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Expecting the unexpected while studying abroad in Berlin

Ruby Tucker
Contributor

I never expected to find myself riding a camel in the middle of a Saharan sunset,

Ruby Tucker at the East Side Gallery in Berlin, Germany (Photo: Ruby Tucker)

Ruby Tucker at the East Side Gallery in Berlin, Germany (Photo: Ruby Tucker)

spending a night camping in the Moroccan desert, meeting a guy traveling the world only on his bicycle, or sleeping on the cold London airport floor during a ten hour layover when I signed up to study abroad in Berlin. However, that is what the study abroad experience is. Expect the unexpected.
As I started the journey of deciding where to study abroad, I never would have guessed that I would end up in Europe. I thought I would go to Africa or India and live in a more rural setting. However, life happens, things change, decisions need to be made, and opportunities come. As I sit here in my apartment in Berlin reflecting on the past four months, I can successfully say that I am more than content with my choice. Between all of the art, people, and history, Berlin is truly “happening.” As I started this trip thinking I was only staying for a semester, I remember anxiously packing, not knowing what to expect and feeling like I was starting college all over again; the nerves of making new friends, bringing the right items, and if classes would be hard, overwhelmed my mind. It’s funny how all of the sudden I found myself a junior in college, reverting back to the feelings of freshman year all over again. However, sometimes that is just what you need: a fresh start. Stepping out of the “Goucher Bubble” is so refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments where I am sitting in my school’s computer room, attempting to communicate with my landlord in German to get laundry tokens, or struggling to figure out what to make for dinner in my microwave-less kitchen, or when I miss the hustle and bustle of the Ath and my one card with pre-loaded money on it for laundry, and even Stimson. It’s the little things you think you will never miss. But, I have grown so much and have seen so much of the world that I never expected to see. I find myself crossing things off my bucket list that I never knew were there in the first place: riding a camel in the Saharan desert, sailing across the Nordic Sea, learning German… Wherever you are, or wherever you think you are going, you can never truly know where you’ll end up.

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