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An image of a sunroom with a flowers on the table and a red couch in the corner.

Move to Europe for 3 months? Live with a new family? Commute to classes? Why not! A study abroad in Berlin sounded exciting, invaluable and also daunting at the same time. I already uprooted my life to move to America, but the thought of moving to Berlin felt entirely different. I would miss all the people I love on campus and be outside my comfort zone at Dartmouth. However, what is Dartmouth if it isn't supposed to push me to try new things? 

The Green City Berlin program pairs students with a host family based on habits, interests and priorities. They also take specific requests into consideration! I requested to be near other students, and I live on a street with three other students. My host family is a couple, an art historian and an architect, whose children have moved out of the house. They are amazing hosts and make me feel so welcome in their home. 

I have my own room with more than enough space for myself and my belongings. My room has a work desk overlooking their beautiful garden! Host families are required to provide students with breakfast and dinner on weekdays and all meals on weekends. My host family and many host families in this program eat little to no meat. This is something foreign to me, and I initially found it difficult to adjust to. However, after a week or so I got used to the cuisine and style of cooking. They constantly ask me what I like to eat and are ready to help me with anything I need. 

We try to communicate mostly in German but do switch to English when we are discussing topics that I do not have the capacity to discuss in German. They are very patient with my German and help me with grammar and sentence structure when they can! 

I lived with a temporary host family for a week while my permanent host family went on vacation and they were incredibly nice too. They even let me borrow their rollerblades to use during my time here! 

The next Berlin Green City program runs in the Spring Term of 2026. I know it can be daunting to move away from everything you know to live with a different family. Because I stepped outside of my comfort zone, I have loved my stay with my host family in Berlin and it is worth exploring!

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