See you later, Berlin

Zoe Honigberg
January 5, 2020

Since being home, I have been overwhelmed with holiday celebrations: wrapping presents, decorating the house, baking cookies, meeting up with family and friends, etc. I felt like I have not had a moment to sit still. Which is good, I think––being busy prevents me from missing what I have left behind.

Last spring, I was feeling an itch to get away. I had an academically and emotionally challenging semester, so I knew taking a break from Connecticut College would be good for me. IES Abroad proved to be the right change of pace. These last four months have been a blur of meeting new people, learning German, exploring Berlin, and traveling. I have learned so much more than I expected and seen growth in myself that makes me really excited to go back to Conn. Being away from family and friends gave me space to appreciate all that I have to come back to.

Getting home was not the easiest, though. I had some troubles with my flights (do not use discount airlines for long flights and lots of luggage, it’s not worth it!!!), so when I finally landed in Boston, I was so exhausted and relieved. It has been refreshing to be in my own space, hanging with my parents and siblings. My parents also got a dog while I was away––a sweet little labradoodle that I have loved getting to know. I have also enjoyed driving again because public transportation was starting to wear me out (but I do love the BVG: the public transportation system in Berlin). 

Although I have been home for a few weeks, I am still surprised to hear English around me. I also forget that I do not need to speak German when I go to stores and restaurants, so I get to the counter and go into auto-pilot in German (whoops). My brain is used to Denglish (the combination of German and English) so I have also found that sometimes a word comes to me in German before it comes to me in English. It’s a bit embarrassing, but the longer I am home, the less I notice myself thinking in German/Denglish.

One of my friends said, before leaving Berlin, that this semester is the opening of a door, not a closing of a chapter. I loved living in Berlin, practicing my German skills and making new friends. I am looking forward to going back, either this summer for an internship or sometime in the near future. I couldn’t be more excited! Thanks for following me this semester, it has been a blast sharing my experiences with IES Abroad!

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Zoe Honigberg

<p>I am a rising junior at Connecticut College majoring in Architectural Studies. When I am not studying or constructing three-dimensional architecture models, I can be found playing ultimate frisbee or helping run the Womxn's Empowerment Initiative at Conn. After graduating from high school, I took a gap year to work as an au pair near Hamburg, Germany, so I could not be more excited to return to the country and share with you my adventures!</p>

2019 Fall
Home University:
Connecticut College
Concord, NH
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