If you’re thinking of going on student exchange in Europe, Berlin should really be at the top of your list. I’ve been doing my student exchange in the German capital for the past two months and it has definitely exceeded my expectations!
Berlin has a huge personality, its vibe and atmosphere is so unique and unlike anywhere else I have been to. There’s a contagious energy you feel from living here. The streets are filled with shops, bars and restaurants, and most importantly; people. There is always something going on in Berlin, you don’t have to wait until the weekend to do something fun. The city also has an abundance of history, meaning that there is plenty of world-class museums, art and striking landmarks.
As for everyday life, no one day has been the same. I’m living in a student residence in my own room on the East side of Berlin, with around 200 other students and 75 that are from my university course. It’s a student-flavoured district with a laid-back vibe, so I’m always interacting with other people. Whether you want to make dinner with a few of your friends, play some sport together or have a full-blown party, there is always someone else to do it with.
The dormitory and the whole exchange experience has really allowed me to make friends from all over the world. And if you like to party, Berlin is the one place you HAVE to party! The night-life here is amazing no matter what you’re into! Going out starts late, with most clubs or parties not really getting into high gear until about 2am, and some go non-stop from Friday night to Monday morning (can you imagine walking in a club on Friday night and coming out on Sunday morning?). There’s also plenty of big names and DJs that frequently come to Berlin.
My university here has a lot of facilities and the International Office is always happy to help. When I first moved here I had to do some tedious formalities and paperwork, like getting my VISA, registering with the Bundestag, setting up accommodation and rent, a bank account, etc. However, even without knowing any German it was all relatively straight-forward and easy. The university also provided me with a German ‘buddy’, who helps out with whatever you need! I have been learning German though and I am getting better and better every day, sehr gut! One piece of advice, sort out your VISA in Australia!
University itself is not too hard or time consuming, leaving plenty of free time to explore and travel. Just this weekend I went to Hamburg with 10 other people which was a lot of fun, and we’re already planning the next few trips. One thing to mention is that in Germany, the university semester starts later and finishes later. My semester goes from October – February, while my friends back at UTS are just about to finish their semester.
On the plus side, I’ll be having a white Christmas! It also means that winter is coming, and it’s getting colder and colder. I’m actually quite excited for winter and the snow, I can’t wait to see what kind of energy it will bring here in Berlin! To summarise, I’m having such a blast and I’m so glad I did this exchange, I definitely don’t want it to end! If you’re thinking of going to Berlin, trust me you will not regret it!
Mak Hodzic, 11222433