There and Back Again: My final days in Berlin

It’s always hard to say goodbye.  Or in this case, “Auf Wiedersehen!”

We were on the final leg of our trip in Germany, and while there already were a lifetime of memories from our two weeks together, no one from our TOP 6 group was quite ready to be finished yet. Continue reading


Sachsenhausen: Inside the German Factory of Death

On our second-to-last day in Berlin, our TOP 6 group finally visited the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.  Earlier in the trip, Wood, our group leader, confided that he did not always offer this option to the TOP educational tours because it focuses so heavily on Germany’s painful past, rather than their present experience.  However our group voted to go because we thought it was impossible to fully understand Germany’s culture today without witnessing this dark chapter of their history.

This was the day that I thought about and dreaded the most since the trip began.  It wasn’t easy to go to a place dealing with such a tragic, disturbing subject, but I had to go to Sachsenhausen in order to try and comprehend how this could ever happen, and to truly feel the experience through the perspective of the victims.   Continue reading

Breaking the Silence: Understanding the TTIP Agreement between the US and Europe

What if I told you that there are secret discussions currently going on between the European Union and the United States that had the power to significantly alter the way we do business?  Though it may sound like something out a spy novel, these talks are happening as we speak, and they have the potential to impact our lives in a major way.  Over this past summer on my tour with the Transatlantic Outreach Program in Germany, I had the opportunity to visit with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation to discuss current issues regarding the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership, or TTIP for short. Continue reading

Human Rights Without Borders: A Look Inside the German Refugee Crisis

The Refugee Crisis

Germany is the second most popular migration destination in the world today.  As a nation with a very low birthrate, the country has been on the forefront of proactive immigration policy over the past 20 years in order to keep their labor force strong.  Coupled with a booming economy and high quality social and educational programs, Germany is a very attractive spot for many people looking to leave their homes for better opportunities.  Unfortunately, while skilled workers are viewed as valuable and necessary components of German society, there is a growing fear about the current wave of refugees entering the nation. Continue reading