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46 posts categorized "Berlin Language"

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



Week 1: Berlin, Germany


Berlin is amazing... I want to stay here forever and live with the people I have met which came as a total shock to me that I might really like Germany. Meeting the group was so fun and I have become really close friends with some of them basically overnight from sharing a room.

My program leaders are so fun and energetic even when they have to be strict about the rules. My language skills are slowly improving like when I learned “ziehen” and “druken” in order to know whether to pull or push the door in order to look normal or being able to get the cashier’s attention with a simple “hallo”.

I am picking up on so many small useful things that I would probably never really have learned in a normal language class, but I also have not yet learned how to say “my name is Ellie” which is something that you usually learn pretty early on in the class. One thing that I was not expecting on this program was that our program gives us weekly food stipends for us to buy our own food. This may sound like a hassle at first it is actually really nice because then we are allowed to have a lot of free time and not have to come back to the dorms at 6 to eat dinner and then head back out into the city.

-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!

Welcome to Berlin!!!

Guten Morgen, Sonnenschein!

The second session of Berlin Language and Culture is in full swing and the time is already going by very quickly.  Forty-five excited students and five energetic program leaders have taken Berlin by storm by successfully navigating the awesome public transport, settling into new homes, and mastering the basic essentials of the language.  Life is GOOD.  
The excursions this past week were geared toward providing an overview of the city - and overview is the perfect word!  We climbed up, up, up all the tiny stairs of the Siegesäule (Victory Column) way out west to see the tops of the trees in the Tiergarten park and beyond.  We also then went east and went up, up, up in the Fernsehturn (Television Tower), the highest point of Berlin to get a grand view of the whole city.  Finally we joined forces and got out of escape rooms just in the nick of time!  All in all, an excellent first week.  
Going home!
Little bit of jet lag, but lots of stuff to learn! 
Wait, what's he doing at the Brandenburg Gate?! 
Does your city have a palace?  (or two, or three, or or or...?!!)
~Susannah Martin :) 
(Photo creds to Erin Kellerhals)

Meet your Session 2 Program Leader: Amanda Henderson

Deutschland 1

Guten Tag! My name is Amanda Henderson and I am excited to be one of your session 2 program leaders. This is my first year working with CIEE, and I am really looking forward to a fun month in Berlin. I have studied German since I was in high school and eventually majored in German at Michigan State University. I am currently a German teacher at Rochester High School and Van Hoosen Middle School.  In my free time I like watching tv, cooking, and cuddling with my two kittens! 

I'm looking forward to meeting you all and to having a great summer in Berlin! Bis bald!

Meet Your Session 2 Program Leader: Mike McCloskey


Hallo! My name is Mike McCloskey and I will be one of your program leaders for Language and Culture in Berlin! I currently teach German at Bunker Hill Middle School in Washington Township, New Jersey and I reside in Philadelphia. This will be my third summer in Berlin leading the German Language and Culture Program. Some might say I’m a pro at this by now! I am returning for my third year in Berlin because I simply love the city and culture. 


It is my goal (and that of the other program leaders) to make sure you have a fun, fulfilling and unforgettable summer in Germany! Berlin can be an intimidating place, but it truly does have a place for everyone. It is a city that wears many different masks. I am here to help you find whatever it is you are looking for in the city as well as help you get the most out of this month in Germany. In addition to German language and culture, I also enjoy theater, a good book, movie marathons, spending time with my friends and Crossfit. Bis bald!


A Student's Perspective: Colin Myers

Today my program leader, Aaron, asked me if I would be willing to write something up over my experiences in Germany.  I believe it is worth noting that my experience will most definitely vary from others.  When I came to Deutschland I had the purpose of becoming a more fluent speaker.  Not as in meaning that I am an expert in the language, but that I understand and can speak in conversation with a flow of exchanges.  When I come home at 18:00 on most weekdays I speak only German with my host family.  This is not something that everyone does, but perhaps they came here with other motives.  Over the last few weeks I have learned about twice the German I knew already after 2 years in school.  CIEE has been in command over the activities, classes and excursions.  When I considered coming to Germany last year I didn’t consider the people that I would be spending time with.  When I looked at all the different possible programs I had to find a higher quality of class, but I may have simply gotten lucky.  CIEE hosts different guest speakers and trips on the weekend or following classes.  I think the classes lead one in the direction of discovery, but you cannot get out what you don’t put in.  Again, my experiences will undoubtedly differ from each other student.


-Colin Myers

Carmel, Indiana 



Colin Myers, Cool Kid on Gneisenaustraße 


Potsdam colin




A Night in Greifswald!

Part of the Berlin program is to spend a night outside of the great big city (and great big it is!!).  After a week of amazing excursions (see photos below!), we took a long and beautiful train ride through green fields and windmills to a tiny and very old city up near the Baltic Sea:  Greifswald.  We spent the night in a youth hostel after wandering the sweet cobble-stoned streets.  The next day we took a boat ride to a neighboring town, Wieck, then back again to the train station.  It was a  short yet sweet journey to to a magical place very different than Berlin!  

Photo credits to participant Christian Steinhofer



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Week one in Berlin is already over?!

This past week has been delightfully full of making friends, getting to know host families, figuring out the lay of the city with public transportation, and of course learning German!!  After only a week, progress is tangible - everyone has improved and feels comfortable in this amazing place.  

What are some of the favorite parts about Berlin already? An overwhelming majority say it's the food!  There is no question that German bread is the best in the world. Using the subways, that everyone follows the rules, and the efficiency of life here came in close seconds.  

We've had three excursions: a bus tour, a visit to a small, hip food market, and a day at the Potsdam Park Sanssouci.  Sundays are reserved for precious free time with host families.  

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Berlin-The Journey Has Just Begun

Schönen guten Tag von Berlin!

Our students have already been living as Berliners for three days now! It's hard to believe that our hectic journey to Berlin was only a few days ago. On Saturday, June 10, 34 students from all over the U.S. traveled to Germany to immerse themselves in the German culture and language for 4 weeks. The first two days of Berlin life was long and tiring for our students. They were filled with orientation presentations about city life in Berlin and ice-breakers to get to know each other. 

Here is a picture of the biggest group traveling to Berlin from JFK. The students were very chipper about their 8 hour flight to Europe. A special shout-out to all of the parents, guardians, friends and families that got the students safely to JFK. Erin and Aaron took over at JFK! Also, we flew Delta, if there was any question ;) 

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After gathering students at Berlin's Tegel Airport, it was time to make our way to CIEE Berlin's G-27 complex in Berlin's Kreuzberg District. This picture shows students arriving at CIEE Berlin's G-27.

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After a night spent together bonding at Berlin's Metropol youth hostel, the students were ready to meet their host families on Monday evening. Here's a picture of the students anxiously waiting to be picked up. 


It was right away that students began taking part in the fun activities and field trips that CIEE Berlin had planned for them. Here is a picture of a city bus tour of Berlin that students went on. Places visited included the Reichstag, Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate and The Eastside Gallery. This is a picture of our tour guide explaining escape stories of East Berliners during the DDR ages across the Spree River. 


With such busy days, the CIEE staff took a day yesterday to give the students a little more city orientation. Trudi, the CIEE Berlin Program Coordinator, is pictured here facilitating a discussion among the students about where they live in Berlin and where they live in the United States. 


There was one other map that was needed to show students' homes, and that was the map of Europe. William is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy, but lives in Milan. He's pictured here with Trudi discussing some differences between Northern and Southern Italians. 

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After only a few days, students can feel their German improving and we've heard many stories of success navigating the challenging Berlin public transport. Here's a map of the subway system (U-Bahn) EEK! 

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The students' journey in Berlin continues today with a workshop on "Identity." Tune in for more updates on your students' success in Berlin! 


Bis dann,


Aaron, Program Leader

Meet your Session 1 Program Leader: Aaron Wilkinson

Hallo Leute! 

I am really excited to be one of the program leaders for the first session of Berlin Language and Culture! I'm from Erie, Pennsylvania, a small city on the shores Lake Erie. I've study German language and culture throughout my academic career. You might be able to tell from my photo that I graduated from Penn State (and that my guilty pleasure is Burger King;) ) I studied abroad in Berlin during my undergrad, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much and made many lifelong friends. I'm so excited for the Berlin students (and all CIEE students) to experience this life-changing opportunity! 

See you all soon!