Ich bin ein Berliner – I am a Berliner! I have only been here for a week but it has been a 32 week journey to get to this point. In this blog I will let you know a little about the build up of anticipation, preparation, expectations leading up to arrival and the language barriers.
I am a Masters of Architecture student at UTS and am studying a semester at the Technical University of Berlin. The Autumn semester is quite long as it begins in October and runs until March. This means that it will be too late to come back to UTS for Spring semester next year, so I will be travelling for an extra few months.
By staying on top of everything that had to be organised and keeping a record of what still had to be done, it was quite easy to organise exchange. Once you are put in touch with your exchange directer from your host university you can easily keep up to date with information about enrolment and living, and key deadlines for documents will be emailed to you – be sure to check your junk mail!
I opted not to live in university accommodation as Berlin is a very accommodating city for its students. Thirty percent of TU Berlin’s students are foreign, and this cultural diversity extends into the city itself.The university is located in the heart of the city and the supply for rental properties is high and low cost. I chose this because it will allow me to meet people off campus as well.
Over the past few months in Sydney I have taken an introductory course into German. I know basics, but luckily enough the course is taught in English. Although for me, learning the language was not essential to cope with living in a foreign city, but it provided an opportunity to embrace a culture foreign to my own.
The picture above is from the sunflower fields in East Germany, which is on my bucket list!