Several weeks ago I applied for a scholarship through the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service – trust me, the acronym makes sense in German) to study journalism in Berlin at the Freie Universität this summer. Well guess what?
I GOT IT!!!
I was so excited, I was literally crying when I found out. DAAD scholarships are extremely competitive – I’d applied for a different one before and didn’t get it – and this particular stipend is offered to only 10 students in the U.S. and Canada (although 5 more are selected to participate in the program without the stipend). I will spend 6 weeks taking journalism classes with other students at one of Germany’s most prestigious universities, then 5 weeks doing an internship with a German news organization. In addition, I’ll be getting a 650-euro monthly stipend to help cover the costs of living. How cool is that? If you want more info on the program I’ll be doing, check out this link.
I’m super excited to be going back to this city only six months after I came home. I just bought plane tickets and will be flying out June 2, staying for 88 days (because after 90 days you need a visa, and it’s way more expensive to fly on Aug. 31 than Aug. 29!), then finishing up my last year as an undergrad at PLU.
I doubt I’ll have as much free time to travel and experience the city as I did during my semester abroad with IES, but I’ll have some 12 days at the end of this trip again to travel, and I’m hoping to make at least a few weekend trips to various cities to make the most of my time in Europe again. I’ll be sure to keep this blog updated on what I’m up to!
Me eating a Döner at the famous shop at Rosa-Luxembourg Platz in Berlin. Döner is a common German street food which has recently surpassed in popularity both Currywurst and pizza. The dish originated in Turkey and was brought to Germany (Berlin in particular) by Turkish migrant workers after WWII, but it has now developed independently in Germany and I’m told it’s actually quite different today than the Döner eaten in Turkey. It’s related to the Greek gyro and Israeli schwarma. Honestly, I don’t know the difference between the three. Döner in Berlin is usually served on a grilled pita-like flat bread with meat (or falafel) on the bottom, shredded lettuce in the middle, and onions on top. It varies between different places what else you’ll find on it, but some usual suspects include tomato, cucumbers, and/or red cabbage. This particular shop put big slices of Feta cheese in there, too.
Fact: There is no graceful way to eat a Döner.
So, I kept meaning to post about organ lessons while I was there. But other interesting stuff kept coming up and the organ lessons got routine and before I knew it, I was back in America. So here’s what happened: Continue reading
Being a tourist is fun, but nothing lets you experience local culture like living with natives. That’s why I am incredibly grateful to have spent the last 5 days of my trip with a host family in a small village in Bavaria. Continue reading
Posted in Christmas season, Travel
Tagged Bavaria, beer, candles, cathedrals, Christmas, Christmas tree, churches, culture, family, Hofbräuhaus, holiday, homestay, host, host family, hymns, Jugendstil, Jungendstil Volksbad, life, local, München, Munich, old buildings, singing, songs, stories, swimming pool, tourist, Vilshofen
After a tearful train-station goodbye in Salzburg, layovers in Wels and Passau, and almost getting charged €40 for riding without a ticket, I finally made it to the train station in Vilshofen. It was a nightmare getting there, though! Continue reading
Posted in Christmas season, Travel
Tagged break down, bus, Deutsche Bahn, horror stories, late, missed connection, missed train, OEBB, schwarzfahren, train ride, trains, travel
My last week of Berlin was a stressful frenzy of studying for tests, correcting essays and packing. My last final was Dec. 13, a Thursday afternoon, and Friday my boyfriend Mischo and I left Berlin in the early morning for a week of traveling.
For pictures for this post, see http://www.alisonphotoland.wordpress.com
Posted in Christmas season, Sightseeing, Travel
Tagged architecture, Austria, Bavaria, cathedral, Christmas markets, Czech Republic, fortress, holiday, host family, Hundertwasser, medieval, Mozart, museums, Passau, Salzburg, ski resort, skiing, Spindlermühle, The Hobbit, tourist, travel, vacatin, Vienna, Vilshofen
Well folks, that time is upon us! No, it’s not Christmas yet, we’re still in Advent. Why make a big deal distinguishing between Christmas and Advent when virtually nobody in this city regularly goes to church anymore? Good question, but that’s how it is. Continue reading