Berlin is a beautiful, vibrant city in northern Germany that is full of amazing experiences, events, and people. While studying abroad here, you truly get to become a part of this city every day. Because of its connection to history and its diverse culture, Berlin is quite a unique and exciting city and can be a great place to spend a vacation, a summer, or an entire semester visiting and exploring.
Though every experience is different, here is a little taste of what a typical day in Berlin could consist of while studying abroad:
Everyday foods for Berliners differ greatly from what I was familiar with in my home in the United States, but breakfast in Europe has been one of my favorite things to adjust to. Many times, breakfast includes a pastry, such as a chocolate or butter croissant bought from the neighborhood market the day of or the day before. Simply pair this with yogurt and fruit, and a great breakfast is all set!
Taking the S-Bahn
Berlin is a very big city compared to most, but because of this, the public transportation is great and can get you just about anywhere! Being able to use public transportation takes a lot of pressure off of a morning commute and can be a fun and reliable way to easily see the different parts of the city no matter the time of day.
Classes here in Berlin work much like classes do at universities in the United States but include many fun excursions in addition to in-class lecture time. In a short period of four weeks, I have been able to visit the German History Museum, the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, and the German Resistance Museum. And these were only a few of the excursions from one of my classes!
Lunch at the Mensa
The Mensa is the student cafeteria at my university in Berlin. This is one of the easiest places to experience different German foods and to see what the students traditionally eat during their day. There are also plenty of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and low-calorie food options, so there really is something for everyone to try!
Time for afternoon classes!
Although many Berliners speak English, it’s a great idea to learn a bit about the German language so that you can learn how to speak through the city in its native language. Being able to learn from great teachers and practice among the locals really makes a difference throughout the entire experience, and the locals are usually very appreciative when you make an effort to speak to them in German.
One of my favorite parts of studying abroad in Berlin is its many ties to history. There are so many museums, memorials, and parks to see, each with their own unique story and significance. After class, we often have the opportunity to meet up for visits to these historically significant places. There are tours that explore Berlin’s thriving street art scene, for example, or if you’re interested in more laid-back experiences, there are other opportunities such as a visit to a Biergarten by the Spree at sunset.
Preparing for the weekend
After a long but exciting day, it’s time to relax, unwind, and plan out a schedule for the weekend. There are a lot of options for weekend activities and a lot of freedom to choose what interests you, such as visiting nearby cities like Dresden or Potsdam, or even far-away excursions like Warsaw, Poland, or Amsterdam, each with their own unique vibe and story.
Being able to call Berlin home is such a great experience, and I hope this gives you a little taste into what it’s like. This is only a short list of the many things Berlin has to offer, so I encourage you to read more about this great city, or even pay a visit there yourself one day!