My name is Meredith Stein, I also go by MuddaGoose. I am a Sophomore in Gallatin concentrating in Studio Art and Business. I’m from the city of Chicago, Illinois and I love where I am from. Living in Chicago has taught me that a city with great public transportation allows for limitless adventure. This influenced my decision to go school in New York as well as study abroad in Berlin, all great cities with equally as great means of transit.
Traveling to a new place is always exciting, however, on a limited budget exploring more distant surroundings can be quite frustrating. A good public transit system solves this crisis. I have found that in most cities that I have visited, at least initially, I would map and navigate according to the train system.When I arrived in Berlin, I took the S41-Bahn to the U6-Bahn. Since my arrival I have begun to fill in my map of the city. I find comfort taking a train line that I have in the past and a sense of wonder when taking a different line or surfacing from a new station. Initially, all of the train station names seemed so odd to me (Eberswalderstraße, Schonhauserstraße, ect.) but now I am starting to recognize them, and soon I hope to have the whole map ingrained in my mind. It’s nice to not think to hard about how to get from one point to the next when there is necessity.
The new transit system takes me to spaces that are very new to me, specifically bars and clubs. I’ve been to more bars in the past week than I have in the rest of my life. I find myself meeting people and attempting to practice what little German I know at this point, those who know both English and German are very supportive of my attempts. The bars themselves are not too costly either and this allows me to indulge. Clubs are also a new space for me, I do really enjoy dancing but I dislike spending large amounts of money and dressing up. In Berlin, not only are clubs not expensive, but the dress code is comfortable!
The lower living costs in Berlin were a large factor in determining the destination for my study abroad semester. I have so much more purchasing power in Berlin than in New York. I filled my grocery cart and only paid 15 euros (I can get used to this). I can buy 1.5 liters of sparkling water, my favorite drink, for 19 cents plus a 25 cent deposit! I look forward to my next five months in Berlin where I can continue to wander while getting to know the city and all it has to offer.