Going home has been a bittersweet event. After almost four months, I am ready to see my family. However, I have made a lot of really good friends with people in my program and am sad to leave them. They live all over the U.S., so it will be convenient to have people to stay with if I ever decide to visit! It was especially hard to leave when the weather is getting hotter and more consistently warm. It is a joke in Berlin that people who live there never go on vacation because there is so much to do in Berlin. I was unable to check everything off my Berlin bucket list and will definitely be coming back.
I will miss the public transportation and street food the most. Berlin is incredibly connected with underground trains, aboveground trains, buses, and street trams. There are always multiple ways to get somewhere, even at night. I felt very safe, even at 3 a.m. on a Wednesday when I was traveling to my FlixBus stop heading to Prague, as there were other people outside and on the tram so I was not alone. The most common street foods of Berlin are döner and falafel. They're super cheap, delicious, and everywhere. I like to tell myself it is healthy. It definitely is healthier than burgers and other fast foods of America.
As far as advice goes I do have a few points that may help. As I have mentioned before in my blogs, it is important to have euros when out and about Berlin. The city is not fond of credit cards, and even in well-established restaurants they sometimes only take cash. Berlin is pretty centrally-located in Europe, and I took advantage of that by planning and taking many trips outside of Germany. I would suggest booking tickets and planning trips earlier in the semester because prices will be cheaper, and the semester flies by faster than you think it will! However, make sure you have a good balance between weekends away and weekends in Berlin. Traveling on the weekends, though very fun, is tiring and planning when to do schoolwork is crucial. The last piece of advice I have is that when you are going to cafés to do work, make sure that the cafes have Wi-Fi before you sit down and make yourself comfortable. Even the cafes that say they have Wi-Fi do not always have the best, or any.
I have really enjoyed my time in Berlin and can’t believe how fast it went. I will definitely be back and hopefully soon. Auf wiedersehen for now!
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<p>My name is Heather. I am convinced I was named after my great aunt's Scottish terrier. I live right outside Cleveland. True to my urban studies major, I love being in the city- except when I decide to bike over 220 miles to Niagara Falls during a two-week experiential learning intensive course at my high school. I am thankful and excited for having the opportunity to study abroad and would love to share my trials and tribulations with the IES community.</p>