Entering my freshman year at Duke, study abroad really wasn’t on my mind yet. However, after a great semester of German 101, I stumbled across a brochure with information regarding the “Duke in Berlin: Summer program.” On a whim, I decided to apply — a decision I am so happy to have made. Over the course of my six weeks in Berlin, I made countless new friends and memories. In addition, the flexibility of the program and large selection of classes helped me to better understand my academic interests and influenced my future study and work plans.
Looking back on the program (even just two weeks later) and picking the best memory is hard... I could go with the thrilling Bundesliga soccer match, the beautiful riverboat ride through Copenhagen’s canals, or even climbing to the top of the St. Virus Cathedral and looking out over the beautiful city of Prague. But to me, the best memories were honestly made in unexpected places. It was the picnics in Berlin’s massive Tiergarten, the casual Sunday swims in the Wannsee, and the €5 Döners (which never disappointed) that made my six-week stay in Berlin more than I could have ever hoped for.
My advice for those of you considering study abroad, whether it’s during a semester or the summer is this: First of all, go. You aren’t going to regret it. And secondly, once you are there, savor every moment and don’t waste too much time sitting in your room or doing homework. You never know if that last minute trip to somewhere as insignificant as a small park (when you are already tired and don’t even really want to go) is where you’ll make an amazing memory or a new lifelong friend.
Class of 2022, Economics
Innovation and Entrepreneurship