Final Boarding Call for Berlin

Heather Knotek-Black
February 3, 2019

I will be on a plane headed to Berlin in twenty-four hours from now. I have repeated the phase “I am going abroad this semester” with ever-increased frequency to family and friends. However, I do not think the idea has really sunk in that I am going abroad until now. Of course, I have been preparing for months now with filling out the necessary paperwork, and buying and organizing all the necessary items for my trip. When all the errands and packing are done I presume that is when it will hit me that I am going to Berlin, Germany for a whole semester by myself. Even when I am saying my final goodbyes to friends, and of course my family, it does not feel real that I am going to be partaking on this amazing life-changing opportunity that is going to expand my experiences and perceptions of the world. It will be at this point that I realize all the applications, hours in TJ Maxx picking out a suitcase, and researching Berlin will pay off. As I look overhead and see Cleveland disappear from my view to be replaced by the sprawling city of Berlin in couple of hours, I will know then that this exciting trip is actually happening--- and is also everything I could wish for in terms of my educational experience.

Up until leaving, one of the best parts of this study abroad process to Berlin was receiving a wonderful letter from my host family. It was very nice to be able to send them a letter as well, before invading their home and crashing there for four months! I cannot wait to finally meet them and cook together as was talked about in both of our letters and enjoy the truly unique and diverse experience studying abroad can offer. I cannot wait to meet the other abroad students as well and get to explore the city with them.

As an urban studies major, I was attracted to Berlin for its sprawling metropolis, diversity, history, and public transportation. This, along with program requirements, is what lead me to choose Berlin as my destination of travel and study. I am so excited to be taking all urban classes while simultaneously using the city itself as a classroom as well. One of the things I am most looking forward to is utilizing the public transportation. I cannot wait to see for myself how easy and effective it is to use. Another aspect of living in Berlin that I am eagerly looking forward to is trying all the new variety of foods and going to coffee shops to read and write and, of course, study!  

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Heather Knotek-Black

<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>

2019 Spring
Home University:
College of Wooster, The
North Royalton, OH
Urban Studies
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