The Berlin Diaries Part 6 - Reflections on Berlin

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Myles Mathews
May 27, 2024
A group performing on a stage.

After a whirlwind of flights, culminating in 20 hours trying to get back to Michigan, I have officially been home for a week and couldn’t be happier. I will start off by saying that reverse culture shock back into American life is real and I’m definitely still trying to get my bearings back together. That being said, I am so happy to be home, but also sad that I had to leave my IES Abroad Berlin family. Back when I was first applying for study abroad programs, I thought being away from home for four months would be too long to the point where I considered not going. After being in Berlin though, the time flew by so quickly that all of a sudden I was at the final farewell event and the tears were coming out (something that usually doesn't happen to me since I’m not really someone who cries a lot lol). 

I had been doing a lot of reflecting over the months, but the farewell event was when it really hit and I was overwhelmed by the amount of people and life lessons that have changed my life. I came back to Michigan more grateful for what I had before I left while also still appreciating these four months that I will hold dear to my heart for years to come. I always tell people that they should study abroad if they can because regardless of the good times or bad times, you are learning no matter what. You’re learning about yourself in ways that you can't always do when you are back at home where you have a set routine, friend group, lifestyle, and career path. Studying abroad completely tears all of those walls down and lets you build them back up in the way that YOU want to. There were so many things about my life that I thought I had solidified and yet through learning more about myself, I realized that changes needed to be made. I am more confident as an individual now that I’m back home and studying abroad just reworked some of the kinks in my brain system if you will.

I will also say that it takes an extreme amount of guts to make that big jump. As I said before, you are living a lifestyle that you have grown accustomed to for about two decades. So, to completely turn it on its head can sometimes be a shock. I like to think of studying abroad as a new beginning to the next era of my life. As a Junior going into my Senior year of college, I felt that going to Berlin in my second semester was the perfect time to reset what I had been working with for the past 2 and a half years. I’m getting a degree in acting, but studied Metropolitan and Urban Studies in Berlin; with that, I was able to make so many connections to my work at home and now I am so excited to go back into my Senior year with this reignited passion for something that I’ve been missing for almost half of a year. That being said, I urge you to make that jump and study abroad! In my final blog, I’ll be bringing to you my top tips now that I’ve experienced all that it has to offer! 


P.S. Enjoy the photo of me above singing in B-Flat (my favorite jazz club/bar) which I HIGHLY recommend you go to!


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Myles Mathews

I'm Myles and I'm a Junior BFA Acting Major at U of M! I've traveled to a variety of places such as New Zealand, Barcelona, Mexico, and France, but this will be my first time in Germany! I'm a HUGE Beyoncé fan and have tons of music recommendations!

2024 Spring
Home University:
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Theatre Arts
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