I just completed my final week of studying abroad in Berlin and it is unbelievable how those four weeks went by fast. It was very hard taking public transportation on July 13, knowing that it was my last day to wake up in the morning to go to my classes. My last weekend started with a visit to some relatives and friends in Frankfurt that I haven’t seen for many years. I spent a great two days chatting and remembering about our previous lives in Sudan.
I returned to Berlin after a four and half hour train ride for my last week. I had two final presentations for both classes. I worked on my presentations at the beginning of the week so that I have the last few days in Berlin to explore other places that I haven’t been or revisiting some sights. I visited the East side gallery of the Berlin Wall and I also visited Checkpoint Charlie and watched the world cup matches with friends.
The East Side Gallery also it once was known as the Berlin Wall. All of those paintings hold political meaning.
It is 1316 meter long wall that once separated the east from the west. It consists of series murals painted on it. Immediately after the wall came down, 118 artists from 21 countries began painting the East Side Gallery, and it officially opened as an open-air gallery on 28 September 1990. Just over a year later, it was given protected memorial status.
The name Checkpoint Charlie comes from the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie). After the border crossings at Helmstedt-Marienborn (Alpha) and Dreilinden-Drewitz (Bravo), Checkpoint Charlie was the third checkpoint opened by the Allies in and around Berlin. It became the most famous crossing point between East and West Germany. Checkpoint Charlie was not only an important Cold War site but also witnessed numerous attempts to escape from East Berlin.
Furthermore, the school farewell party was very sad and great at the same time. It was sad that we had to say goodbyes to each other, but also we came together as a group and reflected on our four week study abroad experience in Berlin. I would like to repeat my thanks to the Fund for Education Abroad for giving me the opportunity to become part of this life-changing journey. At the moment, I am on a two week trip traveling to Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Stockholm. I will talk in detail about my general experience from the study abroad journey in my final journal when I come back to the US.