My Study Abroad in Berlin, Germany

Guest Post By: Elaine Hao, a Junior studying Finance and Marketing. She is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, and she studied abroad through IES Abroad Berlin during Spring Quarter 2024.


Studying abroad is an exhilarating journey that exposes you to new cultures, languages, and perspectives. My adventure led me to the vibrant and dynamic city of Berlin, Germany. From historical landmarks to modern art scenes, Berlin has been an unforgettable chapter in my academic and personal growth.

Academic Pursuits

My academic journey took place at IES Study Abroad Center nestled in the heart of Berlin. The courses were intellectually stimulating, and the diverse student body enriched my learning experience. From collaborative projects to visits of actual start-up companies we were learning about in class; I embraced the opportunity to broaden my academic horizons in a global context.

Cultural Immersion

Berlin is a city that breathes history, and I soaked it all in. Exploring the remnants of the Berlin Wall, visiting the iconic Brandenburg Gate, and delving into the city’s museums provided me with a profound understanding of Germany’s complex past. The cultural diversity of Berlin also manifested in its lively neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and character.

Weekend Explorations

Weekends became a thrilling chapter of exploration extending beyond Berlin, Germany. One weekend found me in the enchanting city of Prague, where the medieval architecture and rich history captivated my senses. Another time, I immersed myself in the romantic charm of Italy, wandering through the streets of Rome, savoring every moment of cultural richness. Greece, with its ancient ruins in Athens and the stunning island of Santorini, became a destination that left me in awe of its historical significance and natural beauty.

As much as I cherished the vibrant nightlife and eclectic culinary scene in Berlin, the ability to effortlessly hop on a train or plane and explore neighboring countries added an extra layer of excitement to my weekends. Each destination brought a unique flavor to my overall study abroad experience, turning my time in Europe into a tapestry of diverse cultures and unforgettable memories.

Personal Growth

Studying abroad is not just about academics; it’s a transformative experience that shapes personal growth. Navigating a foreign city, adapting to a new culture, and building friendships with people from around the world and my cohort challenged me in ways I never anticipated. I emerged from this experience with a broader perspective, increased independence, and a newfound appreciation for diversity.


As I reflect on my time studying abroad in Berlin, I am grateful for the memories, challenges, and friendships that have become an integral part of my life. Berlin will forever hold a special place in my heart as the city where I not only pursued my academic goals but also discovered a deeper understanding of myself and the world.