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You learn to get by yourself, you travel around Europe and you meet people from all over the world!
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Hello everybody! I'm Maria, and I was an Erasmus student in Berlin at the HWR or Berlin School of Economics and Law (BSEL).

Already in my last year of high school, I knew that I wanted to do an Erasmus. I wasn't sure what I wanted to study, but I knew that I wanted to study abroad for a while. So, when they opened the application period for Erasmus at the University of Zaragoza, I didn't think twice. At first, my idea was to go to Italy, but luckily or unfortunately there were no places left. So, as there were still places and I wanted to improve my German, I decided to go to Berlin.

Berlin has one of the liveliest nightlife in Europe, if not the world. There are parties 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The atmosphere is quite diverse, and there is something for everyone. Especially if you are a techno lover you will like this city. Before going to Berlin I had not even considered going to a rave, and now that I have lived there for a year, I can assure you that you will end up at least in one. In Berlin, there are several Universities and Institutions, and for this reason, there are a lot of students that every year decide to go to this city.

I studied for two semesters (Winter Semester und Sommer Semester) at the HWR or BSEL. My university was in the district of Schöneberg, about 50 minutes from the centre of Berlin and my residence. The classes were 4 hours long, but although this sounds scary at first, they never lasted that long. At most, you are in the classes for 3 hours and with several breaks. On days when I had more than one class, I ate at the Mensa for about 2-3€ and the food, despite being mostly vegetarian, was quite tasty. As for the level of difficulty of the subjects, the level was quite affordable, and I had no problem with any subject. Also, the teachers are quite friendly and always willing to help you.

The transportation in Berlin is very good, there are subways, streetcars, buses... that connect the city 24 hours a day. Also, the "Semesterticket" (the money you pay to the German uni) is included in the transportation. So, you can't miss everything Berlin has to offer. I highly recommend seeing the Brandenburg Gate at night, as well as taking the alternative Berlin street art tour. There are a lot of museums you can visit, I particularly liked the Neues Museum, which houses among others, the bust of Nefertiti. On Sundays in Berlin, although almost everything is closed, the flea markets are open. You cannot miss Mauerpark on Sundays. It is a flea market that has everything from vintage clothing to candles with very particular shapes. In addition, they play music and there is a lot of atmosphere, especially in summer. Another flea market you can't miss is Raw, next to Warschauer Straße.

Berlin is a medium-cost city. It is not the most expensive city in Germany, but in recent years it has become quite fashionable, and therefore prices have risen. Generally, you should expect about 700-1000€ per month. Although it all depends on what your lifestyle is.

The search for accommodation in Berlin is complicated. There is a lot of competition for a few apartments and the requirements for renting an apartment are many. Therefore, I recommend asking the university if they have a residence because if it is a public university, they will usually offer you a room in a residence like me (through the Studentenwerk). In case they don't offer you this possibility, try to search as soon as possible through online forums, but watch out for scams. If it's too good to be true, it's most likely a lie. A few friends of mine also found accommodation through Erasmus Play where you can find verified accommodation and book online.

I would recommend Berlin a thousand times. It is a life-changing experience. You learn to get by yourself, you travel around Europe, you meet people from all over the world, it enriches you culturally and opens your mind. If you have the opportunity, don't think twice and go!