Hallo! I'm a Senior in CC majoring in Sociology and concentrating in German Literature and Culture. I just got back from an academic year in Berlin, Germany. I had studied German for two years at Columbia, but I feel like I really picked up the language when I arrived and was completely immersed! I spent my first month in a homestay, and after a nerve-wracking apartment search I moved into a shared apartment with two German students. Between living with these students (who became two of my best friends) and enrolling directly at a local university, I felt like I got to live as a German student would. Studying at the Freie Universität was a rich academic experience; the pace is slower, but the expectations of my final papers were much more rigorous than what I had experienced in the United States. Writing 15-page final essays in German was quite a challenge, but I also produced academic work that I'm really proud of!
Luckily I wasn't always working ⏤ Berlin is at the heart of Europe and during my school breaks I was able to visit a whole host of countries through cheap air and bus connections. I saw Stockholm, Copenhagen, Munich, Amsterdam, London, Dresden, and more!
The Berlin Consortium for German Studies allows you an amazing amount of freedom and independence, and I'm so glad I was in a program that encouraged me to integrate into the local culture. I would definitely encourage anyone who can to study abroad for the full year. I know it can be tough to plan, but it's definitely do-able! If you have any questions or want to learn more about my experience in the program please don't hesitate to reach out! Email me at: email@example.com with any questions.