Wow. Here we are. I honestly cannot believe how quickly these 2.5 months have passed by. Going into this experience, this seemed like such a long time, and the end seemed so far away. With only 3 days left on my internship and this program, I have no idea where the time went! Even though I’m sad that it’s ending, I’m also beyond excited to see my family again! They will be arriving in Berlin Saturday afternoon, and unlike most of the other students in my program, I will be staying in Germany an extra 9 days with my parents. I can honestly say that I’ve done and seen everything that I wanted to and more in Berlin, and now I’m excited to show my parents all of my favorite places! This city has become my temporary home this summer, and it will forever have a place in my heart. However, this summer has also made me realize how much I love my hometown of Pittsburgh, and I cannot wait to finally return!
Coming into college, study abroad was high on my to-do list. I can now proudly say that I have been able to study abroad 3 times. This experience, however, has been unlike any of the others as it has been the longest and has allowed me to fully immerse myself in the culture. Visiting another place is one thing, but living and working there is something so much more. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It can be tough. Working a full-time internship in a new, unknown place with people speaking a language at a level way above your knowledge definitely pushes you out of your comfort zone. Trying to fit in time for exploring while working 40 hours a week can be exhausting when all you want to do is relax after a long day of work, but it is also so rewarding! To anyone considering an international internship, this is the most important advice to you! Yes, you are here to work (as the program’s name clearly states), but the moments you are going to remember the most aren’t the ones in the office. It’s the moments you spent searching for unique finds at the Mauerpark flea market, the times you shared good company in hidden gem biergartens, or the experiences you had when sampling beyond amazing food at all of Berlin’s wide variety of diverse restaurants and food markets. Get out there and explore! You will most definitely regret it if you don’t.
And take the time to explore all that Europe has to offer! Never again will you have the opportunity to travel to so many amazing places so cheaply. This summer, I was able to make it to 5 other countries besides Germany. Although I only spent long weekends in these other places, I made memories to last a lifetime. I will most definitely be returning to many of the places I visited, especially Italy (I fell in love). Although I could write a novel on all of the experiences I had this summer, I will leave it at this. Thank you to everyone that made this summer the best one yet! There are so many things I’m going to miss about Germany and Europe, but I am confident that I will be returning shortly!
Auf Wiedersehen (for now)!