Emily Odermatt, Senior, IES Abroad, Metropolitan Studies: Berlin, Germany

Posted on October 12th, 2017 by

Studying in Berlin Germany was such an amazing experience that allowed me to grow in
so many ways. Though I picked the program in Berlin, before I got there I really had no idea
what to expect. But I was amazed as I pulled up in the train and I had my first glimpse of the
metropolis I would soon call home. I as the months went by I learned about and experienced first
hand the rich culture and history that permeates every aspect of Berlin. This exposure to the past
and the present took place in my daily life on public transit, going on adventures, and exploring,
but also in the classroom where we learned about the way Berlin’s history and culture can be
read like a book using each city corners as its pages.
I was also lucky enough to continue to develop my language learning throughout my time
in Germany. Taking language classes with my program, speaking and learning from my host
mother, as well as finding my way around the city, all helped me escape my comfort zone and
really learn the German language.
Along with the great experiences I had while in Berlin, I was also able to travel around
Europe and expand my knowledge as a world travel. Perhaps one of the most interesting places I
was able to travel to was to St. Petersburg, Russia. This trip was with my whole program and
was designed to expose us to another metropolis to which we can compare Berlin to. I found it
fascinating to once again explore how the history and culture of a space are mapped onto the
constructs of the city. It was also interesting to apply my knowledge of the Soviet occupation in
Berlin to the experiences we had while in Russia. This trip allowed me to broaden my
understanding of eastern and western Europe and their influence on each other.
Overall, my semester in Berlin allowed me to grow so much, in my independence, my
world knowledge, and in my language proficiency. I am so grateful to have had such a wonderful


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