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Erik Northrop :: Blog :: Week 1 - Darmstadt, Germany

May 24, 2013


This has been a week of learning and new experiences, I'm definitely sure there are much more to come. My flight departed Charlotte at 4pm and arrived in Frankfurt, Germany 7am the following day. It was only a 20 minute bus ride to Darmstadt where I was left to find my hotel. This may sound easy as first until you consider the lack of sleep and a less than accurate GPS. I walked Darmstadt for about one hour - including the ~.75 mile walk from the bus station to the city center where my hotel is located all the while in a state of shock to see the beauty of this city.

As of this writing, I have finally earned a solid night of sleep, explored some, and have began working with our partner at the Center for Advanced Security Research (CASED). I still have much to see and do in the remaining 9 weeks I am here so, there is more to come.  


Just the basics in terms of living like navigating the city and arriving at my destination in a reasonable amount of time, in other words, not getting too lost; adjusting to the pace of the city and business schedule and the like. 


As a non-german speaker I have had few encounters where language was a real issue. Due largely to the fact that the majority of the population speaks enough english to get by with almost able to converse, for this, I am thankful. Unfortunately for me, I have no prolonged exposure to the German language but I am listening very carefully and quietly observing the nuances of life here so that I can be a more active participant and less of a bystander. Otherwise, things are truly wonderful.


Every day I try to eat at a new place and take a different route to the university, I will continue this as each day brings new experiences. Beginning next weekend, I will begin taking day trips to various parts of Germany and possibly neighboring countries. I have recommendations for places to visit and things to do outside of Darmstadt as the city is a little sleepy at times. 

This weekend I will also begin my workout routine again as I am expecting my sleeping patterns to further stabilize, this I am definitely looking forward to.


Papers Read this week: 

Kauer, M., Pfeiffer, T., Volkamer, M., Theuerling, H., & Bruder, R. (2012). It is not about the design - it is about the content! Making warnings more efficient by communicating risks appropriately.

Bartsch, S., & Volkamer, M. (2012). Towards the Systematic Development of Contextualized Security Interventions, 1–4.

Volkamer, M., Bartsch, S., & Kauer, M. (2013). Contextualized Security Interventions in Password Transmission Scenarios, 1–10.

Posted by Erik Northrop

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