What I Did in Berlin
Past Berlin Student Ambassadors
When I arrived in Berlin, I didn’t feel like I would be able to get to know the city and people very well. I thought that taking classes at a Stanford center would make it difficult to meet new people and see new places, but I was quickly proven wrong. I had a weekly seminar with a professor where we toured the city, learning about the history behind the statues and buildings that I walked by every day on my way to the center. I made friends with local shop owners. And I explored the Free University of Berlin with other Stanford students, finding a sitting area where all the University students like to gather between class periods. We talked about German politics, education systems, and world issues with students at the university, and when I went home to my homestay, I continued those conversations with my host mom and the two graduate students that lived next door. In 10 weeks, I got to know the city and people well.
Kim Ngo - Spring 2018-19
I've been to Berlin before, and I remember really enjoying the place, the people, the weather, the adventure, the ambiance and the possibilities. I was also pleasantly surprised to see so many immigrant neighborhoods and multicultural pockets. I also find it an exciting city in how many diverse enclaves (those corners with prolific street arts) and attractions it has, like arts center that hosts exhibitions, conferences, film screenings, and workshops.
Angel Pan - Autumn 2018-19
The main difference between studying abroad and studying at Stanford, unsurprisingly, is the location. However, because you are in a different location, many of the courses will take advantage of this and take the students on trips around the city, taking the classroom outside.
Sofia Patino-Duque - Spring 2017-18
I improved my German language skills and comprehension, not only in the classroom but also by stepping outside and interacting with the people around me. I also made incredible progress on my German Studies major as every class I took counted towards my degree.
Corie Wieland (International Relations) - Winter & Spring 2017-18
Berlin has such a rich and complicated history. One of the greatest benefits to studying in Berlin is that the city itself becomes the classroom. Almost every street or building has its own complex story, and when you can see and touch the history you have otherwise only read about, it becomes more of a personal experience.
Charlie Xu (Computer Science) - Spring 2017-18
I chose to study abroad in Berlin because I’m interested in a wide variety of subjects: engineering, politics, music, art, and history, each of which is magnificently interwoven into the culture of Berlin. In addition, the Berlin program provided me the opportunity to live with a host family, which offered me the perfect opportunity to truly experience what it would be like to live in another country.
Alex Young (Chemical Engineering) - Spring 2017-18
I essentially completed my German Studies minor in Berlin, and was able to do so through immersive and authentically German courses. My German also improved quite a bit, and I was able to complete my language requirement in two quarters as opposed to three. I also did an independent study with the faculty in residence, who was an incredible mentor. Through this, I was able to explore a topic in my own field of study that related directly to Berlin.
Michael Lu (Electrical Engineering) - Spring 2016-17
Berlin was indeed quite the epitome of diversity. From each district boasting its own unique feature-- Neukölln as the immigrant hub, Dahlem as the wealthy suburbs, Kreuzberg as the party go-to-- to Asian restaurants and Turkish döner stands lining the streets, Berlin was everything I imagined and more.
Pablo Adalpe (Mathematical and Computational Science) - Winter 2016-17
Since the course selection in Berlin is limited compared to the dizzying expanse of ExploreCourses, it's a great chance to dive into topics which may not otherwise dominate your schedule and to discuss them with classmates from a wide range of backgrounds.
Robin (RJ) Willscheidt (Political Science) - Spring 2016-17
Berlin is both a political and artistic hotspot, so I often had the opportunity to practically explore my fields. There was always something going on that I wanted to see.
Peter Satterthwaite (Electrical Engineering) - Autumn 2015-16
I was interested in learning German because my grandfather was a German speaker from Switzerland and I wanted to learn the language. I was also interested in living and working abroad for a longer time period, an opportunity which was provided by the Krupp Internship Program.
Gaby Steiner (Human Biology) - Winter 2015-16
I applied Second Round on a whim initially because I needed a change of pace and saw the opportunity to stay abroad longer (due to Krupp).
Ishan Somshekar (Symbolic Systems) - Winter 2014-15
I began learning German almost two years ago because I had always been fascinated by German culture. I’d always wanted to study abroad during my Stanford career and realized that Germany and Berlin were the perfect fit for me.
Nick Freybler (Electrical Engineering) - Spring 2013-14
I took a break from my Engineering major to explore the arts and culture, something that is easily forgotten back at campus. Courses abroad are significantly different than courses at Stanford; there is a certain special “something” that I cannot put into words about them.
Stephen (Mac) Goodspeed (Symbolic Systems) - Winter & Spring 2014-15
Life in Berlin has a reputation for being, above all else, a journey. It was time for my narrative to take on new meanings, and Berlin seemed to offer the most mind-expanding opportunities, in terms of its radical, evocative, and hyper-intellectual nature. I wanted to be overwhelmed with a new sense of the world.