Berlin is by far the most fascinating city I have ever visited. Filled with an immeasurable supply of history, architecture old and new, and an incredible network of public transportation, Germany's capital city was a blast to explore. Though overwhelming at first, it was fun to gradually expand my knowledge of a new city map. The museums are fantastic, the bars and clubs are endless, and they come in every variety, and the people are wonderful. That stereotype of Germans being cold and unfriendly is generally false, and I felt very welcomed. I couldn't even speak a word of German but found no trouble communicating with almost anyone with whom I interacted. The exploration of this incredible city was assisted by the FU-BEST program and the program staff. With newsletters and cultural excursions and week-long international trips, FU-BEST helped me to make the most of my semester abroad. One of my favorite things that the program provided was complementary tickets to my choice of an opera and ballet, furthering my cultural immersion.
Perhaps even greater than all of this was the individuals who made my experience special. I chose to participate in a homestay, and I was so happy with my decision. My host family was welcoming, generous, and helpful, and everybody truly made me feel at home in this new city. I'm sure it would have been easy to feel lost when trying to orient myself in an extremely new situation, but my host family ensured that I never felt that way. The classmates that I met in FU-BEST, too, were some of the greatest people I've ever met. Coming from a relatively small school, the opportunity to get to know a wide variety of fascinating new (American) students was so exciting, and the friendships were so easy to form - we were all thrilled to be studying similar subjects in a new city, as well as looking for friends to explore Europe with. In fact, I liked one of them so much that I decided to date him and still am! You will learn so much from these new friends and you will experience so much life with them, and for me, that was one of the best parts about being in Berlin.
I would not change anything about my experience with FU-BEST. I am grateful that this program brought me to Berlin and for the opportunity of a lifetime. I will certainly be back.