Where has the time gone!? A rhetorical question because I know where the time has gone; it has turned moments into memories. My mind and heart are becoming acquainted with the fact that life moves fast.


A few things I have been grateful for recently: my kind host who knitted me a beautiful pair of socks; Nenfa and Sam, my four-legged siblings who are the bests of friends; quiet morning walks to the U-Bahn station; and of course, imfamous German chocolate.

I arrived safely to my homestay and was greeted by my wonderful host and her two dogs. My beautiful new friends were quick to show me around the neighborhood; the place I would be calling home for the next four months. We explored the local sights, located the nearest U-Bahn station, and grabbed a few essentials at our closest Lidl.

I am so grateful to be staying with such a patient host who is an incredible dog mom, welcomes my mistakes, and bakes wonderful Käsekuchen.



Walking has been a large part of my life here in Berlin. Since arriving, I have not seen the inside of a car, and instead have become acquainted with the wonderful public transit system Berlin boasts. I have enjoyed being one with the elements, or rather I have realized this is something I will have to enjoy. There is a phrase that I find very fitting of the German mindset when it comes to clothing, “Es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, nur schlechte Kleidung.” Roughly translating to, “there is no bad weather, just bad clothing.”

We have experienced rain, shine, and snow; sometimes all in the same day. I am loving the unexpected nature and spontaneity of it all.

Walking everywhere has forced me to be more aware of my surroundings in a beautiful way. No longer am I able to close the car door and tune out the world for the duration of my commute, rather I am forced to notice the subtle details I would have otherwise missed.

Listening well

If only every building, door, empty space, and street could tell us about the lives they have lived. What would they say? I feel walking allows me to listen closer to the stories they want to share.

When I am walking, I am often walking to or from an S-Bahn, U-Bahn, bus, or tram station. IES provides every student with a monthly pass to utilize the transportation system as much as they would like. I have used this public transit system to experience the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin wall, the famous Museum Island, the Mercedes Benz Arena and so many other amazing places. I have loved visiting local churches, the Berlin Philharmonie, and an abandoned 19th century sanatorium just to name a few. What a wild semester already.

Berlin has been very kind to me, and I am excited to see and experience more of this intricate place.

I appreciate you following along!

Published by Natalie Hammer

Class of 2024 Social Work and German Major IES Berlin - Language & Area Studies

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