It has been three months since I moved to Berlin. Life was not so easy at first, but I have now gotten used to it. The city is certainly much different from Williamsport, the home of Lycoming College. There have been so far some aspects which I like and also those that I do not enjoy as much, but I would like to talk about all of them either way, because –who knows –maybe one day you will also decide to study abroad in Germany.
Language is perhaps the first and foremost concern when one moves to a new country. Good news is, many Berliners speak English, thus it is still possible to get by without speaking any German. (Also, the program in which I am participating does not require prior knowledge of German - many students actually started learning it here --in the heart of Germany itself!) Nonetheless, I think this is the most ideal opportunity to learn a foreign language. I had in fact learned some German before coming here, yet was not at all confident. Since then, I have been exposed to the language every day, and my proficiency has greatly improved. I am really glad that now I can speak and write much better in German. (see for yourself with the German versionof this article, for example).
And the food?
Generally I think the food here is really good. I like many typical German dishes such as the Wurst (do you know there are different kinds of Wurst?), the Doner Kebab (although it is not originally German), the Schnitzel (German fried breaded cutlet) and the… erm… Gummybear. One may also find food from different cultures in Berlin, as the city boasts a very diverse population: Italian food, Turkish, Korean… - you name it. Anyhow, German food is somewhat similar to what I usually ate back in the States, so I was able to adapt rather quickly.
The biggest change in my daily life
… has probably been the increased time I now spend to commute. When I was still at Lycoming, it took me only about five minutes to get from my room to class - certainly an advantage of living on-campus - while now, I usually commute hours every day. The less free time I have, the more I need to find better ways of managing it. But then, at least the public transportation system allows me to easily navigate around the city.
Studying in Berlin is of course also different, but I would prefer to save it for later, as there is much to tell of it.
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