Berlin in and its languages

Compared to other exchange students, I have the advantage that I don’t have to speak a foreign language. As a native German speaker, it was easy for me to find my way around in Berlin, linguistically speaking. Especially the German students are often surprised when I tell them that I come from Switzerland. At the beginning, they often can’t understand why a Swiss German comes to Berlin for an Erasmus exchange semester. But when I explain the reasons to them, of course they can understand me.

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Life in Berlin

Even though I had already been to Berlin twice before my adventure of the exchange semester, I was still able to discover and explore a lot about the culture. At first glance, the differences between Germany and Switzerland don’t seem to be that great. We have the same time, we wear the same clothes and have similar traditions. Are there any differences at all? Trust me, there are differences.

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To share or not to share apartments

One thing most if not all people have in common is the fact that they live somewhere either permanently or temporarily. The way a person lives is saying a lot about them already and helps others to form a first opinion of them. A living arrangement that may seem reasonable for one person in their particular circumstances may be odd for somebody with different circumstances. Living arrangements can take many different forms across and give further insights into foreign cultures and countries as we have experienced ourselves during our time abroad in Germany and Taiwan respectively.

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Same language but still different

Studying and living in Göttingen (Germany) as a Swiss person isn’t that different to living in Switzerland in terms of the language. Luckily, I was able to communicate immediately with other people, be it in German, French, English or Spanish – I realized that speaking multiple languages is a huge advantage and makes it a lot easier to get to know people. Nevertheless, switching from our beloved Swiss German to High German definitely challenged me during the first days here in Göttingen.

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