Taking a long-term language course abroad is a big decision to make. Will I enjoy the culture, the food, the people? What do I have to take into consideration when planning my stay abroad? Will I miss home? How quickly will I adapt and learn the new language?
Christian is one of our current long-term students, who has been attending a German language course at our institute in Berlin-Mitte since February 07, 2022, and who will stay with us until the end of July. He has decided to share his first-hand experience in the form of regular blog posts. Here is his first report:
Welcome to this new blog with a taste of Berlin!
I am Christian, I am 25 years old and I come from Venezuela. My mother tongue is Spanish, but I also speak a little English and German. I am studying German at the Humboldt-Institut in Berlin, and I hope to continue learning a lot during my stay here in this beautiful city.
My goal to learn German stems from the intention of broadening my horizon and, thus, gaining more life experience. I plan to continue studying languages in order to improve my professional chances in the world of languages.
Two years ago, I applied for a course at the Humboldt-Institut. However, given the situation that the world was going through, many things were too complicated to be able to attend a course in Berlin. Hence, for two years I was forced to wait in my home country that was going through many of its own problems due to the pandemic.
Luckily, after spending almost two years in the waiting, I was finally able to resume my registration. With the help of the Humboldt-Institut, I was able to successfully complete all the steps so that my trip to Germany could finally take place in January 2022.
I first got to spend one month with my family in Berlin before starting my language course at Humboldt with great emotion in February.
My arrival in Germany was very exciting because it was the first time that I had left my native country. I was confronted with many new things that I had not experienced before. Feeling the cold in winter time, for example. In my country, the daily temperature is usually 30 °C and we lack seasons, so in Venezuela we only have the dry season or the rainy season. In Germany, though, at 2 °C, I got to tour the streets of Berlin fully bundled up, which was an entirely new experience for me. I was also surprised by its amazing and efficient public transportation that stands out a lot from what I’m used to seeing.
In February, I finally checked in at the Humboldt-Institut on a quiet Sunday morning. After a very welcoming check-in at the reception, the staff showed me to my room, where I would soon meet my new roommate, who also warmly welcomed me and who helped me settle in nicely.
To this date, I have been in Berlin for almost three months and at the Humboldt-Institut for almost two months. [Note: This report was written on March 23, 2022.] I love my room, a place where I dedicate myself to study or rest when I am out of class. I really enjoy the classes, and feel that the learning here is quite effective and you can absorb a lot of knowledge in a short period of time. When I started two months ago, I didn’t have any German knowledge and was a total beginner. Now I am already about to complete level A2. In my free time, I either review the course material or rest. However, I also love to explore the surroundings, and thanks to the activities of the institute, I get to know new points of interest from which I can learn a lot about the history of Berlin and Germany. I also like those outings where all students get to know each other better.
After around two months of taking the German language course at the Humboldt-Institut in Berlin-Mitte, I feel that I have learned a lot and unlike when I arrived, I understand the German language already much better. I still need a push to start speaking it but I can answer with basic German now, and I know it will get even easier with time.
Although I have enjoyed many new experiences and have learned a lot so far, it is inevitable to feel a small portion of nostalgia for being away from home, my family, friends, and the environment I am used to. Nevertheless, I am determined to continue to pursue my goals, because I know that I can always go back to Venezuela and then tell my family about all the adventures I have had.
Hence, during my time here, I hope to learn a lot of new things, i.e. the German language and also its history, which is undoubtedly rich in culture and special places. I am extremely excited about this, and cannot wait to share new stories with you in this blog.
Until next time,