I guessed this back on May 14 when we first arrived in Berlin, and I was correct. This has without a doubt been the fastest summer of my life. It feels like we just arrived in Germany yesterday, and now it is already time to head home. Actually, I was supposed to fly back to New York on Saturday, but I bought myself a few more days (literally) and have been in London since the program officially ended.
I’ll try to save the entirety of my thoughts on this program, my internship, and the past eight weeks in general for my next and final post. There is a lot I can say about everything I have experienced in this time, but, for now, I believe I am still putting it all together. I think it will make more sense to talk about once I return to the United States, so I will just give an abbreviated version of my last week in Berlin.
It was a strange and kind of ironic feeling when I was getting ready to fly out of Berlin for the last time. I can honestly say that I never really got homesick at all since coming here. Sure, there have been some minor things I missed in the beginning, but overall, I liked to believe I acclimated well and adjusted to everything in Germany quite nicely. I even believe I was beginning to pick up more and more of the language as time went one. Maybe it was because I always knew I would be back in the United States relatively soon, I never found myself missing it.
I cannot say the same for Berlin. Although two months is indeed not a lot of time, I found myself becoming very attached to the German capital and had a genuinely difficult time saying goodbye. While I would also not say Berlin ever truly became “home,” I think I at least began to see it as “home enough.” Through all of the excitement this summer and no matter when our adventures took us in Europe, Berlin was always the place we would return to.
Although I have been having a great time in London over the last several days, I still miss Berlin. I know that once my time in England is over, I will be flying back to the United States instead of the new home I have grown accustomed to. It is kind of funny; after living in Berlin all this time, London almost seems too easy to navigate. I can read everything I see and understand everything that is being said around me, but how is that any fun? I believe I mentioned something along these lines last week as well. I may not fully understand the German language, but it almost became comforting at some point – at least in comparison to hearing other European languages that I have even less of an understanding of.
That being said, I am still having a great time here. Even if we do speak the same language, there has been so much to do and explore in London that I have kept myself occupied. It’s been incredible, really. This past weekend, as well as the past eight weekends, have allowed me to check so many things off of my bucket list that I am a little worried that I have gotten too used to this incredible opportunity to travel through Europe.
Of course, there are also many, many things I could say about my internship experience, but I will hold off on that for now. As much as just being here, in a new environment on a new continent, has impacted me, it is going to take much more than one or even multiple blog posts to fully explain everything I learned through my internship. For now, all I will say is that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and that I was very sad to leave.
I have previously explained how my work culture defined success, and I was able to provide this explanation through the feedback I received from my supervisors. Before we departed last spring, we were warned that Germans are very blunt people and to not expect much positive feedback if any.
While there was certainly not as much as in the United States, I was told of what my supervisors thought my strengths were. Of course, they were also sure to let me know about the areas I could improve in, and I think this is for the best. By actually let me know both instead of one or the other, I was given a very clear picture of what I should keep doing and what I should strive to change.