Saying goodbye to my family and friends was very difficult, but once I stepped foot in Berlin, Germany I knew I was going to have the best experience of my life. My flight out of Newark airport had around 25 students who would also be studying at CIEE Global Institute. Instantly many new friendships were made and we were all ready to enjoy this incredible experience. The first two things I instantly noticed when I arrived was that every taxi was a Mercedes Benz and the Berliners walking around the streets with beer in their hands. When I settled in my room I finally met my two roommates who I would be living with for four months. Both live in California, but one studies at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, and the other at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. The roommate questionnaire we had to fill out really worked because we all have similar interests and began planning out trips to other countries almost immediately.
My first two days here consisted of orientations and sightseeing. They taught us how to ride the U-bahn which is the form of the subway. One single ticket can be used for the subway, bus, trolley, and S-Bahn (the above ground train). Besides from public transportation the most common way to get around Berlin is by bike. They have designated paths on the sidewalks just for bikes so it makes it very easy to get around. Our school has twenty bikes to rent and I would highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity because it is the best way to see the city. The first week was full of many exciting sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, The Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe, Tier Garten, Templehof Airport, Berlin Dome, and the East Side Gallery. Along with these exciting excursions we also visited many museums which are incredible and full of history.
Besides from all the sites I still am a student and have to attend class. I am currently taking International Finance and Beginner German. International Finance is a very interesting topic to learn about right now because of the Brexit and the financial problems in Europe. We
even have excursions planned to the Central Bank of Germany along with the Finance and Treasury building. The beginning German class I am taking is also very interesting because everyone in my class wants to learn because it will make it easier for us to live here. Most people speak English but occasionally you run into people who do not. However with a week of German class under my belt I have already had an easier time communicating with the locals.
This upcoming weekend my friends and I have a trip planned to a city in northern Germany called Rostock. Rostock is on the Baltic Sea and is actually a big university town. The University of Rostock has 14,000 students so we are very excited to sit on the beach and meet local university students. The following weekend our school has booked a trip for us to Dresden, Germany. There I will be touring the Volkswagen Factory and enjoying the sights of this wonderful city which was pretty much bombed to nothing during World War II. My next blog I will update all of you with stories of my trips and some pictures. I leave you now with some pictures of the beautiful city of Berlin.