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45 posts categorized "Berlin Language"

Week 3: Berlin

Mauer Park was my favorite excursion of all because I loved the atmosphere of Berlin on a Sunday afternoon. Mauer Park holds a flea market and karaoke every Sunday afternoon if the weather is well. The flea market was enormous and I had never seen a flea market like it. There were many stands filled with jewelry, bags, vintage items, food, etc. The karaoke had gathered about 300 or 400 people watching and it was so interesting to see them because you knew you were watching Berlin at its finest right then. People sang karaoke to all sorts of different songs and reasons. I met someone who sang “Valkyrie” to honor the 6th year since her sister passed away. Others sang because they were leaving Berlin and they had always wanted to sing there. I think that part of why I loved this day was because I was no longer meeting new people but just spending time with friends and that felt really nice.


-Ellie M.

'Global Navigator Voices' is a collection of blog articles and pictures by our very own high school study abroad participants. Follow their adventures before, during, and after their experiences abroad!

Graffiti and Street Art Tour!

One thing that students were quick to notice about Berlin when they first arrived was that there was a lot of graffiti, and even students who were from big cities were surprised by the amount they saw here. On Wednesday, the students took place in a graffiti/street art tour that took them through the city and taught them about the history of graffiti and street art. We explored the city and talked about everything from commissioned art, to illegal graffiti in public places. Although it was 90 degrees and sunny out, the students enjoyed their tour and were able to understand a bit more about the city!


Photo credits: Erin Kellerhals, Aaron Wilkinson, Amanda Henderson

Monday Workshops--Photography & Theater

It's hard to believe that we are in our last week in Berlin! Time has flown by, and it is starting to set in that in a weeks time we will all be back home. This past Monday, students again participated in workshops with their classmates. Today I would like to share some snapshots from both the photography and the theater workshop. In the photography workshop students learned about street photography from a local photographer before heading out on their own to capture their own take on the city. Here are some of what they were able to capture in just an hour--we were all very impressed!

Picture credit: Abby Krieckhaus

Picture credit: Emayli Holmes

Picture credit: Hong Wang

The theater workshop was also quite interactive as students worked with a former actress who taught them theater warm-ups as well as helped them craft their own improved skits. The kids had a lot of fun working together and acting out scenes from things they've experienced in Berlin!

Theater 1Picture credit: Amanda Henderson

Skit McDonaldsPicture credit: Amanda Henderson


I love my new home here in Germany, but it is very different from my home in the United States. For example, my roommates and some friends woke up to see the sunrise from Tempelhof Airport which is an abandoned airport that is now home to refugees, and a park, but when we wanted to get food after, we realized that most cafes or other food places were not yet open.

Typical Day:

7:30- Wake up with my roommates to Dancing Queen

8:30- Either cook something in the kitchen or grab something from the cafe downstairs

9:00- In class

10:30- Class stops for a 15 minute break

10:45- Class resumes or a guest speaker appears

11:45- Class is out for lunch


(Juice run during lunch from No Need for Fancy Names)

1:00- Class resumes or an excursion


(Afternoon excursion to The Jewish Museum)

5:00- Free time starts


(Exploring the streets of Berlin)

7:00- Dinner


(Making dinner with my program leaders)

10:00- Curfew


-Ellie M.

'Global Navigator Voices' is a collection of blog articles and pictures by our very own high school study abroad participants. Follow their adventures before, during, and after their experiences abroad!

Olympiastadion Berlin

It is hard to believe that we are finishing up our third week here in Berlin! On Friday, before our excursion we celebrated the birthday of Michaela, one of the students on the program (Happy Birthday Michaela!). The weather was sunny as we set off on the subway to the Olympiastadion, or Olympic Stadium. These grounds hosted the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the Stadium itself is now the home of the German soccer club Hertha BSC. Sudents went on a tour learning about the stadium's significance and history but also took a behind the scenes look at the VIP boxes, team locker rooms, and press areas just to name a few. Friday was a perfect day to tour the stadium, because staff was setting up for a friendly soccer match between Hertha BSC and FC Liverpool. Many of our students (and program leaders) actually attended the game the next day!


Photo: Mike McCloskey


Photo: Mike McCloskey


Photo: Mike McCloskey


After Friday's excursion, students departed to spend the weekend with their host families. This is an opportunity for students and host families to get to know each other even more. We can't wait to hear about all of the fun things that students did with their host families!


Bis bald,

Mike McCloskey

Adventures in Mitte

After a sunny weekend in Greifswald, we returned to the bustling city of Berlin! Our excursions on Tuesday and Wednesday took us out of Kreuzberg to the district of Mitte. On Tuesday, students got a unique ability to go on a tour of the Reichstag building. The Reichstag is home to the German parliament, the Bundestag. Students learned about the buildings long history from it's creation during the days of the German empire all the way through it's current status as the home of the German legislative branch. Students were able to see how, during the remodeling, international artists were invited to create installations that embodied the ideals of democracy or commemorated some part of the history of the German government and people.


Reichstag Interior
Photo: Mike McCloskey


Reichstag Basement
Photo: Mike McCloskey
Group Reichstag
Photo: Mike McCloskey


Group Funny Reichstag
Photo: Mike McCloskey


Reichstag Exterior
Photo: Mike McCloskey

On Wednesday, students continued their exploration of Mitte by going to the Museeninsel, or Museum Island and the Berlin Cathedral, which is the premier protestant church of the city. Students were able to view the beauty of the interior of the Berliner Dom, the crypts of the Hohenzollern Royal Family and go to the roof to see the breathtaking views of the city that the cathedral offered. Students were also able to check out the many museums on the Museeninsel. The Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a variety of exhibitions ranging from Egyptian/Greek/Roman antiquities to paintings and statues from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


C u A Dom
Photo: Mike McCloskey


Photo: Mike McCloskey


M u E Dom
Photo: Mike McCloskey


Rose Dom
Photo: Mike McCloskey


Bis Bald!

Mike McCloskey

Sun and Sand on the Baltic Coast: Guest Blog by Wyatt Zwik

After spending about two weeks in the big, bustling city-state of Berlin, we traveled to Greifswald, a small town by the Baltic Sea to get a taste of life in a small German town. Right when our train arrived in Greifswald, we went straight to the local youth hostel to drop off our bags. Then, we walked over to eat some traditional German food, schnitzel (what else?). To finish off the already full day, we went on a guided tour of the town of Greifswald, taking us through the streets of cobblestone roads and picturesque buildings, ending at the historic museum harbor.

Group Shot Greifswald

Photo: Wyatt Zwik



Photo: Wyatt Zwik


Altstadt Tour

Photo: Mike McCloskey

The next morning, after eating the customary German breakfast of bread, slices of meat and cheese, and fruit we packed up our bags and took a scenic boat ride to the next town, Wieck. After arriving, we split into two groups, having the options to join a group to explore the town of Wieck or a group that would go to the local beach on the Baltic Sea. I decided to go the beach, since well, who doesn’t love the beach on a warm day? At the beach, we swam, had fun, and even buried a fellow program member in the sand! Sadly, after our fun-filled time at the beach, we had to take the bus back to the train station to return to Berlin. Overall, Greifswald and Wieck were two beautiful, scenic German villages that truly contrasted the busy life of a Berliner, while also creating memories I’m sure I’ll have for the rest of my life.

CIEE Beach

Photo: Mike McCloskey


CIEE Water
Photo: Mike McCloskey



Photo: Mike McCloskey


Photo: Wyatt Zwik



CIEE Octopus
Photo: Mike McCloskey




Wyatt Zwik

Berlin Wall Memorial

Today, students visited the Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer) on the infamous Bernauer Straße. Students were led by tour guides through the 1960's, 70's and 80's and learned about the different generations of the Berlin Wall. Students became more familiar with what the Berlin Wall meant for East Berliners and West Berliners. Students also learned the different tactics, in addition to the wall, that the East Germans used to keep their citizens from escaping into the democratic West Berlin. Finally, students were able to see the faces and hear some stories of those people who lost their lives trying to escape from East Berlin. This memorial has preserved part of the Berlin Wall in order to illustrate what times were like in a divided Berlin.IMG_8875
3rd Generation Berlin Wall


Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 11.44.01 PM

One section of the memorial to the victims of the Berlin Wall

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 11.47.43 PM



Watch Tower


We still have a lot more to see of Berlin in a short amount of time! 

-Aaron Wilkinson, Program Leader

Berlin Guest Blog by Anneke Oosten

Guten Tag from Berlin! A lot has happened in our second week here, which was met with much enthusiasm and energy all around.
 On Wednesday our giant group took a video bus tour around central Berlin. We learned a lot about the history and culture of the area, with an emphasis on how the city center has changed over time (hint-a lot). We learned about how things were rebuilt after the war, and about the drastically different approaches East and West Berlin had towards architecture. We were also given an opportunity to visit the infamous East Side Gallery, which was decorated with beautiful, creative, and meaningful art. Much of it reflected the political orientation of people in the late eighties and nineties.
IMG_0970Photo: Anneke Oosten
On Thursday we split into two groups to take a walking refugee tour. We learned about how Berlin is impacted by refugees, and how refugees are impacted by Berlin. It was given by actual refugees who told their incredible life stories. It was fascinating to hear another perspective of this ongoing issue, and learn about how the refugees that fled to Germany have added to its culture. The group I was in had a tour guide who had arrived in Germany with no knowledge whatsover of the language or culture. He had to learn how to communicate by watching and listening, and also had to support himself and save for his wife and children, who had to remain in Syria.
Photo: Mike McCloskey
Photo: Mike McCloskey
On Tuesday almost fifty students and Program Leaders went to Sachsenhausen. It was one of the first work camps created by the Nazis. Originally used for political prisoners, Jews, asocials, and other groups were added with it's expansion later on, and all were treated horribly and often used for slave labor. Most students had read and heard about the concentration camps of World War Two, but to see it in person is an entirely different matter. There is a certain gravity to walking on the land where others took their last steps, and I will never forget it. We are incredibly lucky to live in our time, where it is safer to practice religion and freely express political beliefs, and will never forget those who did not have those liberties. One of the hardest things for me is looking at my peers and wondering what we would have done had we lived then. As a Jew, would any of my friends have had the courage to stand up foir me? If the situation were reversed would I have had the courage to stand up for them?
Photo: Shea Husband
Auf Wiedersehen,
Anneke Oosten

Workshop Mondays

Guten Tag aus Berlin!

It has been an exciting week here in Berlin! We will have some guest blogs from students later this weekend, but I'll tell you about what we did on Monday. Here in Berlin we have workshops on Mondays that are meant to allow students to interact more closely with the culture of Berlin. Each week students attend a different workshop on topics such as theater and photographing Berlin. This week we will focus on a workshop students attended on Intercultural Identity; a very important and current topic in multicultural Berlin.

Students attended this workshop to understand how we project our culture through our words, foods, body language and even our names. More importantly, students discussed how difficulties can arise when cultures meet that come from very different perspectives. Students did several activities that allowed them to see how their own cultural identity and their reactions to the cultural identity of others will shape their experiences here in Berlin. More to come this weekend!







-Mike McCloskey