Demi during her internship in Berlin
"Berlin is incredibly huge and fun, the mood here is also very relaxed. Everyone does whatever he or she wants and you can wear whatever you like, no-one here will look at you weirdly." Read Demi's story here!
- Internship Abroad
- Studying Abroad
- Living Abroad
- Working Abroad
Hey! Who are you and where are you from? Where do you study/live/work?
Hi! My name is Demi, I'm 19 years old, living in Ridderkerk and I am currently studying International Business and Languages at the University of Applied Sciences of Rotterdam. For my study I did a 5 month internship in Berlin.
What was the first thing you thought when you got off the plane? (bus/train/car)
Wow, what a city! Berlin is incredibly huge and fun, the mood here is also very relaxed. Everyone does whatever he or she wants and you can wear whatever you like, no-one here will look at you weirdly.
What was the most shocking difference between the Netherlands and Berlin?
Being direct. I’m already pretty direct but the Germans really aren’t. It occurred to me that they are pretty careful in terms of what they say to each other. The German hierarchy on the working floor has also been pretty noticeable to me. The layers are very clear and if you're at the bottom of the ladder, you don’t really have anything to say.
What does your usual working day look like?
My internship was not that much fun in my opinion. I was working for five days a week from 09.00 to 18.00 and during these times I didn’t have a lot to do which makes the days go slow. The fact that I didn’t get a lot of tasks has to do with the hierarchy I mentioned earlier. As an intern you are all the way at the bottom of the ladder and then I’m not even German, meaning I'm not able to speak the language as well as someone who was born there.
What's the working-atmosphere at your internship-company like?
Luckily, my colleagues were all very nice and fun! We would often go out and have lunch and on Fridays we would have a drink to start of our weekends.
Did you ever feel homesick? How did you cope with this?
I wouldn’t want to call it being "home sick" but after 4 months I did start to get the feeling that I sort of looked forward to go back home. During these moments I would tell myself: "Come on Deem, you have already completed 4 months, the last one will be gone before you know it." When I look back on my time in Berlin however, the time really did fly by!
Did you feel at home in Berlin? Why (not)?
Yes, Berlin is so much fun! The people are friendly, there are nice shops and restaurants everywhere and there are loads of things to do. Especially the summers in Berlin are a blast! Everyone goes out and people are sitting in parks and on squares, enjoying the sun.
Please give us tips about who to befriend when living abroad. The Russians? The Irish? The Chileans? (Honestly, we want to know some gossip about other internationals you’ve met.)
Locals! They can tell you everything about the best spots in town.
Describe the inhabitants of the new country in three words.
Friendly, diverse and old-fashioned
What did you learn from your experience abroad? Was it the loving community you liked? The cheap cocktails? The overwhelming nature? Or was the experience less helpful than expected? Details, we want details!
You learn so much when you go abroad. It was a very special and big experience I will never ever forget. Of course it is a little bit of a pity that my internship was disappointing, but Berlin on the other hand was amazing! Something that I especially liked about it was the diversity. Not only did I notice this in the people but also in all the things that you can do there. You can go for a luxurious dinner or go to the most beautiful and expensive rooftop bars, but you can also eat an Asian dish for only 3 euros in one of the many Asian restaurants Berlin.