Old Friends, New Experiences

We are coming down to our final weeks here in Berlin. While I am sad that our adventure is nearing its end, I am so excited for the last couple of trips I have planned. This past weekend, in particular, was very fun for me as my trip to Switzerland for once meant more to me than simply traveling to see the sights.

For once, and probably for the first time since coming to Europe, I didn’t really have much of a plan before traveling to Zurich. This was another trip that I went on by myself, but that does not mean that I spent the weekend alone. As soon as I was accepted into this program at the beginning of last semester, I knew I had to make time to travel to Switzerland to visit my friend I had not seen in over two years. He was the exchange student at my high school during my senior year, and although we had kept in contact, I had missed him having not seen him in person since graduation.

We met in Zurich on Saturday, and, although this was very different than the other trips I have taken over the last six weeks, I had a great time. We did not do much in terms of touristy things. Instead, we really just walked around for a few hours and took it all in (plus, I learned that Zurich is very, very expensive!). Despite the change in pace, I had a great time. Although I’m really not sure when I will make it back to Europe to visit again, it’s nice to know I still have a friend on the other side of the world.

The only thing that really brought me down this weekend was the temperature. I had fun on Saturday, but Sunday was probably the hottest day of the summer. I believe it hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit (or 38 degrees Celcius for my European friends new and old), and I was not handling it well. Even going beyond my usual preference for colder weather, about halfway through the day, I began to feel very tired and lightheaded. I do not know if this was due to dehydration, the beginning of heat exhaustion, or maybe just too much fondue the night before, but, needless to say, I was miserable on my way back to the airport.

Other than the part where I felt like I was dying, I had a great time this weekend. Still, I am happy to be back in Berlin and feeling much better now. It certainly helps that the heat wave has passed and we are back to normal summer temperatures. After yesterday, today’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit almost felt cool!

I was also happy to get back to my internship today. I really can not believe that I only have two weeks left at JUNIQE. It still feels like I just got here, but at the same time, it somehow feels like I have been here longer than seven weeks. I know that makes no sense, and it is a hard feeling to explain, but that is truly the way it seems to me.

Anyway, I was excited to get back as today was day one of our summer sales campaign for the English market. Since I will be gone after next week, my supervisors wanted to make sure English went first so I would be around long enough to see it through. I spent most of last week prospecting new clients before scheduling the campaign to begin this morning. I have never felt like there was nothing do over the course of my internship, but I can tell that this week, in particular, will not have a dull moment waiting for me.

I have mentioned this before in both previous blog posts as well as in our discussion board, so I feel bad using it as my answer yet again, but it really is the truth in response to my opinion on German work culture. That is, I never had a real professional internship before in the United States, and JUNIQE is a very international company that reflects many cultures instead of just German. Everyone works very well together, so although I do not believe I am very well equipped to answer a question specifically about German work culture, my answer about what to bring back to the United States would have to be this international approach.

Although I chose Berlin, Germany, the whole point of studying abroad is to experience different cultures. Everyone at JUNIQE makes up the most diverse group of people I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Everyone brings different ideas and points of views, and I can only hope to remember the different perspectives I have learned about from my coworkers when I return to Pittsburgh in a few short weeks.