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Berlin, a multifaceted city

Publié le February 27, 2020, Mis à jour le February 27, 2020

Samuel Renaud, a twenty-one-year-old second-year student in Programme Grande Ecole at EM Strasbourg, shares his experience studying in Berlin. After completing post-secondary foundation classes in economics and business (science track), he decided to hang his hat in a very cosmopolitan city in order to refine his career objectives.

Samuel RENAUD

Samuel RENAUD

How to choose a destination ?


Initially, Samuel hesitated between two major European capitals: Dublin and Berlin. In the end, Germany prevailed. After studying German for many years, Samuel wanted to further improve his German while also practicing English. The German capital proved to be an excellent destination to do just that. "All my classes are taught in English and, at the same time, I am perfecting my German in everyday life." His decision to study in Berlin was also in line with his career objectives. "I chose this city for the impact it could have on my future career. At the end of this year, I would like to find an internship in Germany. In fact, my search has already begun."


Mastery of the language, success !


Upon his arrival at the university, Samuel discovered new pedagogy. "The courses are of very good quality. They are much more practical and focused on oral communication.” Among the wide range of courses offered, the specialization in finance was an obvious choice for Samuel, but he also chose subjects such as law and marketing. With twenty-four hours of classes per week taught by lecturers from the professional world, he can now think in French, English, and German!


Germany, so close and ultimately so different


When Samuel left to study in another European country, he did not expect a culture shock. Nevertheless, he notes that relationships between students are very different: there is great respect for privacy. Most Berlin students attend classes and then leave afterwards, which does provide much opportunity for exchanging with Erasmus students. Student associations and on-campus sports facilities are also lacking. "I was really used to the student associations at EM Strasbourg and when I arrived here, I felt like something was missing," he admits.
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Life in Berlin, surprises at every turn?


These disappointments are swept away by life in the capital, its currywurst, and its friendly inhabitants. "Berlin has a very calm, relaxed, and restful side, yet the city is known for its many nightclubs in former factories." The city is ambivalent; nightlife blends with tranquil Sundays in the greenery of Berlin. The same applies to the architecture: "beautiful historic buildings border wasteland and abandoned buildings."

In short, Samuel has a piece of advice for those who dream of spending a year in Berlin: "You really have to know why you want to go. You'll enjoy your experience on that condition."
 
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Everyday life: accommodations in Berlin

"It's the housing crisis in Berlin." Living in the German capital is not easy because it is a very attractive city. Samuel has chosen to stay in a private student residence thirty minutes away by public transport (free for students) for €695 per month. For that price, he has a twenty-square-meter studio apartment, internet, and a shared laundry room.

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