Berlin is a fantastic city, and with the proper courage and support, most anyone can have an amazing experience there. IES Berlin did a great job providing this support and helping us students step out of their comfort zone to have the best experience that we could. IES made sure we had the basic familiarity with Berlin and German culture so that we could safely and productively explore. Regular trips and activities around the city and the country encouraging me to see important parts of the culture and history that I might have missed out on otherwise. (Mostly) excellent professors pushed our German language abilities so that I was able to interact more effectively with our surroundings and get the most value out of our time. The classes encouraged me to engage with Berlin, taking me on walking tours and making me interview Berliners. I had plenty of time to explore the things that attracted me once class got out too. Tinder, Facebook, and the like are alive and well for getting to know locals and finding out about events. The student assistants employed by the program were incredibly friendly and had tons of great recommendations and advice as we went out to find our own favorite bars, sports teams, and activities. Whenever I was in Berlin, I felt supported. Staff members were accessible around the clock, and we regularly received emails with notifications about events that might interest students feeling lost or isolated. The program also fostered a friendly environment around the center, so even if we were having trouble, there was someplace comfortable to go. I had to seek out the things I wanted to get out of my time abroad, but IES was there to help and support me the entire way.