International Journal of Arts & Sciences (IJAS)

Academic conferences in a "study abroad" format

Multidisciplinary Conference (Freiburg, Germany): 3-6 Dec 2018





A sculpture in the middle of the Christmas Fair in Freiburg. A merry-go-round spins in the background. (Photo: Pergi28)
Our private motor coaches will depart in the morning from Freiburg and return back to the same location late in the afternoon. The motor coaches (each seating about 50 persons) will be equipped with air-conditioning and WC facilities.
The magic of the season in this European region begins during the last week of November. Hence, the festive spirit is already in the air by the time the conference starts. Decorations abound and pedestrians may well bump into legendary characters such as Christkindel, Hans Trapp, and St Nicolas. Delicacies and mulled drinks provide great opportunities for conference delegates to share merriment, notes and research ideas. The history and traditions of academic research around this part of the world amply demonstrate that fun and research do mix. As one famous German physicist noted, the opposite of play is not work but depression; you can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.



Black Forest (Germany) and Freiburg (Germany) 
3 December 2018: Free time during the research presentations


We will be holding conference presentations in Freiburg on this day as well as on the last day of the conference. During the free time, you may walk around this magnificent city and visit the Black Forest (Schwarzwald in German) in the wooded mountain range that gives rise to so many German fables, crafts and culinary delights. The Forest is only a short train ride away from Freiburg's main train station. Given the conference's location, you will be able to cover these two locations on your own and blend them in with your conference attendance. 

Wood-carving is the traditional cottage industry in the Black Forest and carved ornaments are produced in substantial numbers as souvenirs for tourists. Cuckoo clocks are a popular example. Although they were not invented in the Black Forest, they have been made in the region since the early eighteenth century and much of their development occurred here.

Black Forest ham originated from this region, and so did the Black Forest cake, a chocolate cake groaning with cream, sour cherries and fruit brandy. The Black Forest variety of flammkuchen (the traditional "thin pizza" of Germany) is layered with ham, cheese, and fresh cream instead of tomato sauce! Pfannkuchen, a crepe pastry is also common. No other place in the state beats the Black Forest for low-priced souvenirs.

Heather enjoying a delicious bratwurst outside the Freiburg Cathedral.

Freiburg's Christmas market, on the Rathausplatz and in Franziskanerstrasse, is located in the very heart of Freiburg's beautiful historical quarter. In this "Tuscany" of Germany, visitors will see a wide range of traditional arts and crafts of Black Forest origin. They include straw shoes, colorful wooden toys and real beewax candles made to order. Our conference delegates will be served complimentary (beef, chicken, pork) sausages - the famous bratwurst - cooked on site, and downed with cold drinks. For those who prefer to shop in a department store, nothing beats the nearby Galeria Kaufhof brimming with high quality goods at reasonable prices. 



Colmar (France) and Strasbourg (France) 
4 December 2018: Departure at 8:30 AM

Welcome to Colmar.

The day starts with our first bus tour, for a visit to Colmar, a historical town of art whose incredible architectural heritage provides the perfect backdrop for the festive celebrations. Colmar bids a warm welcome with its five Christmas markets set up around town. Various attractions help to make this season in Colmar truly unique for international visitors, including concerts, dramatized storytelling, Santa Claus' giant letter-box, and an ice skating rink in Place Rapp. In the midst of these attractions is the Unterlinden Museum, France's most visited museum outside Paris.

Strasbourg is a major Medieval gem.

Strasbourg has been hosting its famous Kristkindlmarkt around its impressive and spired Gothic cathedral since the sixteenth century. Over the years, the city?s reputation has grown throughout Europe thanks to its dual emphasis on trade and tradition which have given it a distinctive history and identity. Its open-air markets offer visitors a touch of adventure and plenty of fine chocolates. The hundreds of talented craftsmen who sell their wares provide the shoppers with the opportunity to discover some enchanting festive products for their loved ones at home. Strasbourg is also known for its bredle, delicious little pastries prepared for the advent period. These will be available in various flavors at the Bredle Market. Also not to be missed is  La Petite France, an enchanting, riverfront area of black-and-white timbered fairy-tale buildings, including a gingerbread bakery.



Basel (Switzerland) and Bern (Switzerland) 
5 December 2018: Departure at 8:30 AM

Christmas confectionary in Basel

In the center of Basel's Old Town with its glittering decorations, our second bus tour will visit the attractive Christmas market with a special atmosphere of its own. At its 140  illuminated stands and wooden huts, traders and craftspeople from all over Switzerland offer their goods and give a demonstration of their skills which have been passed on to them by their forefathers. This is Switzerland at its best, distinctly unique even though a stone's throw away from adjacent Germany. Not to be missed is Basel's city hall decked in red (click here). For a photostream of Basel, click here.

An aerial view of Bern.
Not many cities have managed to retain their historic features quite as successfully as Bern, the capital of Switzerland. The old town of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and thanks to its 6 kilometres of arcades - the locals refer to them as 'Lauben' - boasts on of the longest weather-sheltered shopping promenades in Europe.
The medieval air of this city with its many fountains, sandstone facades, narrow streets and historic towers is unique. The elevated Rose Garden above the Bear Park and the platform of the 101-metre-high cathedral tower offer the best views of the old town round which the River Aare flows. The former entrenchments and bastions drop down steeply to the river. The boutiques, bars and cabaret stages of the old town, some of which are located in vaulted cellars, and the small street cafes attract locals as well as a lot of tourists. Although Bern has a very good public transport network it is best to explore the city centre on foot.
Bern's Highlights:
  • UNESCO - sandstone houses, narrow streets, fountains and the medieval air make this city unique.
  • Arcades - thanks to the arcades which extend throughout the town shopping is a delight whatever the weather.
  • Zentrum Paul Klee - worldwide biggest collection of works by the artist Paul Klee; the cultural centre designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano consists of three wave-shaped building sections.
  • Watch the famous family of bears frolicking at the Bear Park.
  • Seat of Government - the Houses of Parliament are one of Bern's landmarks as well as being the seat of the government.



Freiburg (Germany) and Black Forest (Germany)
6 December 2018: Free time during the research presentations
See notes above for Day One.


The Rationale Behind the Tours

To understand the rationale behind the academic and cultural tours in every IJAS conference, click here.

Bliss, the special care baby charity, provides vital support and care to premature and sick babies across the UK. Founded 30 years ago, Bliss offers guidance and information at a critical time in families' lives.