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MUDEC Méinden Fall 2019 #7
MUDEC Méinden Fall 2019 #7
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Fall 2019 #7 | October 7, 2019

MUDEC at 50-One Year Later
MUDEC 50th celebration at the Bofferding Brewery
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the MUDEC 50th Anniversary celebrations. Has it really been an entire year? It seems like yesterday, but it also seems like an entire lifetime ago with all of the changes that have occurred since then.

A year ago the energy was palpable before the week even started. Well, it was actually palpable about 7 months before it started when so many MUDEC alumni flooded the registration site that registrations had to be stopped more than 3 months early, as an event planned for about 250 alumni became a 700-person extravaganza. MUDEC alumni are the Dawg Pound of Miami alumni!

The 50th was something that just never happens in life. Pick the best time in your life and go back 30 years later to the same place with exactly the same people and re-live what you loved most while experiencing new things in that place at the same time. And on top of that, watch about 700 other people doing exactly the same thing in parallel. It was magical. Oh, and Luxembourg weather played its part that week too by serving up low 70s and sun the whole week. No one expected that!

A year later, the glow still hasn’t worn off but it has been long enough to reflect on the meaning of the event. It was very much like a commencement, which signals the end of something very significant, but literally means the beginning of the next step. MUDEC finished its 50 years a year ago and began “the rest of its life”, and that is already shaping up to be an exciting one. Students come to MUDEC for a semester but they are part of MUDEC for life, which is why it's called #lifelongMUDEC.

Lifelong does mean continual renewal and development and MUDEC in Year 51 is doing exactly that. There have been/are three exciting new programs which have launched/are launching since the 50th:

     1. Together with the College of Education, Health and Society, MUDEC hosted the first Summer Camp with the Ecole Internationale de Differdange this past summer.

     2. For Spring 2020, alongside the regular study abroad program, we are launching a new full-semester internship program called the Luxembourg Digital Innovation Center. You can read more about it in the Silicon Luxembourg article Miami University Launches Luxembourg Digital Innovation Center. This is an exciting collaboration between Miami’s Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies (AIMS), the Institute for Entrepreneurship and MUDEC.

     3. During Spring Break 2020, Miami’s Center for Career Exploration & Success is bringing their Career Academy to MUDEC for the very first time.

These are exciting times as MUDEC moves full steam ahead into the next 50 years. We know how incredibly passionate MUDEC alumni are about Luxembourg itself, so we have a special announcement.

MUDEC has negotiated a contract with the Luxembourg Times, the English-language news service launched in November 2017, to give access to the site to MUDEC alumni! If you are a MUDEC alum, please contact your class captain for details on how to login.

We love keeping you up to date with what is happening in the #lifelongMUDEC world in the MUDEC Méinden, and now MUDEC alumni can keep up with what is happening in Luxembourg itself with the Lux Times. A great combination.
Class of 1988-89 at the MUDEC 50th Convocation
Waht's Up this week


  • First Impressions with Ryan Dye
  • College Fair Recap 
  • LUX 345 Class Field Trip Preview 
  • ART 188 Villa Vauban Trip Recap
  • Professors Corner 

  • SFC Spotlight- Calihan Clayton 
  • SFC Movie Night Recap  
  • Philharmonie Concert Recap 
  • MUDEC Mergers- David Braun and Erin Romp
  • Travel Photos  

MUDEC First Impressions with Ryan Dye 

Since being appointed Director of Education Abroad, last week was Ryan Dye’s first time visiting the Luxembourg program. After spending a week with the students and faculty of MUDEC, here are his first impressions:
Ryan Dye headshot wearing glasses and a blue button up
On Luxembourg: I think what has surprised me the most is just how interesting the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is. I’m really fascinated by this place and I wish I had more time to explore and learn about it. There is so much rich history and the fact that Lux City is so small that you can walk across the whole city in less than 30 minutes is fantastic. It’s quite a powerful place for being so small. I want to learn more about the culture!

On MUDEC: What’s interesting is that your impressions of Luxembourg and the city are mediated by these really fantastic and dynamic Luxembourg faculty that teach at MUDEC. This week students went to the Philharmonic Hall in the city to see a concert and they met their professor there. Later in the week I accompanied students to the Villa Vauban art museum with Claudine Bechet-Metz, who is a bundle of positive energy. To have your experience led by this Luxembourgish faculty makes the experience unique and powerful. I really appreciate the fact that MUDEC is able to connect students with these really interesting people. These folks are rockstars in all of their fields, and the fact that they’re teaching here is captivating. It’s really the connection between these people and this place that really makes the MUDEC magic. Students’ experience is enhanced not only by local faculty, who have rich roots in Luxembourgish culture, but also internships and community service! Back in Oxford, Ohio most of the learning takes place on campus, whereas here, most learning takes place beyond the chateau walls, whether it’s through discovery tours, field trips with a class, community service, internships, or independent studies and even their own independent travel! 

My impressions are positive. This is a really great program, and even after 50 years, it is growing and evolving with so much potential still. What a great thing!

Education USA Luxembourg College Night
MUDEC represented Miami University at the 2019 Luxembourg College Night this past Friday, where colleges from the US talked to prospective international students and their parents. Special thanks to current MUDECers Bridget Leneghan and Tayler Smith, as well as Luxembourg Miami alumni Mandy Roszak and Gwendoline Miranda for helping out. Oh, and there's that man again as US Ambassador Randy Evans stopped by the stand to say hi and to make his 3rd or 4th appearance in the MUDEC Méinden this semester!
US Ambassador Randy Evans with Ryan Dye, Andy Adams and MUDEC students Bridget Leneghan and Tayler Smith
Miami staff and students in front of Miami table at US College night
LUX 345 Field Trip Preview- Luxembourg City 
Emilie Haag wearing tie and glasses
This coming Friday, the LUX 345 class led by historian and professor Emilie Haag, are taking a field trip to various sites around Luxembourg to celebrate tradition and capitalize on concepts students are learning in class. There will be 3 places visited, all planned to give students a lesson on the importance of Luxembourg in history. Students will travel to The Court of Justice, where they will be guided by a Luxembourg judge and receive a presentation on the function of the court, then will travel to the Old Quarter to visit the Museum of the City of Luxembourg. This museum will give students an inside look into the origins of the city. Students will then end their trip with a bus ride to the eastern part of Luxembourg in Betzdorf, originally the residence of the Grand Duke heir. It has since been transformed into the center of the Société Européenne des Satellites (SES) Company, founded in the late 80s, which is now a cornerstone of the country’s economic development. Dr. Haag is excited for the visit and hopes his students enjoy taking a trip into Luxembourg's past, present, and future on this historical excursion.
ART 188 Villa Vauban Trip Recap 
This past week, the ART 188 class, accompanied by Director of Education Abroad, Ryan Dye, traveled to Luxembourg city for another excursion to the Villa Vauban art museum. Students were able to tour exhibitions of numerous contemporary art pieces, including a unique photography exhibit by renowned photographer Elina Brotherus. As spring courses are coming to a close, this was the perfect last field trip for art students.
Students being silly in Villa Vauban museum in costume
Professors Corner
Ryan Dye mentioned the fantastic local faculty at MUDEC above. Several MUDEC professors have been particularly active recently.
     - Economics Professor Carlo Klein recently published an article in Delano about European Fiscal Policy.
     - Architecture Professor Stephanie Law's original article about how Lighting Design Enhances Well-Being was published in the architecture magazine Wunnen.
     - Management Professors Anthony Smith-Meyer and Michael Schweiger record podcasts related to their weekly MGT 291 class at MUDEC. Here you can catch the most recent episode entitled Motivation and Incentivisation.

Student Faculty Council Spotlight- Callihan Clayton

Now that the SFC is in place, each member is excited to get started. Over the next few weeks each member of the council will be presenting their role and what they wish to accomplish with their time on SFC.
Calihan Clayton posing with luxembourg in backgroun
Moien! My name is Callihan Clayton and I am this semester’s SFC Secretary and Treasurer. My role is to help create each week’s meeting agenda, keep track of our budget, and serve as our Student Co-Chair Diego’s right-hand (wo)man! My favorite part of this position is having the opportunity to help plan fun events where we can all hangout together as a class--such as my personal favorite event, the Guac Off! I hope to help create an environment and experience that we will all look back on fondly for the rest of our lives, and I’m looking forward to what the rest of the semester holds for us.
SFC Events: Movie Night
Andy Evans and Sam Perovsek posing as stepbrothers
As the days in Luxembourg are getting rainy and cold, the students needed a “chill” night.  What better way to do that than to watch an amazing movie! This past Tuesday, October 1st, everyone gathered around the TV room in The Cave for the SFC Movie Night event and watched the hilarious film “Step Brothers” to end the day. As a favorite, students were quoting this film all the way through and some even mimicked the iconic “step brothers” pose like Sam Perovsek and Andy Evans. This movie had students laughing till they cried, and with lots of buttered popcorn and snacks, this event was a hit.
panorama of cave on movie night
Philharmonie Concert in Luxembourg City
This past Monday, students were given the opportunity to attend the 30th Anniversary Solistes Européens Luxembourg Concert at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg City. With the Grand Duke of Luxembourg in attendance, and accompanied by MUS 189 Professor Georges Backes and Director of Education Abroad Ryan Dye, students were able to enjoy an evening of music, composed mainly by Beethoven with arrangements of contemporary music throughout. Two students, Hannah Straub and Baylee Davis were given the privilege to hand out flowers and gifts to the conductors as well as soloists at the conclusion of the performance. What an amazing night!
Concert performers on stage Students handing out gifts to musicians
MUDEC Mergers-David Braun and Erin Romp
Today we kick off another new column with our first MUDEC Mergers story. Actually, that is not completely accurate since neither David nor Erin attended MUDEC. Due to the fact that they are living in Luxembourg, and due to the fact that David's company hosted a MUDEC intern this past summer, we decided to be flexibile for this first MUDEC Mergers column. Read on.
David and Erin In a dorm room at Miami David and Erin at Burg Eltz
"You're waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, But you can't know for sure. Yet it doesn't matter, because we'll be together."

If you boil us down to parts, Erin and I are two kids from Cleveland. She grew up a west-sider, and I’m from the east side of the tracks. As if shot from each side of the hadron collider, we came together in Tappan Hall during the first week of our freshman year and experienced Oxford together, sharing smoothies and stir-frys at Bell Tower dining hall, studying psychology at Benton and taking road trips with the club hockey team to East Lansing and South Bend. After we maxed out on weekend escapes to Newport and the mega-malls in Cincinnati, we decided to expand our horizons the summer after sophomore year. Our study abroad experience in Europe became the true inflection point for the life abroad that we now share together. 

We signed up for Miami’s summer program in Florence, Italy, where we spent six weeks studying art history, travel journalism and film while supplementing our classroom studies with weekend trips to neighboring countries with our all-encompassing Eurail train passes. Together, we honed our skills in adapting to new situations, overcoming language barriers and planning adventurous itineraries. Stride for stride, we spent unforgettable weekends hiking in the Swiss Alps, wandering the streets of Paris, imagining ourselves alive in ancient Rome and getting lost in the canals of Venice. When we returned to the States, our concept of “home” had transmuted from the familiar to the unknown.

We continued on our path of adventure and exploration together, skipping our Miami graduation ceremony for a road trip to Boston, where we’d eventually enroll together at Boston University for law school. While in Boston, we finally made it back to Europe, first on a spring break trip to London and Paris, then the following year on an overambitious itinerary along the western coast of Spain, and, once again, we skipped our graduation for a trip to Iceland and Budapest. We maintained travel and adventure as a priority, but we shifted our focus to building our professional lives. In a compromise of those two interests, we moved to San Francisco after school, where I worked as an Assistant District Attorney under Kamala Harris and Erin worked at a Silicon Valley law firm. After a few years, San Francisco’s luster wore off, so we migrated south to Los Angeles. Although the sunny beaches, rugged hiking, street food, and comedy scene tempted us to stay, we often talked about our time abroad and wondered how we could return to that lifestyle. But, it didn’t seem realistic with our increasingly adult responsibilities. 

About four years ago, we committed to our dream to live abroad before we fully settled down and started a family. We started our search by applying for jobs at US companies with offices in Europe, and, within a few months, we received an offer to relocate. We packed up our little cottage in Westwood, sold our jeep, and landed in Luxembourg near the MUDEC headquarters. Luxembourg is located smack-dab between France, Germany, and Belgium in the center of Europe. Invariably, every European destination you’d ever want to visit is within a two-hour flight. We’ve taken full advantage of Luxembourg’s central coordinates to explore our surroundings as travelers, not tourists. We’ve documented our experiences in photos and films, and we’ve created helpful, DIY travel guides in each place that we’ve visited to inspire others who are in search of adventure. From dog-sledding in the Swedish Lapland to crawling inside the Great Pyramid to overnight trekking through Northern Vietnam, the ethos of Far Out Expat has always been to live as if there was no tomorrow. Our blog and Youtube channel have been recognized amongst the top expat content for the past two years. When we look back on this journey together, we hope to tell a story of great distances, and starlight. 

Out of my entire Miami study abroad experience, the Travel Journalism course, taught by Dr. Mark Bernheim, has played a surprisingly impactful role on the trajectory of my life and career. The exercise of travel writing taught me to observe the relativity of social customs and beliefs. It taught me to remove the “right vs. wrong” dichotomy in the cultural differences I noticed between my old home and my new surroundings. I realized that culture is a consensus reality, and the more I traveled, the more I witnessed the infinite spectrum of lives one can lead on this planet. My initial introduction into travel journalism metamorphosed into my work now as the Associate Editor for The Outdoor Journal, an international adventure travel magazine. I collaborate with some of the most inspirational athletes and explorers on the planet to dissect the psychology of what it takes to push past fear and come out on the other side. 

Like the principal characters in Christopher Nolan’s film Inception, our life in Europe can feel at times like a dream that we’ve conjured up together. From our destination wedding on Mallorca to our weekend trips to Paris and Amsterdam, our study abroad program through Miami taught us that no matter where we are on the planet, we can feel at home because we are together.  

Bertrand Piccard, the first man to complete a non-stop balloon flight around the globe, said, “Adventure is a crisis that you accept, and a crisis is an adventure that you refuse.” As Erin and I move through the chapters of life, we approach each new challenge as an adventure. Just as I promised in my wedding vows to Erin in the mountains of Mallorca, I will follow her to the ends of the Earth.

To follow along with our adventures, visit, where you’ll also find travel ideas and trip itineraries.
David and Erin on the steps of a stone staircase in Mallorca after their wedding
Editor's Note: Thanks to David, MUDEC 2019 Spring student Eli Pittman had the chance to intern at The Outdoor Journal this past summer. His first article was chosen as The Outdoor Journal's top summer content! Read Eli's Article about Mount Everest.

Weekend Travel Photos 

Interlaken, Switzerland  

four students posing on top of mountain in switzerland Tori Hoffman skydiving over the Swiss Alps
Hannah Straub paragliding over the swiss alps
Odds and Ends

Birthdays This Week 

None! Can you believe that????
This Week's Schedule

Monday: Classes
Tuesday: Classes
Stephane's Last Blast After Summer Cook-out for Students (or Cook-in, depending on the weather!)
Wednesday: Classes
Architecture Field Trip to the Philharmonie
Thursday: Classes
Friday: No Classes
LUX 345 Field Trip to the Court of Justice, Luxembourg City Museum and SES

Staff Absences: Dean Leterre Thursday pm and Friday, Crici Dumont Thursday-Forever (sad emoji that makes the newsletter application crash!)
Château & Administrative Hours

Château Hours

Monday-Thursday: 8:00-22:00 Friday: 8:00-17:00                Saturday- Sunday: Closed

Administrative Hours

Monday-Friday: 8:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00

Year 51-MUDEC Fall 2019 Class Picture!

2019 Fall funny class picture

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