Tag Archives: Germany

One Year in Berlin: How German Unis Work

by Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

As my time in Berlin slowly creeps to a close one of the thoughts that’s constantly been on my mind is the impending “reverse culture shock” that so many travelers have warned me about. I may have spent 20 years of my life in the US, but I have a feeling that a year in Germany has done away with many of my American habits and rituals.

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One Year in Berlin: Being in Germany on May 1 and Games in the Park

by Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

For decades the first of May has been known as an International Worker’s Day all over the globe. In many countries, such as Germany, it’s a federal holiday during which demonstrations (usually peaceful) are held in support of the labor movement.

However, May 1st (known in Germany as “Erster Mai”) holds a somewhat special significance in Berlin. Since the late 80s extreme left organizations have organized protests in districts of the city such as Kreuzberg during which riots have unfortunately broken out, leading to violence and police intervention. In more recent history extreme right groups have also proven to become hostile in the streets of the capital city. The violence has thankfully declined in the past few years, but we were nevertheless all warned by our program director to be wary in certain neighborhoods.

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One Year in Berlin: A Trip to Lübeck

by Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

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.

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