My trip to Germany was amazing! We spent five weeks in total in Europe. However, most of the time we were in Berlin. We stayed at St. Michael’s Heim and had class Monday-Thursday at the Technische Universität which was about a 30-minute bus ride away from where we were staying. While there we took an Engineering-202 and German Language and Culture Classes for the first four weeks. On the weekends we would spend our time traveling throughout Germany and touring many of the major cities there. Some of the cities we toured included, Bremen, Köln, Heidelberg, and much more. One of my favorite weekends was when a group of friends and I went to Paris. We toured there for two days and got to see the Eiffel Tower and other sights in the city. For the final week, we were free to travel throughout Europe and go wherever we wanted. My group of friends and I went to Fussen, Munich, Salzburg, and Prague. My favorite part of the last week was hiking in Fussen. We hiked a mountain in the Alps. Even though it took all day the view was gorgeous and it was a very fun time. Overall, my trip to Germany will be memorable for many reasons. I do not know the next time I will be back in Europe and I am happy I went. However, it was nice to come home. I missed my other friends and many American things that could not be found in Germany. I would do the trip again and would highly recommend it to others.
Eiffel Tower, Paris
This first picture was taken while a group of us were on a boat tour in Paris. For one of the weekends, a few friends and I went to visit Paris. We had a great time there and the sights were amazing. We visited the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Notre-Dame and much more.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen
During the last week when we were free to travel, I went to Fussen and we visited this castle. The view was incredible. It was our first time out of a major city in a while and it was great to be in nature. We spent half a day there and toured the castle, hiked around, and had a great time.
Finally, this was a picture from inside the Olympiastadion in Berlin. On our last day in Germany, our group went to a soccer game that was super fun to watch. Unfortunately, Berlin lost 3-0. The game was the best way to spend a final day in Berlin. I had always wanted to go to a game in Germany and even though it was not the team I wanted to see I still loved the game.
The high mass in the Köln Cathedral was very different from any church service that I had previously been to. There were many parts of their service that was different than my home church. One of the most obvious ones was the burning incense that took place during the whole service. Personally, there were no major parts of the service that enjoyed. This is partially because the whole service was in German and some Latin which are two languages that I am not fluent in. It also felt very ‘old’ in the way that they have kept all their old traditions and appeared to have not changed anything from what is described to have been like before the reformation. When exiting after the service I did not think much about the tourists because the previous day that was us looking in on the church. Overall, the Cathedral was magnificent and the architecture was incredible to look at. Another incredible thing was being able to climb to the top and look over the whole city.
Our visits to the Concentration Camp and Holocaust Museum were some of the most impactful moments on the whole trip. Personally, I enjoyed the concentration camp more than the museum. However, the museum allowed me to learn more through people who were affected and their stories of how they dealt with the Holocaust. The concentration camp helped open up my eyes more to how the camps were run and operated. It also made me more aware of the brutality and inhumanity that went on inside these camps. Overall the holocaust changed Germany forever and is still a huge part of their history that still affects Germany today. Specifically, in Berlin, you can see how most of the infrastructure is new due to the destruction that occurred during the war. Also, it affects how many people view Germans in the current day. The events of WWII has forever changed Germany but also plays a large part in making Germany what it is today.
Personally, my first week in Germany has been quite exciting! Since arriving just over a week ago I have learned so much about German culture and history. There was nothing too major that I did not expect of Germany. However, one aspect that surprised me was how clean Germans keep their streets and public transportation systems. Another thing that I find interesting is how many people utilize public transportation and how easy it is to use. At first, it was overwhelming to use public transportation because it is all in German but, I quickly got used to finding my way around the city. From home I mostly miss that English is always spoken and used. For me, it is still sometimes intimidating when ordering food or shopping because I am unaware if they do speak English. This can sometimes create confusion but is more a problem when shops are trying to move fast and I hold them up longer due to the language barrier. Some things that I wish that home has includes, the public transportation system and the amount that people are outside with friends or family. Back home people tend to stay inside with their AC and not socialize as much as Germans appear to. Overall I am loving my time here and think that this trip has been thus far a great opportunity to learn more about others and their culture while studying and taking classes for my major.