The time spent abroad this summer has been without a doubt a lifetime experience that has helped shape my vision of the past, present and future. I was fortunate enough to be able to live, work and study in Berlin for two months. This amount of time allowed me to live as a local. I was also able to go on holiday before and during my experience. Prior to the start of my program I visited Brussels and Amsterdam. On two different weekends during my program I was able to see Granada/Malaga, Spain and Dresden, Germany.
There couldn’t be just one stand out moment for me that triumphed above the rest. For me it was more of a part of the experience that I found to be the best part. Living in Berlin for two months I was able to live as a local. This allowed me to do the same things I would do back home, but Berlin style. I am an avid rock climber and yogi. Living in Berlin I was able to use this passion as a means of experiencing the city. I jumped around the city visiting different climbing and yoga gyms. Back home this would not have been possible to do. For one, there are over ten climbing gyms in Berlin and only two back home. Secondly, I could not even tell you how many different yoga studios there were in Berlin. They seemed to be endless. Lastly, even if this was possible in the US, it would not have been possible financially. In Berlin there is a company called Urban Sports. This company has revolutionized taking part in sport. They were able to collaborate with all of the local gyms. With a flat rate you could visit any of the fitness studios once a day. This allowed to to go anywhere in the city. I was able to visit new places of the city each week. Not only was I able to travel around the city as a local using public transit, but this allowed me to meet new people all the time.
Climbing at different gyms each week I was able to have an endless amount of fun. I was able to climb on different types of terrain and styles all of the time. It proved to be a wonderful challenge that enabled me to learn, challenging me physically and mentally. The culture that revolves around climbing gyms in Berlin is a community in itself. People from all walks of life from young children to old adults would be enjoying their free time here. Families would come together to enjoy all that it has to offer. If you didn’t climb you were also able to sit back and relax, have a cup of coffee or sip on a nice beer while surfing the web or getting work done. I found it to be the best place to meet new people. Here everyone has at least one thing in common, climbing. This provided the foundation to start up a conversation with new people. I was able to meet people here that ended up being good friends. I was able to then see and do more local things such as going to a house party or finding the best restaurants and/or bars to go to.
Adam Misner is majoring in Exercise Science and spent Summer, 2019 interning in Berlin, Germany through CIEE. Adam had the following to say about study abroad, “Without at least once experience abroad I don’t think anyone can truly understand what the world is like. This experience is vital to personal growth. It allows you to externally and internally shape your perception of the world and where you fit in.”
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