Hallo meine Lieben!
It’s Miina, your Berlin bound SASA reporting for duty! Seeing my fellow ambassadors embarking on their study abroad adventures on the other side of the world has made me slowly realise how soon mine is about to begin. The 9th of September is the first day of my intensive language course and after a month or so I’ll start my third year of Theology & Religious Studies in the beautiful Humboldt-Universität which you can see in the picture above. Yes, that is my actual uni. I don’t know how I got so lucky with my places of study – first Hogwarts, now a palace-look-alike! It feels unbelievable that this is finally going to happen. After the entire application madness (I’ll help you with that later on), the long hours spent looking for course information, the waiting of the final acceptance letter… I’m really going to live in Berlin!! I have worked in the beautiful Finnish archipelago for the whole summer, and it feels crazy yet awesome that the serenity of an island will soon change into the buzz of a metropolis.
The only but is that I have a lot to do still: most importantly, I need to find a flat. The only university halls I would’ve been offered, is located 60 minutes from my campus by public transport. Even though sitting on U-Bahns, S-Bahns and all the other Bahns is super cheap for students in Berlin, I’m not a fan of traveling two hours a day just to be able to study. And after sending countless messages on WG-gesucht.de and getting either no or nothing back, it seems like an impossible task to get a private flat online. I almost had a Skype interview but in the end they of course chose someone they could actually meet. I’ve talked with others who’ve been in the same situation, and I think I’ll stay in a hostel or a friend of a friend’s place for a few days/a week and just go to as many flat viewings as possible and hopefully find something so that I don’t have to put up a tent in Mauerpark. Which could be kind of cool, but you know, walls are nice and warmth isn’t appreciated for nothing. Wish me luck, and I’ll of course let you know all the dos and don’ts of flat hunting in Germany once I’m a bit wiser!
(Obligatory test use of my SASA hoodie in the archipelago sunset.)
I’m sure everything will work out just fine and I already feel like there’s a very strong support network waiting for me down there. My Erasmus coordinator messaged all the new international students of the faculty of Theology about an information session and a campus tour taking place in the beginning of October. After the tour she will invite us for ’Kaffee und Kuchen’, as in coffee and cake, and help us with course choices and to understand all the shenanigans of the evil ECTS-points. How nice is that! I’m counting on the fact that as long as there’s coffee and cake, my to-do-list will quickly turn into a have-done-everything-now-i-can-be-proud-list.
Bis bald, next time I’ll write from Berlin – hopefully I’ll have a home by then! And if you have anything to ask in the meantime, don’t hesitate to drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll be happy to help.