Sharing memories with strangers

Former students of Göttingen University live all over the planet. More than 80 of them recently met in Berkeley, California, remembering good old WG and Mensa times.

text and photos published by the Göttingen University alumni network, September 2017 >>

„It has been more than three decades, but the exchange year at Göttingen University had a profound impact on me”, says Dr. Marielle Smith while some younger scientists listen. She is talking about 1984, when half of them weren’t even born yet. Also, Cold War Western Germany seems incredibly far from their current setting: a summer afternoon in the patio of UC Berkeley’s International House – a cliché of California, complete with palm trees, a cloudless sky and children splashing about in a water fountain.

But her listeners can relate to her words, because despite their difference in age and professions, they share the experience of having studied in Göttingen. They smile when she speaks of Wilhelmsplatz, WGs, demonstrations or the Mensa food – places and memories that were once pivotal in each of their lives and that have faded into the back of their minds, given how far away in space and time they live from Lower Saxony. 5,643 miles (9,082 kilometers) and nine hours time difference to be precise.

Read further on the Alumni website >>