What has it been like to study abroad in corona times? The winter quarter and the spring break are over, I have scored “very good” in my exams and the spring quarter has just started. Fortunately, I was allowed to fly back home during the winter break to visit my family – thanks to quarantine and a corona test. I really enjoyed my two-week stay in Germany, but I was also looking forward to return to Davis in January.
The winter quarter was very interesting because I have learned a lot about wine stability and vine physiology. I attend many lectures and discussed these topics with my friends outside the classroom. Additionally, I could share my knowledge in the subject of pruning because the only system most of my fellow students were familiar with was the horizontal cordon. I gave a presentation on pruning techniques in our family-owned winery and I think many students would like to do an internship in Germany now!
Unfortunately, the corona situation has not changed so that all teaching is done digitally. However, the university offers Covid-19 rapid tests free of charge, which are mandatory for me on a weekly basis because I continue to work in the university's winery. As I have an in-person job in agriculture, I am also entitled to get vaccinated in the United States: I received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine in March, the second will follow shortly.
Although unfortunately my year abroad is different than usual because of the pandemic, I have decided to make the most of it and do all that is allowed in the situation – in strict compliance with all applicable regulations of course, such as regular tests, wearing a mouth-and-nose covering and social distance! For example, I meet a few friends once a week to taste different wines, and we took a day trip to Nappa together. I also went skiing at Lake Tahoe and spent a day in San Francisco and a weekend in Denver where I witnessed the biggest snow storm since 1885. During the spring break, I went to Hawaii, which was an absolute highlight because I would never fly to Hawaii from Germany. We saw an active volcano, visited a pineapple plantation, took a swim with sea turtles and so much more. I am very grateful and happy to be able to gather so many great experiences despite these challenging times and I am well aware that I owe this privilege to the Flossfeder scholarship. Therefore, I strongly advice all viticulture and enology as well as beverage technology students to apply for the scholarship if they meet the requirements!
Spending one year abroad studying at a top university in one of the most famous winegrowing regions in the world – for students at Hochschule Geisenheim University this dream can come true with the Flossfeder scholarship. You can spend one academic year at the University of California, Davis, which ranks sixth among the “Best Global Universities for Agricultural Sciences”. In addition to the very high tuition fees in the US, the scholarship also covers living expenses and pays for specialist books and your flights. For the scholarship in the academic year 2022/23, please submit your application by August 01, 2021.
Further information: https://www.hs-geisenheim.de/flossfeder-stipendium/