Insights from Germany

Berlin is an amazing city! I am so glad I had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks living there with some really great people. The experience of being there for such a long time allowed me to dive into the experience of being in a country deeper than just being a tourist. My German skills picked up during the time there and I am now able to engage in simple conversation that helped me get by during the time we spent there. However, it wasn’t full language immersion since we were still talking to our fellow students in English during the trip but the German language and culture that I learned was still significant.


Over the past six weeks, one of the main cultural themes I encountered was the general sense of environmental consciousness that is built into the practices of daily life in Germany. I really appreciated how easy it was to get around Berlin and other cities in Germany by using just public transportation and walking. In addition, many people would commute in the city using bikes instead of driving. Trains are also a highly used from of transportation domestically and are usually faster than flying. I really began to appreciate the ease of travel using Germany’s extensive rail network. Besides transportation, many other aspects of the culture were environmentally conscious, such as the nationwide bottle return refunds which allow glass bottles to be washed and reused. In addition, many restaurants served smaller portions which prevents food waste. As we travelled around Germany on our weekend trips, we saw at three different environmental action protests that occurred on Fridays which are called “Fridays for the Future”. All of these experiences were eye opening and allowed us to see how Germany is well suited in its ability to respond as a nation to climate change.


I could see myself living in Germany again in the future. I think more students and young people should take the opportunity to travel and experience different countries and cultures while they are young. The lessons learned are invaluable and the memories made will be treasured. The perspective I have gained on this trip helps me have a better understanding of Germany and it makes it much more likely that I will take an opportunity to study or work there in the future. If the opportunity arose, would gladly take the chance to take an internship at a German company and further my experiences in Germany. I hope I get the chance to be in Germany again soon! The Summer Program in Germany was definitely a great source of insight as a student and I believe many can benefit from experiences like this in their education as they commit to a career in an international field such as Engineering.

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