This weeks update will be a little shorter as I have to write from my phone. But I feel good this week. The school has begun and I finally received some positive information about an apartment – officially speaking, I’m moving in tomorrow (Monday). So no more hotels or AirBnb even though the last stay was amazing! Yes, I stayed with a couple and their dog for 6 days and they were incredible sweet people. So nice that we’ve planned to meet again soon. The apartment I have taken over is not located far away from school, approx 30 minutes to walk. This is a good distance which wakes me up in the morning.
The school (EBC Hochschule) is actually a private school, but because of the exchange program, I only have to pay tuition to the school in Lillehammer. At the same time, I have the same benefits as my peers in class and I’m actually quite satisfied with my class. I was really excited to see what kind of people who’d be in class. It turns out that we are an international class with people from Taiwan, Philippines, India, Germany, Norway, Latvia, Italy, Bulgaria and more. We have a good class dynamics and learn something about cultures every day, which is partially why I searched for an exchange program to begin with – to learn more about cultures. The school system is also quite different than Norway. All subjects are way smaller in terms of credits (ects) – 2 and 3 points. This means I have 11-12 subjects. There is mandatory attendance for all classes and the school regulation says that if you skip more than 3 classes, you can be rejected to enter exam, which is quite different than I previously have experienced. Kind of going back to high school, only tougher in terms of the content in the subjects. It seems to be normal with classes that begin 8:30 in the morning and some days lasts until 17:30, so some days can be quite long(!). Especially compared to the classes in Lillehammer where we could have entire weeks shorter than this. But this is a matter of transition and would feel natural over some time.
Berlin – the city
I have now been here more than one week and feel like I understand more of the dynamics. For one, the city is way bigger than I anticipated. Two, I have seen outfits that I will never be able to understand or grasp the meaning of. But this is also some of the charm down here. My impression is that Berlin is a beautiful city with many parks in the city and feels safe regardless to where I walk.
When it comes to nightlife and cultural scene, I yet don’t have much to report other than a few tourist visits like a visit to Brandenburgen Tor, the home of Angela Merchel, and ring outside the museums on Museum Island.
Because I have limited access to internet, I have started to read a book by Simon Sinek. The same person in the interview about “the problem with millennials“. The book I’m reading is called “Start with Why – how great leaders inspire everyone to take action”. I bought this book because I find a fascination in his interviews on YouTube. If you haven’t seen any videos about him, I highly recommend doing so! There are many topics he touches into, but the general aspect is leadership and inspiration. I find these topics to be really interesting as this affects, basically, everyday life.
I have also been hanging out with Line, my classmate for the tourist activities and I must admit that it’s quite strange to now being able to call friends to ask if they want to hang out as I could back in Norway.
Next Sunday I will tell more about the apartment.