September in Berlin

Post by Anne, English Law and German Law student

Hi, my name is Anne, and I’m a student on the Anglo-German degree. As part of the course, I am spending my 3rd year at Humboldt-Universität Berlin.

I think us Germany-bound students had the longest summer –  after finishing our King’s exams in May, a long summer stretched out before us and we don’t start here until October 17th.

However, there was enough admin work to be done to prepare for the academic year: if there is one striking difference I’ve noticed between the UK and the German education systems, it is the amount of guidance students receive. Back at King’s, I would lazily log into the KCL app on my phone a couple of weeks before the term started, to conveniently find a comprehensive reading list and a timetable laid out for me with all classes planned right until the end of the year. Here in Berlin, nobody takes you by the hand like that.

But with October approaching, I thought, “shouldn’t I be going back to uni again soon?” – and so I opened up my laptop to do some research. It turns out that you are expected to weasel your way through the complicated university website(s) to find out which classes you are meant to be taking (one of mine has the impressive title “Allgemeines Verwaltungsrecht, Verwaltungsprozessrecht und Staatshaftungsrecht”) and to put together your own, very packed, timetable. I also looked through the university sports catalogue and spontaneously signed up for a martial arts course for women. Now with all that done, it looks like I am set!

In terms of getting settled, I am a special case. While this is technically a ‘year abroad’ for me, Berlin is my home: I lived here for 10 years until I moved to London. So, fortunately, I am not overwhelmed by public transport or the different currency or language. But still, this is a new chapter for me; I came back here barely knowing anyone, moved into a new flat in an area I don’t know at all, and am starting all over again. I am ready to explore Berlin from a new perspective! My new flat is a short bike ride from the city centre (Friedrichstraße), where the beautiful Humboldt campus is located.

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