Students curious of embarking on a virtual reality tour of German cities, are able to experience the Wanderbus, a traveling exhibit bringing German culture to the University.
“It’s not just that it’s a fun and entertaining way to look at Germany,” said USA-Tour Wanderbus project manager Torben Hennigs. “It’s a great opportunity to figure out what opportunities there are in terms of studying abroad, working abroad and learning German.”
Wanderbus, was created under the organization Wunderbar Together, which celebrates German culture with a traveling exhibit. It was organized by the German embassy and the Goethe-Institut, the German language and cultural institute funded by the German government, and the German Business Association.
The project began under the umbrella of public diplomacy, organizing in numerous countries for about 15 years, highlighting the ties and shared values of Germany and America. The Wanderbus has also traveled to Mexico, Brazil and Asia.
Hennigs said the organization portrays the one year celebration of the German-American friendship, highlighting the arts, culture, education, business and German heritage in the U.S.
The exhibit included visual aids such as interactive games, virtual reality, a photo-booth and presentations on German culture, promoting German-American friendship and learning.
Hennigs said there are about 1500 events being organized across the country, such as the traveling exhibit.
“The Wanderbus itself is a traveling educational roadshow,” Hennigs said. “It’s one of our premier education projects where we are trying to really bring ideas of why it’s a good idea to learn German as a foreign language, what the United States and Germany have in common, where the ties are to every state in the continental United States.”
The Wanderbus is unable to travel to Hawaii and Alaska, but other than that the organization will travel to every state over the course of half a year, visiting about 60 schools and universities across the country.
Hennigs expects students to be able to take advantage of the very unique opportunity to experience a glance at what modern Germany looks like and a unique combination of information and entertainment around the German-American friendship.
Project manager of the Wanderbus Valerie Czok said so far everyone who has visited the photobooth and the VR table have had fun.
“We just hope they develop an interest in German language and culture,” Czok said.
Literature senior Jordan Marcell was in awe of the exhibit. He is also currently in his final class for his German minor. This was one of the first events he’s attended that were in conjunction with the German program at the University.
“Everything is super informative,” Marcell said. “The German that’s written on everything is easy to understand. I like it.”