Reason You Chose this Program: I was intrigued by the block system and enticed by the journalism courses that were being offered.
Favorite Class: I took a class entitled Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Popular Culture, which took a hands on approach to addressing issues such as those mentioned in the title of the course. I really enjoyed the class because of the wide range of perspectives it offered as a result of the different array of students attending the class as well as our ability to compare and contrast the issues against American culture as well as German culture.
Describe the Housing Situation: I lived in a Global Campus in Berlin, so al of the students participating in the program lived in dorm-like housing in the city. I really enjoyed this aspect of the program because it allowed me to really get close to the others who were participating in the program.
Advice to Future Study Abroad Participants: Go for it. No matter where you go or what you do while you are there, the fact that you went for it is enough. You will grow in unimaginable ways and be better for it.
Best Memory: I would have to say my best memory was the time my friends and I made the last minute decision to run to the Brandenburg Gate before the subway closed, so we could see it lit up at night, and then had to run back with seconds to spare. It was exhilarating, adventurous, and everything I wanted it to be.
Biggest Surprise: I was surprised at how much English the rest of the world knows. I didn't know any German going into the program and it was never an issue for me.
Experience with culture shock or reverse culture shock: Culture shock is hard to describe, but its mainly people not acting in a way you would expect them to. For me it was people not smiling or being pleasant while out in public or on the streets. That's just not something they do there in Berlin, and something that took me aback at first.
If I could do it over I would: Eat more food! Sitting here writing this I'm mainly thinking about the different foods I would eat if I were back in the city.
What I wish I knew before I left: It will be challenging. I think everyone only ever talks about how amazing and life-changing it is when you're studying abroad, which there are definitely aspects of it that are like that, but there are also challenging aspects to it as well.
Greatest Challenge: Being on my own. I have never really been on my own before so it was a rough adjustment for me at first, but I am so much better for it now that I have learned that, as I said, I am capable of just about anything. Especially being on my own!
Going abroad versus staying on campus, discuss: Go abroad. Campus is great, but it will be there when you get back. You just have to go abroad and see the world, because it will teach you so much more than any class ever could.
Scholarship Recommendations: Yes! Studying abroad can be expensive, so getting aid where you can will definitely be worth it. I recommend the Hutton International Experiences Grant.