Hello from Metz! We all arrived on Monday after a long journey from all over the world. This year, I am excited to have the honor of serving as the program assistant before heading off to graduate school in the fall. We a diverse group of 20 students, and of course, Dr. Birchfield will be with us for the whole 10 weeks. Dr. Markley will join us for a few weeks to teach the human rights courses and Dr. Young will give us some lectures next week. Head over to the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies website and click the EU Study Abroad tab to find the latest itinerary for our learning adventure. As an overview, we’re in Metz (at Georgia Tech Lorraine) until early June before heading to Brussels. Afterwards, we’ll visit The Hague, Paris and Berlin.

After arriving yesterday, we each settled into our individual rooms before heading over to the GTL welcome party. Here is a picture of the group for this summer taken with the program’s GoPro camera which we will use to log our summer activities.

The Group

After meeting some of the over 250 students participating in the GTL study abroad program, Dr. Birchfield treated us to pizza. We all got to know each other, and I’m really excited to work with such a great group of students.

On Tuesday, we started off by attending the GTL Orientation where we heard about important issues such as the honor code, computer and security procedures. We also participated in a tour of the campus and enjoyed lunch in the CROUS cafeteria. Most students thought that the food was really good!

After lunch, we had an introduction lecture where Dr. Birchfield gave us an overview of the summer program. We then headed into Metz and took our first trip on Metz Public Transportation to Place de la Republique. From there, we walked over to the Place d’Armes and got to see the famous cathedral up close. At the Place d’Armes, we ran into the Mayor of Metz, Dominique Gros and Dr. Birchfield introduced him to us.

The Mayor of Metz, Dominique Gros

The Group with the Mayor of Metz

You’ll notice that it looks like we are on a train. That’s the train touristique!! We started at the Place d’Armes and headed to the Place de la Comédie. Along the way, we saw the cathedral and the marché couvert (covered market). We then headed to the Tour Belle Isle, the Arsenal, and the Tour Camouffle. We also saw the old train station, Place Saint Louis and the Haut de St Croix. During the tour, we learned about Metz’s key role in the region throughout the years. Metz is currently the capital of the Lorraine region and the Moselle department in France. Before this, Metz went through 3 wars in less than 100 years (the Franco-Prussian War, WW1 and WW2). Metz was also an important Roman city, the birthplace of the Carolingian dynasty (Charles Martel and Charlemagne). Metz’s history shaped the region and we will be studying most of this. I’m excited for this summer and look forward to the rest of the blog posts. I’ll be back at the end to write a summary! A bientot!