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Roos during her internship in Berlin

Roos went to Berlin and totally immersed herself in the city’s diverse culture. What did she think of the city – apart from the eccentric dressed Germans and massive monuments? Read along!

  • Adventure
  • Internship Abroad
  • Studying Abroad
  • Living Abroad
  • Working Abroad
  • Europe
  • Germany
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Hey! Who are you and where are you from? Where do you study/live/work?

Hello! Originally I’m from Groningen and decided to do my studies Hotel and Event Management in Hengelo (the Netherlands). I’ve always been a fan of traveling and when I heard that we had to spend 20 weeks abroad for our graduation, I immediately took my chance and went for beautiful Berlin!

What was the first thing you thought when you got to Berlin?

I travelled by car to Berlin, which is approximately 6 hours by car from Groningen… Unfortunately the traffic was not that great and it took me 10 hours to get there. I didn’t see a lot that evening. Later on, however, a few friends (that I met because they were sitting in front of my car) gave me a quick tour in Berlin. The most impressive monuments and also the beautiful nature left me amazed!

What was the most shocking difference between the Netherlands and Germany?

Germany and the Netherlands do not differ very much from each other, but Berlin is a special city. The first thing I noticed were the various people walking around. Berlin is known for its eccentric character, but I didn’t expect that I would experience it so directly… They express themselves more through clothing here. In addition, they also treat each other differently. They are very open, friendly and respect everyone. Everyone is part of the game.

What does your usual working day look like?

My days are the regular 9.00-17.30 hours. For a city as Berlin these hours are ideal, as I can do something every evening. That way, I hope I’ve seen most of the city before I leave. Including the city’s many hidden treasures.

What's the working-atmosphere at your internship-company like?

Normally, Germany is very punctual and I’ve been told this many times during my German classes. I experience Berlin a bit different however, or I just had a lot of luck with my company. The working atmosphere is great, we do a lot of ‘duzen’ but always have the motto that people should work hard.

Did you ever feel homesick? How did you cope with this?

I’ve had homesickness my whole life. But by confronting this every time, I learned to deal with it. Now that I’ve reached that point, I can say that I don’t really experience homesickness anymore. Of course I do miss my parents once in a while, but well, who wouldn’t ;)

Did you feel at home in your new country? Why (not)?

I feel very at home here! I’ve met a nice group of people and experience something new every week. That keeps it exciting! For example, I’ve been cycling through the East of Berlin to the Treptower Park. I live in the centre of Berlin and am working in West so I haven’t had a confrontation with the East yet. The cycle tour really opened my eyes. Life over there is still worse than other parts of Berlin, which is bizarre. I won’t tell much about the Treptower Park, that’s a tip for when you visit Berlin!

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.)

There’s a friend for every person in Berlin. The diversity of people is huge here. We all know the German stereotype, that I come across here too of course. But I’ve also met a lot of ‘hippies’ with their typical music, also part of Berlin and something you should experience too.

Describe the inhabitants of Berlin in three words.

Open, unique and embracing in the broadest sense of the word.

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!

I’m convinced that living somewhere else for a period of time is a good addition to your personal development. But I could never expect that it would be so good here in Berlin! You learn to communicate on different levels and gain trust in your own handling. Besides, Berlin offers so much more than what it’s known for - take all the tips from locals. Also, living in Berlin is rather cheap, you can have half a liter of beer for only 1,50€. That on itself is a good reason to go there!