1. FC Nürnberg Soccer Game

Servus aus Bamberg! 


On Saturday morning, I traveled with Frau Knappe and Dr. Weihe to Nürnberg’s Max-Morlock-Stadion to watch a 2. Bundesliga’s (German soccer league) soccer match. 1. FC Nürnberg (1. FCN), who are currently 10th, took on Vfl Osnabrück on a gray, drizzling, and crisp February afternoon. 

Aside from the normal action that takes place during a soccer match, there was some additional excitement. During the game, both 1. FCN’s and Osnabrück’s fan clubs took part in a dual protest against the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL–German Football League). However, these protests were not limited to these two teams; it’s league wide. 

1. FCN’s fan club protest against the DFL
Vfl Osnabrück’s fan club protest against DFL.

Recently, the DFL has been working on a deal which would allow a foreign investor a percentage share of the revenue generated from TV. The DFL wants to use the investment to further develop foreign marketing while preventing piracy. (Protest ohne Ende: Verhärtete Fronten zwischen Fans und DFL) At the same time, fans are worried that external investors will ruin the traditions of German soccer while commercializing the sport, both of which German soccer enthusiasts are strongly against. (Protest ohne Ende: Verhärtete Fronten zwischen Fans und DFL


During the Nürnberg–Osnabrück game, both fan clubs actively protested throughout the game. It started with banners speaking out against the DFL actions. This was quickly followed with an anti-DFL chant, started by the 1. FCN fans. The Osnabrück fans responded in turn to the 1. FCN’s chants. These anti-DFL chants and call-and-responses continued for the duration of the match. As the game progressed, both sides began throwing tennis balls onto the soccer pitch while continuing their anti-DFL rhetoric. During both halves, the referees had to suspend play for stadium personnel to clear the field of any potential hazards to the players, while angry fans continued to throw their balls in protest. 

Tennis balls thrown during protest

Nevertheless, the game was a lot of fun! The soccer culture is definitely different from the American one. Before the match started, the club’s hymn was played, and all the 1. FCN fans stood, raised their team scarves, and joined in singing. 

1. FCN scarves during club hymn

The game opened relatively quickly, with Nürnberg’s Can Uzun scoring the first goal of the match in the 17th minute. Unfortunately, with a few minutes left in the first half, Vfl Osnabrück’s forward, Erik Engelhardt, tied the game. Luckily, the game didn’t stay tied for long. In the 51st minute, Can Uzun struck again, scoring a beautiful goal, giving 1. FCN the lead. For the remainder of regular time, Nürnberg was able to hold off Osnabrück’s attempts, but with 8 minutes of stoppage time, Nürnberg just couldn’t keep Osnabrück from the attack. In the 3rd minute of extra time, Kwasi Okyere Wriedt scored the last goal of the match, tying the game at 2 a piece. Yet, 1. FCN had one last chance to win the game with a few minutes left, when Lukas Schleimer fired a shot that got past Osnabrück’s goalie, but a quick reaction from an Osnabrück defender resulted in an astonishing sliding save on the goal line to keep the game even and secure a 2-2 draw.


Bis nächsten Mal! Tschüss!


Frohe Weihnachten

Frohe Weihnachten aus Bamberg!

Servus aus Bamberg!

Servus aus Bamberg, Deutschland!  Hello from Bamberg, Germany!

My name is Nate Jablonski. I’m a dual major and junior at the College of the Holy Cross, studying International Relations and German. Currently, I am studying abroad for the year in the beautiful city of Bamberg, Germany.  I can’t wait to share my experiences with you!

For 11 centuries, Bamberg has played an important historical, cultural, and artistic role in southern Germany, as well as neighboring countries. During the Holy Roman Empire, Henry II, King of Germany, established Bamberg as a bishopric in 1007 (UNESCO, Brief synthesis), hoping to create a “second Rome” (UNESCO, Brief synthesis), since Bamberg was also built upon 7 hills. Thanks to Bamberg’s location and religious importance, it began to influence surrounding German and Hungarian cities (UNESCO, Brief synthesis). However, the city’s location also helped save it from destruction during WWII. As a result, Bamberg’s historical city center has remained relatively unchanged since its founding in 1007, allowing it to serve as a wonderful example of a medieval European city (UNESCO, Criterion (iv)). Due to its historical importance, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to make Bamberg a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

During my stay in Bamberg, my home away from home is Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg (Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg). The University of Bamberg was founded 196 years before Holy Cross in 1647. The university, much like Holy Cross, is liberal arts focused. Students often pursue a degree in a social science, cultural studies, humanities, or computer science. For the winter semester, I’m taking Introduction to the Old Testament, Introduction to Modern German Literature, Humor as a weapon? Satirical arguments with authoritarian rulers from an intermedia perspective, Dystopian versions of the future in “Black Mirror” (2011-):pop culture and social criticism, and The War in Ukraine: Causes, Course and Consequences. 

Along with my course load at the University of Bamberg, I’m also completing an Intercultural Immersion Project, or ICIP. Before arriving in September, I took some time to contemplate what I wanted to do while in Bamberg. I decided to focus on education, since along with German and politics, it’s one of my interests. For my ICIP, I am working as a classroom assistant at Franz-Ludwig Gymnasium (It’s not a gym. In German, a Gymnasium is a type of high school that prepares its students for higher education. It’s comparable to a preparatory high school in America). At the school, I help teach an English conversation course to high school seniors who are preparing to take their Abitur tests. (This is a certification of completion of secondary school in Germany.)


Aside from my ICIP, I’m also teaching an English conversation course for the University. It’s a little different from my role at Franz-Ludwig since I’m working with first-year university students, but I enjoy it nonetheless. For this conversation course, I am the teacher and lesson planner. Every week we have a different topic that we discuss for about an hour. So far, our past topics have included American holidays, Thanksgiving, food, sports, and music. 


On top of all of my studies, I have been partaking in cultural immersion trips and activities too! So far, they’ve included:


A three-week intensive preparatory course offered by the University of Bamberg. While optional for exchange students, it’s a great way to get to know the other exchange students while building your confidence in German fore classes start! Aside from the academic portion of the prep program, we also had special opportunities to explore Bamberg and the surrounding towns. This included day trips to Nürnberg and München and Oktoberfest, as well as tours of Bamberg city and Bamberg’s Underground

In addition to everything I did during the prep course, I’ve also gone to a few performances, like Die Feen at the Meininger Staatstheater. Die Feen (The Fairy) is an opera created by Richard Wagner in 1834. At the Meininger Staatstheater, the opera takes a more modern approach to Wagner’s original script, blending old with new. I’ve also seen the Bamberger Symphoniker perform their “Slam Symphony” (a mix of a traditional symphony and concert with slam poetry) at Konzerthalle Bamberg (Bamberg Concert Hall). I also went to see Anonyme Improniker (improvised comedy group) at Bamberg Jazz Club. Finally, I went to a Bamberg Baskets game. Unfortunately, they lost, but it was fun nevertheless. 

I can’t wait to share my time in Germany with you! 

Bis nächsten Mal! Tschüss! Until next time! Bye!