Monday, 27.6.2016 Early Morning
“Wait, where are we going?”
“Does anyone know where we’re going?”
More silence. It’s already 9:30am and we have to be at school by 10:00am.
Then, one of the fifteen students cheered, “I got it! We’re taking the U7 towards Rudow and getting off at Bayerische Platz.” Thank you, student whose name I don’t know (yet)! (At this point, I haven’t invested in a sim card. That means I didn’t have data to search for directions).
There is a noticeable nervousness and uncertainty saturating the air. Most of us haven’t met each other until this morning. We’re not sure what to expect. What we do know is one thing: Today is orientation day.
“Willkommen in der Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin. Or, in English. Welcome to the Berlin School of Economics and Law,” said our program coordinator. In a brief overview, we learned that the HWR (BSEL) is one of the top universities in Berlin. The school specializes in private and public management for business and law students. With over 24 bachelors programs, 12 master programs, and MBA pathways, students here at HWR develop a well-rounded technical education infused with international experience.
Not going to lie: after hearing about this school, I’m very excited to start learning (as nerdy as that sounds!). The professors here are brilliant – each a virtuoso of their fields and a great conversationalist. But I’m also excited about the future potential of the school. Majority of lessons are taught in English and tuition is free (under German policy). The school also partners with many other universities around the world; they encourage their students to study and work abroad as part of their education. So, for plan-oriented readers, this may be a school to look into if you’re interested in pursuing an international education.
As for the nervous energy from earlier, it quickly evaporated as the day went on. Everyone knows that this is a new place, situation, experience – what have you. By default, almost everyone is super friendly and keen on making friends. If you’re worried about this, just think back to when you made friends in kindergarten (a German word, by the way): Hey (insert: name), do you want to (insert: explore the city / learn about Germany / try Turkish food)? Viola, you now have a conversation, an exchange of interests, and a potential friend.
Our day didn’t end at the school. The summer program provides for multiple excursions. Today, we went on a river cruise down the Spree. I recommend doing something similar, whether it is a hop-on-hop-off bus or river cruise. The brief tour gave me a good sense of where major landmarks are and some understanding of the history behind the city. I’ll talk more about the city next time. Until then, tschuss!
More to come in FOUR | Berlin, A City Like No Other