Hello, reader! Sorry for my time away. I have been dealing with internet problems like crazy here! In other news, I just got back from an excursion to Berlin with the California State University program. I learned more about Germany and Europe in that on weekend than I had up to that point.
We took tours of all of the different government buildings in Berlin, and learned all about what the people that work there do. In the Ministry of the Interior, we learned about immigration, which is a hot topic in world politics right now. They told us how they are managing the largest influx of refugees in the world. In the German Chancellery, we took a tour and saw where the chancellor Angela Merkel does her work. Next, we saw the house of the European Union, where we learned all about how the Union functions, and the roll it plays in international politics. The last government building we went to, which is my favorite, was the Bundestag. The Bundestag is sort of like the German version of the capital building. That is where the the chancellor and all of the other governmental people meet to discuss policy and laws. It is also a very historic building. At the end of World War II, the Soviets took the building. As a sign of their victory they wrote their names and other things all over the walls in charcoal. You can still see some of these names and messages on the walls of the Bundestag to this day! It is really interesting.
It was a really neat trip also, because of all of my fellow Californians that were there. There were about 60 other students from all over the state who are also studying in Germany. It was nice to meet people from home and see their perspectives on the things that we were seeing and learning. They were also a refreshing change of pace for me, since I haven’t been speaking much English since coming to Germany. I am glad that I got to meet so many nice people.
All in all, I would say that this trip to Berlin has made me more knowledgeable when it comes to European politics. I feel like I am much more equipped to be a global citizen now!