition to learning German, I was able to explore Munich and the surrounding area. Munich was one of my favorite places in Germany, filled with museums, parks, amazing architecture, and city life. It was nice to start off my German experience in the capital of Bavaria, the most “culturally German” region of the country. At the end of two weeks, I knew that I was really familiar with Munich since I started recognizing all the buildings on various advertisements and posters throughout the city!
The bulk of my time in Germany was spent in Mainz. As some background, Mainz is the capital of the Rheinland-Pfalz Bundesland, a.k.a. the Rhineland-Palatinate German “state.” Rheinland-Pfalz has international borders with France, Luxembourg, and Belgium, even though it is one of the smaller German states. It possesses several rivers, mainly the Rhine River, as well some mountain chains such as the Taunus and Eifel mountains. Rheinland-Pfalz has the oldest cities of Germany, is the center for wine production and trade in the country, and is very picturesque. Not only are there rivers and mountains, but also there are many old “Schlösser” (palaces/castles). The combination of amazing scenery and history proved Mainz as a good spot for my stay in Germany. Click here for entire text.