I’ve been at home for about two weeks now, but I have a few last words of advice for those going to Berlin this fall.
First off, if you read my first post, one of the things I was most concerned about was living in the home stay. I can tell you, you have NOTHING to worry about!!! IES Berlin does a fabulous job of picking the hosting families, and everyone had a great time. I loved my hosts; they were so kind, funny and really tried to make me feel welcome.
Second, do NOT over pack!!! I have never in my life paid an overage for baggage. As I arrived in the Berlin airport, I met up with my friend Claire, and giggled about a person having to unpack all their things in the airport. After I weighed my bag at the counter and was informed that I owe 100 euros….I too was that idiot unpacking my things in TXL. So really, try to keep in compact. Nobody cares if you wear the same practical sweater a few times. Everyone understands you have a limited closet, just make sure you wear deodorant ☺
Next, take advantage of the trips planned for you by IES, a few people didn’t show up to the Potsdam trip, and I have to admit, I wasn’t that excited to go. But the trips they plan are to truly amazing places, and you won’t regret going, plus some of these trips are already paid for from your tuition, so don’t waste money!
Another money saver; COOK IN YOUR APARTMENT!!!! The first two weeks I was too shy to make my own food at home, I thought it was awkward how I would be cooking for myself while they were making something else. If this still bothers you, just learn their schedules and work around them. But you shouldn’t feel timid, you paid for the home stay and you have full rights to use the kitchen. Buying food at the market (I lived on a sandwich diet) was fairly inexpensive.
Lastly, make your self a to do list. You will for sure have “lazy” days where you don’t go to museums or just spend time in a café, but by making a list for yourself, this ensures you see everything you want to in Berlin before you leave.
I wish you the best time abroad this fall!!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Helena and I’m going to be a senior at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, where I’m majoring in Community Health. I work as a general chemistry TA, and when I’m not looking at a periodic table, you’ll find me running. I’ve ran a few marathons and can’t wait to explore Berlin while running about. I also love yoga, reading books, and of course I have a passion for travel! I’m so excited to be studying abroad this summer in Germany! I can’t wait to soak up the culture and share my journey here with you!</span></p>