The journey continues
So, the journey continues! I have two weeks of German study under my belt now and already feel like I have much of the structure to start speaking. As our teacher Marion says, structure and pronunciation are so important in the beginning (and I agree). She also says that when it comes to learning German, there can be a lot of information upfront, but then it becomes much less difﬁcult the more basis one has, which is contrary to some other languages I’ve studied which are easy at ﬁrst and get harder.
It has been amazing hearing German spoken around me and understanding more and more of it, as well as discovering what so many of the signs, announcements, menus, and more mean around my environment. I always love how language learning is like a puzzle that slowly gets revealed with each new step you attain.
Deﬁnitely the highlight of studying here has been the location, and I want to focus on that. It is no secret that Berlin is a great city, but I want to convey just how genuinely awesome it is here—to anyone who is considering coming here and wants to know what the experience would be like beyond the classroom as well.
First, I love how Kapitel Zwei is situated right in Alexanderplatz, because I always feel like I am right in the center of action when I start my day at class. I love how I can wake up, have a relaxing morning near Bernauer Straße and Brunnenstraße where I’m living, and then take the U- Bahn just a few stops from Alexanderplatz and I’m at class.
I think it’s important as a student and as a newcomer to a city to set yourself up for success with the kinds of places you will enjoy, and that is easy to come by here. Berlin has every kind of restaurant, park, museum, bar, club, and person you could ever dream of—there is truly something for everyone.
For me personally, I have been especially enjoying all the Asian and vegetarian cuisine here- Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, and more—as well as lots of other delicious creative markets, street food, and places to explore different kinds of eating. I also love how convenient it is to shop and cook at home, as well as get delicious snacks and produce on the go at Turkish markets.
In terms of culture, Berlin is second to none in terms of ﬁnding ways to discover the people of the language you are learning. I live right near where the Berlin Wall was, for example. Museums and historical buildings are all over the city. One of my goals over my last two weeks here is to see more of the history—I guess I have been so busy meeting friends and enjoying daily life! It can be easy to forget to see some of the tourist sites, but they’re great as well.
Having an enjoyable way of life in a city makes learning German a fun and achievable goal no matter what your purpose is for learning it. The convenient transportation, diverse food and lifestyle options, and open-minded and creative vibe here are all huge pluses for any learner.
To close off for today—I’ll just say that I have been traveling almost nonstop for the past year, and I have absolutely no desire to leave Berlin. I actually made a commitment to myself to stay in the city and not take any trips elsewhere and it has not been difﬁcult to keep that commitment because I am engaged with something new every day.