Spending my spring break in Berlin may have been the most exhausting vacation I’ve ever been on, and I couldn’t be happier about it. We spent six long days learning about German history, politics, and economics, all while being immersed in the nation’s capital. During the day, we typically had about six hours of planned activities, which included three hours of class every morning (which was a little daunting by the end to be honest, but the knowledge gained was so worthwhile), and one planned excursion out into the city.
The course taught is all about Germany’s political economy, from its functions as a market-based society with a strong welfare system that promotes the success and sustaining of middle-sized firms to its tackling of its difficult history in the faced of globalization. The experience of being in the country and viewing the lessons learned in class through actual lived experience changed my entire outlook on the world. I now understand more than ever that I had approached every lesson I had learned with an America-centered worldview, where the way that things are done in the States are the best way and that other lifestyles and forms of governance were simply what other nations did. But now, I see more than ever the America can learn a lot of lesson from nations around the globe.
I’m more exhausted than ever going back to class because of how jam-packed with activities my trip was, but, to be honest, I wouldn’t change it for the world.