Breadcrumb

Looking back on Berlin

13/09/2016 - 09:17-1 Comment by | united_kingdom flag

After such an amazing four weeks in Berlin it was hard to return home. When I landed in London it was raining and I wanted to fly straight back to Berlin!

image

Having been back home for a couple of weeks now, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my time in Berlin.

I felt studying for a short time abroad achieved so much more than I expected, not just in terms of improving German skills but also gaining confidence in other aspects that living abroad would involve. From signing rental agreements to finding a doctors surgery, navigating a new transport system to setting up a new German SIM card, these last few weeks have been a whirlwind of new experiences. Not only was this my first time alone abroad, it was also my first time living away from home. I think this experience has been amazing preparation for University!

image

The German classes with FUBiS at the Freie Universität in Berlin were brilliant. My teacher was lovely and patient and always found interesting ways of getting us speaking, for example through role play and small group discussions. We also went on field trips which formed the basis of discussions for the lessons in the following days. I thought one of the most interesting places we visited was the Jewish Museum. The building itself, designed by architect Daniel Liebeskind, is very striking and was something we discussed after in class. I would definitely recommend a visit if you are staying in Berlin!

image

Assessment for the course was done in various ways throughout the four weeks. This was great because, in addition to formal exams, we were able to work individually and in groups to give presentations on topics related to Berlin, as well as writing essays on other topics that interested us.

image

I loved meeting students from all over the world, learning about cultural and language differences between our countries, and exploring Berlin and Germany – a completely new culture to many of us.

Something I miss a lot about being in Germany is not being able to practice German in everyday situations as I found it such a great way to learn. Studying the language in the country where it is primarily spoken kept me motivated, as you can really see the hours of work you put in paying off, as you gradually become more confident and competent. It also emphasises the value of learning languages I think, as you can see just how useful they are!

image

The experience of being in Berlin increased my desire to travel and work abroad in the future. As soon as I arrived home I started looking online for other experiences I could have in my gap year. Within a couple of days I had signed up to help out on an English course in Poland. I started this a couple of days ago and so far it’s been great! I was delighted when I arrived at Poznan airport and the taxi driver at the airport asked if I could speak German as my Polish is currently non-existent and his English was very limited too. So we spoke in German and it brought back the happy memories of Berlin!

In summary, the last month or so has be really brilliant. I feel I’ve grown a lot in confidence not just in German language ability but also in general. I feel happier travelling alone abroad which will, and already has, opened up many more exciting opportunities!

I’d definitely recommend studying abroad, even if it is just for a short period of time.

Tags: English Blog Post, German Cities, German Language, Society & Culture, Student Life, Summer School 2016, Transportation

Comments

1 Comment

    Wow, that is quite awesome! I actually did the FUBIS this summer (Term 3) and I took a semi-intensive German course which I loved so much because the professor was amazing as well as my classmates. I can’t stop expressing my love for Berlin and the little trips I did while I was there. I’m very happy to came across this post!

    Comment by Cathy Reyes-Gallardo created 29/09/2016 - 23:07

(required)
(required will not be published)