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Whitney in Germany

Whitney: Love-hate relationship with school

It is currently Thursday night (well, technically Friday morning) and I have spent my evening reveling in the fact that I took my last final exam of the semester today. Now this doesn’t actually mean I’m completely done with my first semester yet—I still have to go to my “wrap-up” classes next week to go over the test and receive my Schein, a piece of paper that says my grade and that verifies that I actually took, passed, and deserve credit for said course, and I have a few more papers to write […]

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Whitney: Four months down…

Today marks four months since my arrival here in Berlin, so I think a little reflection is in order. Before I arrived in Berlin I would sometimes close my eyes and envision myself here, cooking in my awesome apartment, enjoying drinks with new friends, planning trips to exciting cities, and working hard on my German language skills. I would feel such a rush at the thought of the amazing adventure that was right around the corner for me, and although I was very nervous and I worried about leaving behind so […]

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Whitney: Salsa, White Trash and Three Kings Cake

My week has been full of unexpected adventures – which I’m realizing usually end up being the best ones. Last Friday night I went salsa dancing with a friend that I met in my swing dance class. Before that night, I only knew the most basic salsa step, but by the end of the night Florian had taught me an entire semester’s worth of moves! He was a great teacher and an amazing salsa dancer. I really hope I was a good student and that we make these salsa nights […]

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Whitney: Christmas in France

Oh dear. My life has rocked for the past week and a half, and I think it would take me a few hours to write about everything, so I’ll do my best to highlight the most exciting parts. First, FRANCE! My first time flying with Easyjet went surprisingly well. My bag was the appropriate size and I found a seat quickly and easily (they don’t assign seats), and when I arrived at the Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport I found Emilie, her mom, and her dog Velcro waiting for me! I was welcomed […]

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Whitney: Amazing weekend

WOW. It has been an amazing weekend. Seriously, I have so many good things to say, so I’ll start from the beginning. On Friday my friend Victoire invited me to see a band called Paper Planes at a club called “Chester’s Live Music” in Kreuzberg. The show was great and so was the audience. We were all dancing and cheering and drinking, which made for a great combination! And it was the first time I’d hung out with Victoire outside of class which was also really great. I got home […]

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Whitney: Continued homesickness

Tomorrow is the 28th of November and it marks the two-month anniversary of my departure from the U.S. I wish I could say that in that amount of time I’ve traveled to seven different countries, tasted crazy foods, tried dozens of new activities, and made friends that will last a lifetime, but I really can’t. These first two months have been an immense struggle for me, and I fear that the water up ahead may be just as rocky. I have had good days and bad, but the good ones are […]

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Whitney: Lesson learned

So in Berlin, you have to deposit a one euro coin in order to use a shopping cart at the grocery store (because apparently otherwise people steal them…), so I usually just use a basket instead. It’s more common to get groceries every few days here than to stock up for a few weeks the way I always did in Minneapolis, so I generally only buy a bag’s worth of groceries each trip. Today I decided to broaden my horizons and try out a grocery cart, and I don’t think […]

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Whitney: Flohmarkt am Mauerpark

Today I visited “Flohmarkt am Mauerpark” with Lucy. It was very interesting to see all the things people were trying to sell – bikes, jewelry, clothes, postcards, vintage cameras, vintage records, vintage typewriters – basically anything and everything vintage – and so on and so forth. There was even a table selling hand-sewn panties! I ended up buying an ear of corn-on-the-cob, some postcards, and an adorable hat for winter. I’d say it was definitely worth the train-ride into the city and it’s gotten me very excited for the start […]

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Whitney: Missing Halloween

So before I left for Germany, I was really worried about missing out on certain holidays that aren’t really celebrated over here – namely Halloween – so I carved an amazing kitten-faced pumpkin before I left. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have the chance to carve another pumpkin this weekend with Christian and his friend Simon. We just went with a basic jack-o-lantern face, but I was so happy to get another dose of Halloween spirit this weekend :) Happy Halloween everyone!

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Whitney: MskMskMskMskBoomBoomBoomBoom

Last night I went to a party for the international students of Berlin at a club called Kino International and it was really really fun! I went alone and (thankfully) ran into some awesome people right away as we were waiting outside to get in. Our group was made up of a boy from Canada, a girl from the US (me), a girl from France, and a girl from Turkey. You can’t get much more international than that! We went in and there were four different dance floors that each […]

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Whitney: times they are a-changin’

Up until today, I really haven’t been happy for more than a few minutes at a time. It’s been so hard to convince myself that coming to Berlin was the right decision because all I could feel was loneliness and all I could think about was everything I might’ve been missing back in West Bend and Minneapolis. I mean, thinking logically, a person should stay in the same city (or at the very least the same country) as the people they love. But here I am – 4,000 miles away […]

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Whitney: Today was a hard day…

Today was a hard day. I can’t really even explain why, but it was just one of those days when everything seemed to remind me of the things I miss most back home. And the hardest part is that after the first wave of home sickness hits me, it becomes like a case of hiccups that I just can’t kick. The kind of hiccups that hurts in your throat, too. All I want to do is crawl into a loved one’s arms and talk to them about it so that […]

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Whitney: First day of orientation

Today was my first day of orientation at Freie Universität Berlin. The orientation days are only for exchange students, so I felt confident in the fact that I’d be able to cling to a few fellow Americans if I felt overwhelmed or confused. I was amazingly mistaken, because I didn’t meet a single American all day long. It seemed (based on my snooping over people’s shoulders to see there papers) that every other nationality was thoroughly represented aside from American. I saw a Swiss girl and a Russian boy and a bunch of Spanish kids. […]

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Whitney: ein Fußballspiel (a soccer game)

Tonight I was lucky enough to go to ein Fußballspiel (a soccer game) here in Berlin. It was very intense! Hertha (the Berlin team) scored three times in the first half, and each time they scored the crowd yelled cheers in unison and made SOO much noise! It was a fantastic atmosphere and because the game was in the evening, we saw a beautiful sunset during the game. Es war die schönsten Nacht!

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Whitney: Home sweet home…finally!

After a 2.5 hour car ride to Chicago, an 8 hour flight to London, an 11.5 hour layover, and an hour and a half long flight to Berlin, I am finally in my new home! I slept for a solid 12 hours last night – slight embarrassing, I know, but I was EXHAUSTED and I got a little sick during the long journey.  Today I plan on exploring my new neighborhood and having a relatively low-key day. I really want to get over the little virus I’ve picked up as […]

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