Every month IScO organises a “Stammtisch” (regulars’ table) which weather permitting takes the form of a BBQ and every two months an excursion. This is a brilliant opportunity to meet other international researchers, postdocs, PhD students and scholarship holders from all over the world in a relaxed ambiance. You could also ask your partners, friends and colleagues to accompany you. Everybody is welcome. Exchange information, make new friends and have fun!
If you are interested in receiving information about the date of our next Stammtisch and excursions, please send us an email to visitingresearcher∂intl.kit.edu.
You will then also be informed about other events that are organized by IScO.
Impressions of past excursions
IScO's excursion to Baden-Baden on 25th March 2017
On March 25th 2017 the International Scholars and Welcome office organized an excursion with a guided tour to the city of Baden-Baden. Baden-Baden is a very elegant Spa town South of Karlsruhe. Its baths were used as long back as Roman times and even today its baths are very popular. What really made it the place to be seen for High Society as long back as the Belle Époque is its Casino dating back to the 1830s (established by a Frenchman) and decorated in a lavish style reminiscent of the Court of Louis XVI. Together with museums and theaters this allure drew kings, emperors, czars and intellectuals and authors like Tolstoi. At the end of summer horse races take place on a track not far away in the town of Iffezheim.
We joined in a guided tour, which highlighted all these sights, the town with its long tradition as a travel destination for High Society, according to her Baden-Baden is regarded by many French as French in character; whereas many Russians see Russian characteristics embodied in it. After a tour of the most impressive Casino our stroll took us through the old part of Baden-Baden. The city was lucky to escape systematic bombing in WW 2, as early on it was selected as the seat of the military government of the French occupied zone. Being a native of Baden-Baden, our guide could vouch that although the French troops came as occupiers to some, they certainly left as friends a few years ago.
After our most entertaining and informative tour we further explored Baden-Baden, or went for a lunch in one of the many restaurants settled in the old town in smaller groups.
IScO's excursion to Freiburg on 21th Mai 2016
In the morning of May 21st, 2016 a group of international scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology met at the main station. Our destination was the beautiful city of Freiburg. The weather was perfect, blue sky and a lot of sun. By using the “Baden-Württemberg-Ticket” (a special deal offered by the transportation authority “DB”) we first took the regional train to Offenburg and then continued our journey to Freiburg im Breisgau.
After an about 5 minute walk crossing the train rails via a bridge, we met with our nice tour guide from “Freiburg AKTIV” in front of Freiburg’s bike station. Over the course of the next 1.5 hours we were given an overview of many interesting places and facts in and surrounding Freiburg. The tour was focused on cult and culture of the modern Freiburg.
Freiburg is a town situated in between the Black Forest and the Rhine valley. It is therefore considered the capital of the Black Forest region. It was founded by Konrad and Duke Berthold III of Zähring in 1120 AD. Because of its nice location close to the border of France and Switzerland as well as the relatively warm and sunny climate, Freiburg became vacation residence of many wealthy people in ancient times. Nowadays Freiburg is a popular student city with an innovative and creative lifestyle. It is considered one of the cities with the most bicycle traffic in Germany. Renewable energy is very important for the city, while using solar energy and innovative housing forms. Furthermore public gardens for farming are situated next to the recently built and modern university library.
Not only the rather new and student areas of Freiburg have a lot to offer. The rebuilt medieval down town of Freiburg is very charming. We were welcomed by many little alleys covered with arches of flower blossoms. A quarter known as the old town’s island is full of life and traditional restaurants. In the city center the well-known “Münster”, a cathedral and the last stop of our tour, is situated. After the tour we thanked our guide and the group split up for a couple of hours. Some people climbed the tower of the cathedral to enjoy the beautiful view over the old town. Others took their time to enjoy a longer lunch or hiked to the castle hill.
At 3:30 p.m. the group met in front of “Café Schmidt”. The black forest and therefore also Freiburg are very famous for the traditional “Black Forest cake”. Hence we did not miss the opportunity to enjoy a homemade piece of this German tradition in the small pastry shop in the middle of the city center.
With new energy the group decided to explore Freiburg a little more. Taking advantage of the good weather we visited the castle hill and went for an about 1 hour hike. Others walked around Freiburg. At 6 p.m. the group gathered at Freiburg main station and took the train back to Karlsruhe.
IScO's excursion to Speyer on June 4th 2016
Excursion to Speyer - world heritage cathedral and home to a space shuttle
On June 4th undaunted by a few brief showers in the morning we set off from Karlsruhe’s main station.
To Speyer! It is the only town which can boast a cathedral nearly 1.000 years old and is home to a space shuttle.
After meeting our very knowledgeable and friendly tour guide we enjoyed the many impressive historical sights of the old town of Speyer. Beginning with an overview from the “Altpörtel”, the last remaining gate tower of the town walls, the view from a climb of 155 steps was certainly worth the effort. Despite having been severely damaged in the late 17th century the medieval layout of the town was kept when rebuilding took place.
As to this day the seat of a bishopric Speyer has more than its fair share of churches, not just catholic but of various denominations, including a strong Jewish tradition. The ruined remains of a synagogue and house of prayer for the women illustrate the turbulent history of Jewish life in the German lands, from periods of tolerance to persecutions up to the unspeakable crimes of the 20th century. A traditional Jewish bath house for ritual cleaning e.g. before weddings or after child birth survived fairly intact as it was underground and out of sight of hostile eyes.
We ended our tour in front of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the “Kaiserdom”, the largest cathedral in the Romanesque style worldwide.
After having lunch together next to the idyllic Rhine bank, many of us used the opportunity to visit the “Technik Museum”, home of a number of exhibits, from a Soviet Buran space shuttle to numerous aircraft, a submarine you can walk through and an IMAX film theater.
Returning after a day full of impressions, most would agree that Speyer is well worth a trip!
IScO’s Family excursion to the Black Forrest on 22nd October 2016
On 22nd October at 9:45 we started our journey to the Black Forrest Open Air Museum near Guttach by train. During our ride we had the possibility to get some first views of the panorama of the Black Forrest.
The Black Forest Open Air Museum is a forum for the entire Black Forest region. It carries out research projects and explores the cultural heritage and development of all rural areas in the Black Forest region. In this way, the Open Air Museum contributes to the promotion and preservation of the region's cultural identity.
During our tour thru the different farmyards our well informed guide took us to the darker centuries of the inhabitants of the Black Forrest. We got to know the behaviors and the rituals of the people as well as typical clothing, tools and architecture of those times. After our last stop at a full functional water mill we split up in groups and explored the museum by our own.
Some of us also visited the Taboggan Park and the Park for all Senses. Looking back it’s nearly unbelievable to think about the circumstances some people lived not even 100 years ago.
IScO's excursion to the Mercedes Benz museum on 18th February 2017
On February 18th, 2017 IScO’s excursion went to the Mercedes-Benz Museum – a veritable treasure chest for anyone interested in cars or vehicles. Like every time our excursion started at Saturday morning at the Karlsruhe main station to travel by public transportation together to Stuttgart.
During our guided tour through the Mercedes Museum, our guide showed us the exhibits ranged from the very earliest motorized vehicles to the latest models, from humble taxis, trucks and other utility vehicles to the “wheels” of the rich and famous. Mr. Benz a KIT alumni by the way and Mr. Daimler, the two fathers of the first combustion-engine propelled cars, both hailing from our fair federal state of Baden-Württemberg, were actually competitors in the beginning and only economic pressures forced them to merge their respective companies in the 1920s. Did you know that the three-pointed star of the Mercedes brand symbolizes movement on land, water and in the air?
After the tour all participants had enough time to explore the museum with all the sights on their own.