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MUDEC Méinden Spring 2020 #15
MUDEC Méinden Spring 2020 #15
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Spring 2020 #15- Remoteness Edition

 May 4, 2020

Europe Day

Europe Flag
This coming Saturday, May 9, is Europe Day, which celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration.' At a speech in Paris in 1950, Luxembourg-born Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe's nations unthinkable.

His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman's proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.
The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was governed by a series of different entities, among which was the High Authority, which would over time evolve to become the European Commission. The High Authority was located in Luxembourg, in a building which is now part of the BCEE, the Luxembourg State Savings Bank.

Last year, Luxembourg became the first country in Europe to declare Europe Day a public holiday.

ECSC Plaque BCEE Building, where the High Authority was located
  • Luxembourg Digital Innovation (LDI) Internship Profile- Thu Throng
  • MUDEC Profs in Action
    • MUDEC US Embassy Internship Profiles- Alex Perez and Michael Barr
    • Service Learning Experience- Briana Cowman
    • Thank You, Luxembourg Chapter 6-Making Luxembourg Home
    • Luxembourg from the air

    Luxembourg Digital Innovation Profile:

    Meet Thu Truong

    Thu Throng

    Miami sophomore Thu Truong majors in Interactive Media Studies and minors in 2D Fine Art. Throng is from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
    1. Tell us a little bit about your internship in Luxembourg: where you interned, the location of your internship, what you did when you were there. Have you been able to continue your internship since you left Luxembourg?
    I got accepted to Talkwalker as a Graphic Design Intern. Talkwalker is a social listening and analytics company based in Lux City. I helped the team with marketing campaign materials, blog headers, and social media visual. My contract ended as I returned to my home country when the pandemic happened, but I still keep in touch with my team via LinkedIn.

    2. There are two other destinations with the Digital Innovation program: Cincinnati, Ohio and Silicon Valley in California. Why did you want to join the new Digital Innovation program in Luxembourg (LDI)?  

    I heard about the Digital Innovation program when I was desperately seeking a summer internship, so I signed up for it. It was not that difficult to choose the place since I just simply wanted to escape the U.S. zone, so heading to Europe was obviously an answer for me. Beside that, as people usually say “save the best for last," I intended to save my experience in Silicon Valley for my last semester.

    3. How did you come to the decision of doing an internship over simply just studying abroad?

    Studying abroad means enjoying the non-U.S. zone, so I just made that I included it in my internship plan to both gain more experience and widen my view.

    4. What have you gotten out of your experience? What has been your favorite part?

    The best parts were walking in the city and driving along the Moselle river. Lux City reminded me of my home city a lot, which never could be found in the U.S., and the Moselle river was surprisingly nice with vineyards on one side and Germany on the other. Such scenery made me reminisce about the book “South of the Border, West of the Sun” by Haruki Murakami.

    5. What did you learn in your internship?
    The internship, to me, was like an introduction to a real-life working environment, so I did learn a lot about responsibilities, communications, and so on. The culture was not much different from Vietnamese, so it didn’t take much time for me to adapt.

    6. What is a fun fact that most people don't know about you? 

    I put sugar into most of my food. It freaked me out when I first couldn’t find any sugar at my host’s house until I discovered they used sugar cubes.

    MUDEC Profs in Action

    Management professors Anthony Smith-Meyer and Michael Schweiger have gotten creative during the lockdown and have turned their podcast into a Videocast!

    Semester 2 Episode: 10 Ethics in Crisis

    MUDEC Internship Profiles:

    Alex Perez and Michael Barr at the US Embassy

    Alex Perez
    Michael Barr
    MUDEC has built a close relationship with the U.S. Embassy over the years and was very fortunate when the Embassy offered internships to two MUDEC students this semester: Alex Perez, a junior majoring in Diplomacy and Global Politics with a minor in Criminology and first-year student Michael Barr, who is majoring in Diplomacy and Global Politics, and Quantitative Economics. Perez grew up in New Jersey, but now lives in North Carolina, while Barr's sweet home is Alabama.

    1. Tell us a little bit about your internships at the U.S. Embassy and how they have changed since you returned to the United States.
    Alex: I interned with the Public Affairs Section. Weekly, I commuted from Differdange, where I lived with my host family, into Luxembourg City where the Embassy is located. While I was there, I provided editorial assistance to the FEST (Festival of English-Language School Theatre) briefing memo, reviewed a cable on the Battle of the Bulge and completed photography for MSG, Sergeant Tellez. Since I have been back, I evidently no longer have that access to the Embassy’s system or photograph equipment, yet the team and I have been able to easily communicate and organize projects via email.
    Michael: While I was at the Embassy, I started updating sections of the Embassy's website. I had intended on revamping the Embassy's social media, but that's since become harder. I now do more research-based projects like researching the history and precedent for a direct flight between Luxembourg and the U.S..

    2. Why did you want to intern with the Embassy?
    Alex: I wanted to intern with the U.S. Embassy to learn how the Embassy tailors messaging to local audiences to accomplish its goals. While I lived in Luxembourg, I was introduced to the culture of Luxembourg but I wanted to be a part of the Embassy to get a more in-depth experience in the local American business in Luxembourg while taking away professionalism and the different roles within the departments. In the end, I hope to further link values between the United States and Luxembourg through my completion of projects.
    Michael: I have a deep interest in government and particularly international relations. The Embassy was the perfect place to develop those interests. 

    3. Why did you want to intern while abroad?
    Alex: Every work environment is different. I wanted to intern while abroad because I felt I would be able to learn how an international organization works and advance in professional skills while linking the projects completed to my overall abroad experience.
    Michael: I wanted to make sure that my time abroad was not just a fun international vacation, but rather a time and place to pursue unique experiences related to my studies and career goals. 

    4. What are you most excited about in your internship?
    Alex: I am most excited for experiencing and adapting in a new work environment, taking on challenging projects (now virtually) and meeting new professionals. I have been working on projects and researching new topics that I would not regularly do so I am learning a lot about Luxembourg culture and events that are hosted in doing so.
    Michael: I am excited to learn more about other countries and their relationships with Luxembourg and the U.S.

    5. Why did you choose to study abroad with MUDEC and what are you looking forward to now that you are back in the U.S.?
    Alex: I chose to study abroad with MUDEC because I have never been to Luxembourg before, wanted to see what it was like living with a host family and found the location perfect for traveling to other local countries. Now that I am back in the U.S., I am looking forward to further building my relationship with the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy as I have been working with them throughout the semester, although we are no longer face to face.
    Michael: MUDEC was the best way for me to see the world and immerse myself deep within other cultures. I'm now looking forward to the Coronavirus being over so that people can stop dying, our health workers can have a break, and our governments can finally overhaul our broken systems so that this doesn't happen again. 

    6. What is a fun fact that most people don't know about you? 
    Alex: Throughout my high school career, I competed internationally for synchronized ice skating competitions but have never made my way to Luxembourg until this year with MUDEC.
    Michael: A little known fact about me is that I met MrBeast in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Service Learning:

    Briana Cowman at a Differdange Day-care Center

    A key part of the Beyond the Château experience available to MUDEC students is Service Learning, which is a specific type of volunteering based on the idea that engagement in the community must be tied to a formal, in-class learning experience. This week, we talked to Briana Cowman, a sophomore Psychology major and Political Science minor from Cleveland, Ohio, who volunteered at a local day-care center near the Château while she was in Luxembourg.

    1. How long did you volunteer and what did you do while you were there?
    I was only able to volunteer a couple of times due to all of us being sent home due to COVID-19, but it was so much fun and I loved the time I spent volunteering there, even if it was for such a short time. I volunteered with the Differdange Day-care Center and would play with the kids after school, playing games with them, or doing arts and crafts. I volunteered there on Tuesdays, once a week for two hours, but I usually ended up staying longer because it was fun!
    2. Was there a goal for volunteering at the day-care center? Did you learn anything new?
    The goal I had for volunteering with the day-care center was to get to know more of the people in the community of Differdange and learn a little more about the education system.
    3. Why did you choose to volunteer with the day-care center?
    I chose to volunteer at the day-care center because I love working with kids! I've worked at a summer camp for four years so I'm well experienced and I think that kids offer a unique perspective on life.
    4. What was your favorite part about volunteering with the day-care and why?
    My favorite part about volunteering at the day-care center was that everyone was so welcoming - both the teachers and students alike. Even though there was a bit of a language barrier, everyone that I interacted with was nothing but helpful and friendly.  I also enjoyed talking with the kids about their favorite school subjects and their favorite things to do. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I am sad that it was cut short, but am happy to have been able to volunteer when I did! 

    Below is a picture of what the kids made me when we were working on arts and crafts -- their hearts are so big and pure! I made them drawings and they did the same for me.
    Artwork giving by kids to Brian Cowman

    Thank You, Luxembourg-Chapter 6:

    Making Luxembourg Home

    Over the past weeks we have been serializing excerpts from each chapter of the Thank You, Luxembourg 50th Anniversary Book. Today marks the last chapter.
    Liz Prost, Jaquot Pfeiffenschneider, Maisy Dumont, Anne Steinmetz, and Maga Erpelding
    Maisy Dumont (in the middle) with former Housing Coordinators Liz Prost and Jaquot Pfeiffenschneider, on the left and Anne Steinmetz and Maga Erpelding on the right
    "MUDEC’s housing coordinators are part of the lifeblood of the program, and without them, it would not be half as successful. The coordinators are responsible for maintaining good relations with all of the host families, as well as placing students with host families. They often visit the families to maintain personal contact and interview new families. Many of these visits are done after office hours when working families are at home. The dedication and commitment to their job are what make our coordinators so special."

    “I am sure you will join me in saluting these fine Housing Coordinators and thank them most sincerely for their wonderful work, their unending patience, their devotion to MUDEC and Miami students, their sensitive approach to host families and students alike, and their friendships with all of us.” —Maisy Dumont

    “All students who have been in the Luxembourg program remember where they lived, for that was one of its most important and innovative aspects. They not only studied in Luxembourg; they lived in Luxembourg, in the houses and with the families who had volunteered to take in these ‘strange’ American students. For 50 years the experiment has gone on, successfully, with over seventy families each term, putting up over one hundred students. If the Americans were there to experience a different culture and different ways from their own, Luxembourgers also find out about such things as long showers, the GPA, and green beer. Both the students and their hosts shared and learned, usually with good cheer and sometimes with great affection... Not only Lux-Families visit their students, but so many parents after getting all the travelling reports from their children also take the opportunity and the pleasure to come and visit MUDEC and Luxembourg, so they can understand the saying ‘You will never be the same.’” —Maga Erpelding (edited)
    Albert Moris
    Host Father Albert Moris (1989)
    Poem written to Albert by MUDEC student Chris Schoeny and friends in 1989. This was recently discovered and is not part of the book.
    Travel Section Banner
    Aerial view of Luxembourg City
    With no travel going on at the moment, we hope you enjoy this aerial view of Luxembourg City taken from a plane back in the days when we could take planes.
    Odds and Ends
    Birthdays This Week 
    Have a Corona-tastic birthday! Wishing you all a healthy year ahead!
    Julia Kessel (Monday May 4)
    Jenna Marron (Monday May 4)
    Jenna Marron
    Jenna Marron
    This Week's Schedule

    Monday-Thursday: Online Classes
    Friday: No classes
    Saturday: Europe Day

    Château & Administrative Hours
    Aerial view of the Château de Differdange, where Miami's Luxembourg campus, the John E. Dolibois European Center, often abbreviated to MUDEC, is located

    Administrative Hours

    Monday-Friday: 8:00-12:00

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