The end-of-term workload has begun to pile up quickly. While I’ve been managing to chip slowly away at my three final papers, a game theory exam is still looming on the horizon. To top it off, I’ve got a German C-1 level proficiency exam next week, which will determine if I have the language skills to directly enroll in a master’s program here in Berlin. I’m familiar with the stress from the winter semester, but it’s nevertheless going to be a long couple of weeks before everything is officially over. Luckily however, the World Cup (German: Weltmeisterschaft, or simply WM) is in full swing and helps to take my mind off of all the work. It’s become all the more exciting now that Deutschland has moved on to the final round of the tournament after this week’s remarkable 7:1 victory over Brazil.
This is a preview of One Year in Germany: WM Fever.
It’s commonly said that there is a difference between Berlin and Germany. Sure, German is spoken here, German food is eaten here, and the German government convenes here, but the experience one receives in Berlin is generally thought to be incomparable with most other German cities. I experienced that firsthand back in Autumn when the BCGS group traveled to München. Everything seemed more conservative and slowed-down. That proved to be a great trip, but at the same time, the amount of museum visits and excursions on our itinerary gave it a bit of a hectic and touristy feel. This past weekend however, I had the opportunity to head north to the small town of Fliegenfelde, located just outside of Lübeck, where I was able to enjoy a radical change of pace from the sometimes stressful Berlin atmosphere.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: A Trip to Lübeck.
When you decide to live in Berlin, as a student or for work, everything is an adventure. Whether deciding on which bread to choose from the myriad of tantalizing options at your local Steinecke, or simply a late night trip on the U-Bahn.
But like all things in life, the glamor fades and the honeymoon phase comes to an end. However, let this not be the end of your Berlin experience. As a tourist, the sights that you see and the places that you visit are the tip of the iceberg. Now is your time to look beyond the surface and become a true Berliner, and leave the title of “tourist” behind.
This is a preview of Berlin: Secret Sightseeing Tips.
Being an American, I think most of us can agree to having experienced at least some sort of anxiety about what it’s going to be like entering another country due to the aggressive nature of our airport security (even towards its own citizens). If you’re anything like me, you will/have/are scouring the internet looking for answers to questions that you simply cannot find. Well, look no further! In the next five minutes, you will learn the ins and outs of the German passport control and customs through my first-hand experience with Frankfurt am Main’s International Airport.
This is a preview of Expat Life: Passport Control, Customs, and Entry into Germany for Americans.
Last week I flew to Munich for three days with the rest of the BCGS group. It was the first extended trip I’ve made outside of Berlin since I first arrived in September. Despite the bitter Bavarian cold, I’m happy to say I enjoyed my visit.
Unlike Berlin, which was more or less destroyed during the war, Munich has managed to retain a more antiquated feel. Many old and beautiful buildings still stand, as we experienced during a walking tour through the central part of the city. Although Munich is certainly more modern than many other towns in southern Germany, it moves at a much slower pace than Berlin.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: A Short Trip to Munich.
Yesterday I visited the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen). I’m currently auditing a B 2.2 language course to sharpen my German skills, and one of our assignments for this week was to visit a memorial in Berlin and write up an account of our general impressions. Among the list of possible locations were the Holocaust Memorial, Jewish Museum, and Checkpoint Charlie, all of which are relatively central and have become rather touristy in recent years. Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, however, is in north-east Berlin in a more-or-less uninteresting part of town. If the name sounds unfamiliar, I had no idea what it was either until very recently.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: Stasi Gefängnis.