Well. It took me long enough to finish this blog and post my final post. It has officially been a month since I returned to the United States. It has been a huge adjustment. I went from living in a city where I could do anything at any time to living in a small town where it takes 15 minutes to go any where. I have never been as antsy as I am right now. It feels like I just went down a log flume and I am slowly coasting to where you get off the ride. But I am slowly adjusting and I am using all of the new skills that I have learned to make my life that exciting again.
Going abroad made me made realize so many things about myself and I am a better person because of it. This experience has changed me and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
I recommend going abroad to any and everyone (especially to Berlin!). I am truly grateful to have had this experience and I look forward to going back to Europe again soon!
Thanks for coming on this journey with me! Over and out!
Well. It took me long enough to finish this blog and post my final post. It has officially been a month since I returned to the United States. It has been a huge adjustment. I went from living in a city where I could do anything at any time to living in a small town where it takes 15 minutes to go any where. But more on that later.
This post is to talk about December in Berlin (which I should have done a month ago). Anyway, December in Germany is the time for Christmas markets. I was told that in Berlin there was about 60 of them. I made it my mission for the last two weeks of the semester to go to a Christmas market every day. Sometimes it was to stay and shop and other times it was just to grab something to eat. Nevertheless, I went everyday, either with a friend or two or alone. It was wonderful. My favorite was one was in Spandau and it seemed to go on forever. It was a couple blocks long and it was not crowded at all. It was perfect.
Also in December, I got to see the greatest show that I have ever seen in my entire life (if you know me at all, you know that is extremely high praise). It was called Soldaat van Oranje. It was in this little town outside of The Hague in the Netherlands. What made it so interesting is that it was in an old airplane hangar. Instead of having scene changes, the audience would rotate. This allowed for huge sets like oceans (real water!), beaches (real sand!), and real planes (they opened the hangar door!). It was insane. I cried for, like, half the musical. Crazy.
December was a lot of doing things in Berlin. I went to the Chancellor's office (saw Angela Merkel! (Well Angela Merkel getting into her car)), had Ethiopian food for the first time, went to the Botanical Gardens, and I said good bye to the city. I was only there for half of December and those last few days were filled with goodbyes to the culture, the friends I made, and the city that I have come to love. It was a life changing experience.
(Also, take a look at these pictures! And TXL is one of the Berlin airports. It think that street art is very fitting because my apartment was right next to the airport. It's one of my favorite pieces of graffiti I've seen.)
With the craziness of exam week, I completely forgot to post yesterday, but nevertheless I am here! I had two exams (each three hours long) yesterday, so I think I have an excuse about not posting. Anyway! On to November...
November was a lot tamer than October. There were no breaks and I really did not do a lot of traveling. Well I didn't do any traveling outside of Germany. I was able to explore Berlin a lot more and I was able to see a couple of shows along the way, as well as an ice hockey game.
The first trip that I took was to Erfurt and Weimar. Both are cities in Germany that have very long histories. Erfurt is famous because that is where Martin Luther studied to become a monk. Since this year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, it was really cool to see.
The next couple weekends were spent in Berlin exploring, either by myself or with friends. I found some really amazing street art and many little coffee shops and cafes. I went on a sort of cafe tour while I was here and I tried to do a lot of my work in different shops around the city. If anyone needs any recommendations let me know!
The next weekend was Thanksgiving. Family is very important to me and I am extremely lucky in the fact that I have a cousin who lives in Germany! I was able to get an authentic Thanksgiving dinner and I got to spend time with family that I really never see. It was a large Thanksgiving because they invited another family where the mother was American too. It was truly amazing and the food was spectacular. All of my friends here were extremely jealous because they didn't have anything like it. I was truly fortunate and it was one of my favorite Thanksgivings!
My cousin lives in Köln, so I was able to spend time there with them and explore the city. I saw the famous Dom, which is the most visited building in Germany and I got to see a couple Christmas markets as well. The showed me their city and it was wonderful and I can't wait to go back!
That pretty much rounded out my November. I will see you tomorrow (hopefully) to talk about my short December in Berlin. Auf wiedersehen!
So, when I started this blog, my goal was to post every week so I would always remember this trip. Welp, now it's December and that didn't happen! I am here for four more days and my goal now is to write a post every day before I leave documenting another part of my trip. Each post will be dedicated to a month that I was here. This is dedicated to the month of October.
The month of October is really what made this program go by so quickly. The first week was our program excursions (mine was to the Netherlands and Belgium) and then it was midterms and then it was our semester break, which I spent in Vienna and Salzburg.
My first trip to the Netherlands and Belgium was with my program so it was very learning oriented. We took many tours and visited many museums. Every day was spent in a different city but with our bases in Utrecht and Brussels. My favorite city we visited was probably Utrecht. It was lively, but tiny little city in the Netherlands and there were so many cool places to eat and explore! Other cities we visited were Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, Den Haag, Brussels, and Bruges. It was a wonderful experience and I was able to meet so many new people, in my program and out!
The next week was midterms, but it was more importantly, the week my brother and dad came to visit! It was amazing to see them and I loved showing them around my city! We had a great time and I wished they could have stayed longer! Oh yeah, midterms were fine too.
The next week was the midterm break and it was my favorite week of my semester here. I spent it traveling by myself (!) to Vienna and Salzburg. Vienna is my favorite city I have ever visited and I went to many museums and saw so many musicals! I saw three in three days! They had these standing tickets where you can see a show for 5 Euros, but you had to stand in the back. For me it was totally worth it because I got to see actors and shows that I have loved for years, but since they were in Europe, I never got to see them. It was a dream come true.
Then, I was off to Salzburg! I only spend two days there, but it was more than enough. It's a small city with beautiful scenery. Fun fact! It was where sound of music was filmed and they really own that in the city! I saw the movie two times and I toured all of the filming locations. On the tour, our bus started a sing-along version of the movie, so there were 50 people of all ages singing Do-Re-Mi. It was absolutely magical!
So that was a short (really I swear!) summary of the month of October and I will be back tomorrow for November! Thanks for sticking with me!
Guten Tag! Ich bin Theresa und Ich bin in Berlin!
Yesterday marks one full month in Berlin. I can't believe that it has been that long! It flew! Berlin is an amazing city and I am so happy that I took this crazy leap. While it hasn't always been smooth sailing, I am doing great so far and I think adjusting very well. There are definitely differences between the US and Germany, some take more getting used to than others. For example, there is no free water here. That has been the biggest shock to me. There are also no free public restrooms. You have to pay 50 cents every time (unless you're a customer in a restaurant or cafe). The way this was explained to me was that the little things are not free (such as bathrooms or water), so that the big things can be (such as university or healthcare). So, it makes sense. It just makes it difficult when you're two hours from your apartment and you really have to go to the bathroom.
I am from a little town in New Jersey. We do not have public transportation, so this is my first experience with it. I have to say it's been a pleasant one so far. It is very easy to navigate and almost always on time. This city has, however, changed my definition of what is "too far." It's so large that it takes 45 minutes to get anywhere. Around the corner now means 30 minutes away. It's crazy.
As for what I've been up to, well, I've been all over the city and the country. With a couple of friends last weekend, we went to Oktoberfest! Of course, being in Germany and all. I had a great time and it is about so much more than beer. There is a lot of culture there and a surprising amount of children. That I did not expect.
With my program, we went to the Baltic Sea and explored there. I can officially say I have been swimming in the Baltic Sea! It was beautiful, but really cold. My program has been great. We have done so much together. We went on the Baltic Sea trip, went to museums, went swing dancing (!), and we toured around the city. Our program director was a tour guide for years and she takes such good care of us. We call her our Mother Duck because whenever she leads us we are in a line following. (She also gives us lunch money.) All the events are optional so you can really live your life here as you want!
I have lost control of this post. My apologies, but thanks for sticking with me!
I am off to the Netherlands and then Belgium tomorrow! Will keep you posted (GET IT)!
Check out some pictures! Until next time!