When I first left for Berlin, I had no idea what to expect. Moving to a place where I did not know the language, a single person, or even how to use the public transport, was something that I never thought I would do... But from the moment I walked onto the EF Berlin Campus on that very first day, I felt welcomed and understood.
From their incredible staff, no matter what I needed, I always received help. From questions having to do with the metro, to setting up my VISA, to dealing with personal battles, the people at this school never ceased to amaze me with the compassion they have towards their students. And even now, as I reach the end of my time in Berlin, I am amazed every day at the genuine goodness that everyone on the staff possesses.
Physically, the school itself is beautiful. With up-to-date technology, modern design, and an overall welcoming aesthetic, there is nothing bad one could say with the building in which we learn.
And the students that fill the school are incredible as well. Coming from all over the world, I was able to meet people from countries I scarcely thought about. Speaking about different cultures, customs, and (of course) languages, has opened me up to the world in a way I never would have expected. And I have truly made some of the best friends I have ever had, during my stay in Berlin.
Now for the most important part about my EF Berlin experience: the language. I came to Berlin knowing no German what so ever. And in the past six months I have gone from being unable to even say "Hallo!" to being able to hold my own in conversations, and understand most of what people around me say. And I can assure you that there is no better feeling than the moment when one understands their first sentence in German. It is an unquantifiable feeling of success that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Looking back on my last six months, although they pushed and challenged me in many ways, I would never exchange them for anything else in the world. I have grown into myself in ways that I never expected. I have learned so much.
Thank you so much, EF Berlin, for teaching me a language, for allowing me to find a new home in Berlin, and for bringing me to myself. And, although I have to leave, I am so grateful that for the rest of my life I will have this experience with me. I am so grateful that for the rest of my life, I will be able to speak German.