My Berlin Colege 2022 experience

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Before I arrived, I was convinced that in Berlin, I would strictly study and there would be no space for fun.
Luckily, I was proven wrong very quickly and had the best two weeks of my summer. Let me tell you about it.

Right off the bat, I was really suprised by the friendly aura of the city. I arrived a day earlier before my stay at Berlin College with my family, on 23th of July, the exact day Berlin Pride Parade was taking place. The whole city was covered in rainbow and even in the following days, the city kept its charm and completely enchanted me. 

On Sunday evening, when we had an meet-up for the newcomers just like me, our activity coordinator Gülçin introduced us to rules of the campus and gave us a brief clarification of how things work regarding activites. Everything besides the german lessons was purely optional so during the week, lists with activites and blank spaces for signatures were hanging on Gülçin's bulletin board in her office and students could sign their name under whatever activity they pleased to as long as there was still space left and it was at latest a day before said activity.
GLS provided us every day with a wide range of possible acitivites and there wasn't a day, for which there wasn't at least one activity offered per morning, afternoon and evening respectively. It was also great to see, that they have kept our needs in check, by for example offering paddle-boat on exceptionally hot days. The program was never boring and I have enjoyed every single event I signed up for.

The picture I chose to attach is from paddle-boating activity, which was really fun!

One of the many activities I signed up for, I enjoyed the visit to the Jewish Museum. Since Germany was the one to blame for exponential rise of antisemitism in Europe over the 1st half of 20th century, I feel they did a justice to the topic. It was really interesting the way you learned about judaism through the years since the exhibition's beggining was also how the religion began and then moved through the centuries, monitored the religion's evolution and finally, dedicated a large section to Holocaust, a tragedy that all generations must be reminded of to never repeat something like that ever again.

The picture that I chose to attach is from a section of the museum, dedicated to most famous jewish people.

Among all the fun activities GLS has organised for us students, was a walk with a guide through the city in the evening, when all monuments and buildings were light-up. It was truly a spectacle and a joy to look at. 

Another thing that fascinated me about Berlin is, how much history does the city has and how it was historically significant in world politics. As I walked through the city, the plaques on places reminded me of that, so I spend majority of my time googling and researching more about all the interesting locations I just walked around.

Overall, I was pleasently suprised by the freedom that was offered to us. The only rules being mandatory attendance of german courses and of course, no law-breaking activities and a complete ban of bringing people over to campus after 22:00. That meant the programme of the day was completely up to us and it felt amazing to be treated like an adult and not like a child who needs guidence.

Thanks to 9-Euro tickets that were being sold at the time I arrived there, I could get everywhere fast and relatively cheaply. All tram routes and subway lines were punctual and that made moving around the city more comfortable.

Every Saturday, there was a day-long trip we could sign up for. The first Saturday I spend in Berlin, we went to Potsdam and the second, we went to Sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial site, which was really educational and interesting place to visit.

But the most important thing about my course in Berlin is the people I met there. I had the time of my life with them, making jokes, and generally having so much fun with them. 

At the end of my two weeks, I really didn't want to leave. It got so bad, I was crying a bit the day before when I had to hug my friends for the last time and say our goodbyes to each other. However, we're still in contact and I hope we'll meet up soon, hopefully in Berlin once again.