Sunday, May 22, 2005

Foreigners, Heidelberg and Holiday Inn

This weekend we were invited to a city nearby for a meeting. Invitation came from DAAD, the German organization for scholarships and higher education for foreigners. They iinvited all of their scholarship holders of different nationalities studying in South-West Germany. There were thousands of them. The event lasted for 3 days. We were accomodated at Holiday Inn for these days. We had our meetings and meals in University of Mannheim.

On Saturday, they gave us dinner in a disco, where after eating, people got up to digest it :) We slipped from there and got on the river at night and praised the huge number of Swans there.

On Sunday we were given a trip to one of the most beautiful cities of Germany: Heidelberg. This city has a road named after Allama Iqbal. It is located on lush green mountains and has historical buildings since it was probably the only city that was not bombarded in World War 2, that too because of its beauty and history. All-in-all it was a wonderful experience.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Almost Switzerland

Today we went to see one of the most beautiful sites in Germany: Konstanz. Here lies a big lake which shares its borders with Germany, Switzerland and Austria. This lake is so big that they run 3 or 4 story passenger ships in it. It lies in Southern end of Germany.

We went by train but got off the train as soon as we saw the starting end of lake. It was a really beautiful lake-shore. Then we got into the city. We wanted to go to Switzerland but some of our friends didn't have their passports. So we roamed around in Konstanz only. This is a big tourist attration with ships full of tourists. They even flew a big airship above the city. Later that day we got on a paddle-boat and rode it around in one part of lake with small passenger ships passing around us. Since it was Sunday so all stores were closed; so we went to a friend nearby for lunch.

Later we discovered that we did go in our boat to the part of lake that belongs to Switzerland. So we did visit Switzerland :)

Monday, May 02, 2005

Dr Atta ur Rehman

Today we were invited to a meeting in a city nearby to meet Dr Atta ur Rehman. All scholarship holders of our batch and the previous were invited. The meeting was in the evening but we went in the morning to see the city. We had lunch in this beautiful park in city center. In the evening we went to meeting center and met our batch-fellows from all around South-Germany. Dr Atta came on time to meeting center. They also arranged dinner for us.

Dr Atta said that they are expanding these higher education progams and sending 200 students to Germany alone next time. He said that they are building an engineering university in Pakistan with cooperation of Germany and France. He asked us to give them our preferences in our last year so they can place us in Pakistani universities when we return. We'll be hired as Assistant Professors. He added that in future, all faculty in Pakistani universities will be evaluated evey three years by international evaluation organization and jobs and promotions will be decided on this evaluation. This evaluation will consider the work they have done since last evaluation, so concept of seniority in job promotion will be eliminated. Let's hope that all this works well.