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Welcome to FU-BEST’s Berlin

Berlin: Tipps für die hippste Stadt Deutschlands
Source: https://cdn.urlaubsguru.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Berlin-Germany-Shutterstock-161067611-1920.jpg

Welcome to our official FU-BEST blog! Here we share everything exciting in and around Berlin with our current FU-BESTers. Of course, everyone else who is interested in getting a glimpse into the perks of being a student in Berlin is cordially invited to join us along the ride.

You’ll find tips for interesting lectures on and off campus, free time activities, event information, our favorite eating spots, and many other things that make Berlin unique.

Do your weekly grocery shopping at the turkish market at Maybachufer

Wochenmarkt am Maybachufer: Der Türkenmarkt | BERLIN ICK LIEBE DIR
Source: https://berlin-ick-liebe-dir.de/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/berlin-wochenmarkt-maybachufer-tuerkenmarkt-titelbild.jpg

Why not ditch your local supermarket that is only five minutes from your house and go on a shopping adventure to the Turkish market in Kreuzberg/Neukölln (even if not for your weekly grocery shopping, then at least for the experience). The Turkish market at Maybachufer is a mix of stalls selling a variety of different things, from household items to fabrics, to books, and of course, lots of, lots of food (including cooked lunch options). Most of the fruit and vegetable is unbelievably cheap in comparision to normal supermarkets. We remember times, where former roommates used to come home with 10 mangos for only 5€ (noone can eat this many mango though). It can get a little crowded, once local shoppers and curious tourists are all heading down the rather narrow path between the stalls. However, this just gives you the time to slow down your pace and immerse yourself into the numerous food options.

Ein Stück Orient mitten in Berlin « Irgendwo – Nirgendwo
Source: https://i0.wp.com/www.irgendwo-nirgendwo.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/tuerkenmarkt-berlin-maybachufer-056_s.jpg
Where? Turkish Market, Maybachufer, 12047 Berlin
When? Every Tuesday and Friday from 11am - 5:30pm

Virtual Berlin: TV Series & Movies

🍿 Popcorn EmojiRight now, Berlin is probably quite far away for you. But that shouldn’t mean that your connection to Berlin has to be as well. And so that you are able to keep touch to Berlin and the German language, we gathered all our favourite German movies and TV series here, with all of them (with one tiny exception) either set in or about Berlin.

TV SERIES

4 Blocks

4 Blocks ist die beste deutsche Serie seit langem4 Blocks is the German answer to every American gangster movie and series. The drama series delves into the dark world of organized crime, family feuds and gang violence inBerlin-Neukölln. It’s like the Narcos of Berlin – very intense, very loud, and most of all very Berlin in a way. It stars all different well-known German actors. Watching this TV-Show is a good way to polish up your gangster German. Be aware, 4 Blocks has a high potential for addiction!

Where you can watch it: Amazon prime or paid TV channels, such as SKY

Seasons: Three seasons 

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Babylon Berlin

Babylon Berlin": Die 3. Staffel im Schnellcheck - DER SPIEGEL

Babylon Berlin is the most exciting and expensive German TV production to date. The popular show continues to make headlines across the globe, with its almost €40 million budget, stunning costume design, and renowned directors Tykwer, Achim von Borries, and Henk Handloegten. The first two seasons are based on the crime novel The Wet Fish by Volker Kutscher, which follows the lives of the main characters, played by Volker Bruch and Liv Lisa Fries, through Berlin in the late-1920s. After the show’s huge success, Tykwer confirmed that two more seasons are planned.

Where you can watch it: Free online stream from Das Erste here

Seasons: Three seasons and with a fourth season in the making.

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Dark

Dark“ auf Netflix: Das hat das Ende der 3. Staffel zu bedeuten

Dark– Netflix’s first German series has been a huge success, with the second season already being in the works. Without giving too much away, it begins with the disappearance of a child, leading four families to start a desperate search for answers and the solution to a mystery that impacts three generations. A mix between mystery, science-fiction, thriller, and drama, some people have called Dark the German Stranger Things. Besides just being German, the oftentimes colloquial language is a perfect way to improve your language skills while simply lying in bed or on the couch!

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Seasons: Two seasons and with a third season in the making.

MOVIES

Victoria (2015)

Victoria - Film 2015 - FILMSTARTS.de

 

Not quite light fare, but equally good, is Victoriaa film that was shot in one single continuous take. Two hours and eighteen minutes – shot from about 4:30 AM to 7:00 AM on 27 April 2014 in the Kreuzberg and Mitte neighborhoods. No cuts. The script consisted of twelve pages, with most of the dialogue being improvised. It draws you in with the typical boy meets girl storyline, until everything gets out of control. Very capturing from the first minute.

 

 

 

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B Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin (1979-1989)  (2015)

B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989 | Trailer Original / Deutsch  | Film | critic.de

A compilation of mostly unreleased film and television footage, B-Movie documents the West Berlin sub and pop cultures that emerged in the decade before the fall of the Wall. The film is narrated by Mark Reeder, a Mancunian musician and producer, who shares his experience of Berlin when he began living there in 1978, and it tells a tale of an illusive and mysterious city that, in reality, no longer exists. Featuring notorious figures of the time like Blixa Bargeld and Nick Cave, B-Movie harnesses a strange nostalgia for a city that could only exist then; the creation, the art and the attitudes that emerged from the pain of a divided city.

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Oh Boy – US title A coffee in Berlin (2012)

Debütfilm Oh Boy: Tom Schilling driftet durch Berlin - DER SPIEGEL

Oh Boy (a black and white tragic comedy) tells the story of Niko, a Berliner in his late twenties, who dropped out of university and since then has been drifting through his days, wondering about the people around him. The film has won several German and European Film Awards.

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The Lives of Others (2006)

The Lives Of Others / Das Leben der Anderen - Film - European Film Awards

Set in 1983 in East Berlin, The Lives of Others tells the story of a playwright, Georg Dreyman, living in the occupied and monitored city. Capturing the isolation and fear that George feels, it is tale told with inescapable resonance, showing the extremity of the spying and interference within a state under watch. The people who are spying on him become intertwined in his life, and this extraordinary film offers a poignant and paranoid picture of life in East Berlin. Acclaimed for its factual and aesthetic accuracy, the film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film.

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Goodbye Lenin (2003)

Good Bye, Lenin! - Wikipedia

 

A film about Alex, a young man from East Berlin, whose mother is put into a coma during the lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and then wakes up in a reunified Germany. However, doctors tell Alex that the potential shock of such a revelation could give her a heart attack, so she must not be told of what has happened. As a result, Alex and his friends have to recreate the illusion of the GDR in his mother’s apartment for her, while outside, the two former countries are unifying.

 

 

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Berlin Alexanderplatz (2020)

Regisseur Qurbani über "Berlin Alexanderplatz" - "Das erste, was jemand auf  der Flucht verliert, ist die Würde" | deutschlandfunkkultur.de

This 2020 film drama is based on one of the most famous novels written about Germany’s capital city: „Berlin Alexanderplatz“ by Alfred Döblin. While the novel is set in between the two World Wars, the 2020 film adoption transposes the storyline to our days with an undocumented immigrant from West Africa in the central role. The film, spanning almost 3 hours, offers you a vivid, colorful and captivating insight into topics such as racism, love and psychology.

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Run Lola Run (1998)

Amazon.de: Lola rennt ansehen | Prime Video

This iconic film depicts three alternative realities as the title character, Lola, runs to try and obtain 100,000 Deutsche Mark in 20 minutes to save her boyfriend, Manni, from being killed for failing to make good on a deal. The film does not feature many famous landmarks of Berlin, but shows an intersection of every day 90s Berlin, though Berlin’s best-looking bridge – Oberbaumbrücke. Winner of several German and International Film Awards.

Happy watching!

Picture Sources: https://emojipedia-us.s3.amazonaws.com/source/skype/289/popcorn_1f37f.png ; https://cdn.sputnik.de/sendungen/popkult/four-blocks-100_v-variantBig16x9_wm-true_zc-ecbbafc6.jpg?version=42931 ; https://cdn.prod.www.spiegel.de/images/c88543e3-26f2-4def-b61c-7c630669a3ce_w1200_r1_fpx43.52_fpy49.98.jpg ; https://www.tz.de/bilder/2020/06/30/13816245/1906606865-viele-zuschauer-verwirrte-handlung-serie-dark-2zYMO9zM9vfe.jpg ; https://de.web.img2.acsta.net/pictures/15/03/12/12/44/563954.jpg ; https://www.critic.de/fileadmin/Images/2015/05/B-Movie_03.jpg ; https://cdn.prod.www.spiegel.de/images/662aa3ae-0001-0004-0000-000000417619_w1600_r1.4141129032258064_fpx45.26_fpy50.jpg ; https://imgtoolkit.culturebase.org/?color=FFFFFF&quality=8&ar_ratio=1.3&format=jpg&file=https%3A%2F%2Fimg.culturebase.org%2F5%2F3%2F8%2Ff%2Ff%2Fpic_1527079018_538ff92e676e94d639bd1a866dc22d9a.jpeg&do=cropOut&width=1200&height=585 ; https://assets.deutschlandfunk.de/FILE_d8e17b9c138bb9d1fee843b015037d1c/1280×720.jpg?t=1597628947256 ; https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/pv-target-images/e03ae3088f6891583737642f557536fdc595cb13200538acb4844607245301f8.RI.png

lgbtq+ Neighborhoods in Berlin

Datei:LGBTQ+ rainbow flag Quasar "Progress" variant.svg – Wikipedia

As Berlin is unofficially known as Europe’s gay capital, we would like to take the opportunity and give you a little overview of Berlin’s most gay friendly districts (obviously in no way is this a complete list). The neighborhoods featured have a rich density of queer bars and clubs and convey a general feeling of inclusiveness.

S c h ö n e b e r g

When the city was divided into East and West Berlin, the Schöneberg district slowly began to develop a vibrant gay and lesbian community. As the wall came down in 1989, Schöneberg’s queer community continued to grow. Today it is known for being Berlin’s most gay-friendly district and is considered the traditional center for gay culture in Berlin. Along Fuggerstrasse, there are dozens of clubs, pubs, restaurants and all manner of other businesses catering to the queer community. A hot spot for gay culture is also Schöneberg’s Motzstraße. For a more extensive list on queer pubs and clubs in Schöneberg see a map here.

Schöneberg’s queer set up also makes it a very fitting location for Berlin’s Schwules Museum* (Gay Museum), which moved from Kreuzberg to Schöneberg’s Lützowstraße a couple of years ago.  The museum presents a number of regularly changing exhibitions on everything queer. It also organizes talks, lectures and get-togethers evolving around gay culture. And! If you like to get a little bit of reading in on the topic of gay culture, their library consists of more than 20,000 volumes covering all areas of scientific inquiry from humanities, social science, sexology, fine arts and popular science. In this context it is also worth mentioning that in the last couple of years they have made a bigger effort to collect literature on female homosexuality, queer feminist theory and trans and inter experiences.

Where? Lützowstraße 73, 10785 Berlin
Opening Hours: Sun, Mon, Wed, Fri 2pm - 6 pm, Thu 2 pm - 8 pm,
Sat 2 pm - 7 pm, closed on Tuesdays
Approx. 15 minutes from the subway station Nollendorfplatz

K r e u z b e r g

The queer scene in Kreuzberg started as an alternative to the scene in Mitte. Although Kreuzberg’s queer culture has changed over the years, there are still a few staples to be found. One of them is Möbel Olfe, which is always incredibly crowded, but a real institution. It’s an old furniture store that has been remodeled into a bar with changing events and DJs. No chance for boredom.

Close to Kottbuser Tor at Mariannenstraße you find the women’s café Oya, which mostly caters to women, lesbians, trans, inter and queer individuals. This being said, all identities are welcome (except on Thursdays, which is reserved for wltiq). They offer vegan and vegetarian dishes for lunch, reasonably priced coffee for 1,80€ and drinks in the evening hours. Events at the café revolve around queer-feminist and anti-racist topics.

No chance for understatement provides Roses in Kreuzberg, where chairs and walls consist of fur fabric. The interior is a mixture of trashy and cheesy and definitely worth a visit.

At Mehringdamm you find the queer bar Rauschgold, which is also a good location for karaoke. What you’ll get at Rauschgold is a mixture of relaxing bar venue and alternative party location. Besides karaoke, they organize regular events, with a focus on drag shows (some shows are fee-based). Stay up to date with their event calendar or visit their Facebook page.

S c h w u Z  and  S i l v e r F u t u r e   i n  N e u k ö l l n

Neukölln is not necessarily known as a particularly gay district. This being said, a couple of years ago SchwuZ, one of Berlin’s favorite gay clubs, moved from its old location in Kreuzberg to its new and bigger one in Neukölln (close to the subway station Rathaus Neukölln). Besides having a bigger venue at hand, the decision to move was also a political one. The club’s move to the culturally very distinct Neukölln represents SchwuZ’s aim to combine different lifestyles and, as the owners state, „Neukölln’s exciting Kiez is an important catalyst for this.“

The bar SilverFuture located in Neukölln’s Reuterkiez could have easily been named PinkFuture, stemming from its interior. So get prepared for some serious pink and silver vibes.  The cosy queer bar is fully packed at peak times and features concerts, DJ sets and vernissages.

Thanksgiving in Berlin

On the fourth Thursday of November, people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, probably the biggest national holiday and with that something that will be missed while abroad. Thankfully, there are a lot of American expats that brought the tradition to Berlin with them. Here’s a few places that offer authentic American Thanksgiving food as well as tips on where to find ingredients if you want to cook for yourself!

1. Tasty Take Away at Stella

https://www.instagram.com/stella_shopandcatering/

Pick up the year’s most special dinner at Fortuna’s Table & Stella, located in the heart of Neukölln! If you order for a minimum of 6 people before Nov 17th, you will get to indulge in their originally American-style turkey (they also have vegan options.) You can choose between 3 different courses, with prices ranging from 38€-70€.

2. Humble Pie & Fräulein Kimchi

Ready made heat and serve menus by pick-up or delivery. On offer are a full menu (39,50 € per person) or a lite menu (29,50 € per person), including a vegetarian option. They also offer to cater your party with a whole turkey and all the fixins by request.

3. Barcomi’s

Barcomi’s are famous for their American-style cakes and pies which you can order for pick-up or delivery in their online shop. Special Thanksgiving menu items are available!

Thanksgiving – for all who prefer to cook themselves

The turkey…

Germans eat turkey for Christmas, if at all, so it’s good to organize your bird in advance. Most Fleischereien will be able to sort a bird out if you give them a week’s notice. Plan on 500 grams per person when ordering, more if you’re fond of leftovers.

… and where to get it:

  • Rogacki, Wilmersdorfer Str.145/46, Charlottenburg: Fresh turkeys available for ~9 €/kg. Giblets are included for no additional charge. Some have said Rogacki can be relied on to have turkey in stock, but it is recommended to place an order. Open: Tue-Th 10am-6pm, Fr 9am-6pm, Sat 8am-2pm, Tel. 030 3438250
  • Kaufhauf des Westens (KaDeWe), Tauentzienstraße 21, Schöneberg: Battery turkeys are ~7 €/kg, organic ones are ~13 €/kg, giblets for ~6 €/kg. Open: Wed-Sat 10am-8pm, Mon-Tue 10am-8pm, Tel. 030 21210 (poultry counter)
  • Fleischerei Domke, Warschauer Str. 64, Friedrichshain: Frozen turkeys are ~10 €/kg, while fresh ones are ~12 €/kg (without giblets). They say it’s best to come by in person to place an order, but Domke always has a few turkeys (presumably frozen) on hand. Open: Mon-Fr 6:30am-10pm, Sat 8am-9pm, Su 11am-9pm Tel. 030 2917635.

Make your own vegan loaf:

This vegan meatless loaf is so moist and flavorful that you won’t need stuffing or even gravy. It’s gluten-free and soy-free, too!

German guide to the Thanksgiving classics:

The stuffing/dressing

Since you can’t turn to admittedly-terrifying bags of stuffing mix, you’ll want a sturdy white bread that won’t fall to bits nor stay too stodgy. We suggest cubing Soluna’s La Boule or else what’s called französisches Landbrot, which is sold at many organic bakeries. Vacuum-packed chestnuts are easy to find in Berlin grocery stores and often more affordable than in the States, so they’re suited well as an addition to your stuffing.

The mashed potatoes

Look out for potatoes described as mehlig or mehligkochend (i.e. floury potatoes): they’re the best substitute for russets.

The pumpkin pie

You can find canned pumpkin at KaDeWe and Broken English. As a cheaper alternative, fresh pumpkins are available at most general supermarkets at this time of the year.

The sweet potatoes

If you want to make a sweet potato casserole, Süßkartoffel and marshmallows are sold in most grocery stores in the city.

The cranberry sauce

Cranberries can be found at most large grocery stores like Edeka and Kaufland, as well as most organic shops.

Picture Sources: https://www.instagram.com/stella_shopandcatering/ ; https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0365/4595/3928/files/EA6423C0-A547-4C2C-AACE-0A3610C3CC54_480x480.jpg?v=1605368844 ; https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0292/2381/3180/products/pecan-pie-versch-grossen-297063_600x.jpg?v=1644863221 ; https://i2.wp.com/www.downshiftology.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Turkey-Recipe-16.jpg ; https://blog.fatfreevegan.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/meatloaf1.jpg ; https://www.averiecooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/stuffing-11-735×735.jpg ; https://www.flavcity.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/buttery-mashed-potatoes.jpg ; https://img.chefkoch-cdn.de/rezepte/324521114564533/bilder/668309/crop-960×540/pumpkin-pie.jpg ; https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod/images/delish-sweet-potato-casserole-marshmallows-horizontal-1530552310.jpg ; https://www.simplyrecipes.com/thmb/IWjz7dj-xf7NZvY5x3r0nzFDrSg=/2000×1333/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/__opt__aboutcom__coeus__resources__content_migration__simply_recipes__uploads__2015__11__cranberry-sauce-horiz-a-2000-60646e8986ce4fc7963fa5add1ad6683.jpg

Jazzfest Berlin (Nov 3-Nov 6 2022)

The days are getting colder and we’re looking forward to cosy cultural indoor events! Taking place in the beginning of November, the Jazzfest Berlin is the crowning glory of this year’s Berliner Festspiele. For four days, there is a varied program for all jazz lovers across Berlin.

Picture Source: https://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/media/2022/jazzfest-2022/jazzfest-plakate/jazzfest_berlin_plakat_2022_1_2398w.jpg

Harvest your own organic potatoes in Dahlem

For those of you who need a break from the (at times overwhelming) bustle of Berlin and want to reconnect with nature, be sure to visit Domäne Dahlem!

Domäne Dahlem is an organic farm in a historic country estate with a blacksmith shop and an open-air museum for agricultural and food culture. So if you’re at all interested in what organic farming in Germany looks like, this is the place to go!

Domäne Dahlem is an organic farm in a historic country estate with a blacksmith shop and an open-air museum for agricultural and food culture. So if you’re at all interested in what organic farming in Germany looks like, this is the place to go!

At their traditional potato festival, you can harvest organic potatoes from the field yourself. Both modern and historical potato varieties with different cooking properties and very different tastes and appearances are grown here. You can harvest the popular „Linda“ yourself as well as rarities, e.g. „Bamberger Hörnchen“ and „Blauer Schwede“.

Experience and discover selected stands with handicrafts and specialities, ecological delicacies with and without potatoes from their organic gastronomy, live music and lots of hands-on activities.

Where? Domäne Dahlem, Königin-Luise-Straße 49, 14195 Berlin
When? September 17 – September 18 2022 (10am-6pm)
Admission? €2,-

Picture Source: https://www.domaene-dahlem.de/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/DD_Kartoffelfest_Plakat-723×1024.jpg

Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Germany

Welcome to Germany! To help you settle, you will want to have a local phone number and mobile internet available. For that, you have two options. Either you are getting a mobile contract that binds you for usually 24 months, or you can get a flexible and more affordable prepaid SIM card in Germany and choose the phone plan most suitable to you.

Make sure to only get a Prepaid option, do not commit to any long-term binding contracts!

Prepaid SIM cards offer the best value for money when it comes to mobile communication in Germany. To help you make a choice and not feel overwhelmed by the chaotic offer of mobile phone plans out there, we have selected the best prepaid SIM card in Germany.

Lidl Connect

Lidl Connect is the prepaid mobile offer from the big German supermarket LIDL. It uses the Vodafone network lines and offers LTE internet speed. Lidl offers different plans. Its basic Smart S plan was recently awarded as the best Prepaid Tariff by the renowned magazines CHIP and Connect. 

The Smart S plan offers unlimited phone calls and SMS within Germany and 3 GB LTE data. It costs 7,99 euros for 4 weeks. The biggest plan, Smart XL brings 12 GB data for 17,99. The card costs 9,99 euros; however, it comes with a balance of 10 euros. So basically, it is for free.

Once you activate your card, you can select the data plan you would like to choose on your Lidl online account. You can change the tariff whenever you want or add data packages when needed.

With Lidl, you can either manually wire money every 4 weeks to your account or activate an automatic recharge from your bank account or via Paypal of let’s say 10 euros, each time your balance drops below 10 euros.

Instead of ordering your SIM card online, we recommend to buy it at one of the many LIDLs across Berlin. Just ask for the LIDL Connect Starterpack at the counter.

Aldi Talk

Aldi Talk is the direct competitor of Lidl, not only in terms of the prepaid mobile phone offer but also with its core product, the supermarket. Aldi offers a very similar product as Lidl; however, the most significant difference is that Aldi uses the O2 network, which is the smallest network in Germany. The O2 reception in cities is excellent, whereas, if you spend a lot of time in rural areas, it is not a good choice for you. 

The Paket S plan offers unlimited calls and texts and 3 GB LTE data. It costs 7,99 euros for 4 weeks. The biggest plan, Paket L brings 12 GB data for 17,99. The card also costs 9,99 euros; however, it is preloaded with a balance of 10 euros. So it is basically free as well.

When you compare mobile phone contracts, those using O2 are always cheaper than those using Vodafone or Telekom. Therefore Aldi offers the same product for the same price on a weaker and cheaper network.

Once you activate your card, you can select the data plan you would like to choose on your Aldi account. You can change the plan online, whenever you want. 

With Aldi, you can also manually wire money every 4 weeks to your account or activate an automatic recharge of let’s say 10 euros each time your balance drops below 10 euros. 

Of course, you again have the option to buy a top-up balance card at an Aldi supermarket. You will find them at the cashier counter. 

Vodafone CallYa

The Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card packages are called CallYa and they offer the following data packages valid for 4 weeks. Vodafone Germany has a very advanced 4G/5G network and their prepaid sim card deals are by far the best. For €20 you get 15 GB data + unlimited calling and texting in all of Europe.

How To Activate Your Prepaid SIM Card?

Once you hold your card in hand, you need to activate it. Since July 2017, all prepaid SIM cards need to be registered in person or via VideoID, to prevent crime and misuse. 

You will need your official ID card or passport and a German home address to register. Online is the fastest way and only takes a few minutes. However, not all passports are supported online. Should your nationality not be valid for online identification, you can go to your closest post office.

Once you activated the card, you can choose the tariff you like and your preferred top-up method in your online account.

Queerness in Photography Exhibition at C/O Berlin

If you ever find yourself at S+U Zoologischer Garten, it’s worth stopping by C/O Berlin, an exhibition space for photography and visual media. Located right next to Amerika-Haus on Hardenbergstraße, the nonprofit organization focuses on presenting works by respected artists as well as supporting emerging talents, and welcomes everyone to discover contemporary visual culture. As a place to exchange new ideas, C/O Berlin organizes Artist Talks, Panel Discussions, Film Screenings and guided tours, offering visitors a place to exchange thoughts on the exhibition program and engage in current debates on visual culture. Their upcoming exhibtion Queerness in Photography (Sep 17, 2022 – Jan 18, 2023) examines the representation of identity, gender, and sexuality in photography in three complementary exhibitions.

If you happen to find time during your first week here in Berlin, there’s two more amazing artists being exhibited at c/o until Sep 07, 2022.

Susan Meiselas

The exhibition Susan Meiselas . Mediations is the first retrospective in Germany of the Magnum photographer’s over 50-year oeuvre—from her early portraits of neighbors to intimate shots of strippers to her iconic photographs from crisis and war zones.

Bieke Depoorter

In her solo exhibition A Chance Encounter, Bieke Depoorter presents Agata and Michael, two series that begin with chance encounters. Personal relationships with the people featured in her photographs, which were developed over the course of several years, significantly influence Depoorter’s artistic practice.

When? September 17 - January 18, 2023.
Where? C/O Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 22-24, 10623 Berlin

Picture Sources: https://artviewer.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Paul-Mpagi-Sepuya-at-Document-6.jpg; https://curamagazine.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Darkroom-Mirror-_2050021-2017-archival-pigment-print-10×13-framed-dimensions-21×24-1.jpg; Pebbles with Enzo and Tina at the Carmine Street pool, Little Italy, New York, 1978 © Susan Meiselas . Magnum Photos; https://www.kulturausflandern.de/media/CACHE/images/22/03/Artikelbild_Bieke_Depoorter_Agata_Paris_November_2_2017/30f9f976423ee51814638d688d57ccd6.jpg

Berlin Art Week (Sep 14-Sep 18 2022)

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As part of Berlin Art Week hundreds of galleries in Berlin will be presenting new artistic positions. This event has the intention to show how versatile Berlin’s art scene really is and how it always redefines itself. For the first time there will also be panel discussions with artists, collectors, gallery owners, museum directors and art lovers from all over the world. 

When? September 14 - September 18, 2022.
Where? At participating galleries all over Berlin.

Tips on how you make the most of your study abroad Berlin experience

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Put in real effort to learn German

40 basic German phrases and sentences you should knowWith our intensive language classes you will naturally make quick progress, but don’t miss to put in some extra work outside the classroom. Force yourself to speak German when you are out and about in a restaurant, at the cash desk of a grocery store or at your favorite coffee shop. Obviously, this will not work right away, but you don’t have to form complete sentences on the spot, you can also just throw in some individual German words that you’ve learnt. Trying to communicate in German in the „real“ world will make you comfortable with the language vernacular and intricacies. Unfortunately, Berlin will make this extra difficult for you. Being an international hub, you’ll find people fluent in English on every corner of the city. Still, don’t give up. Learning a language always takes time and your efforts will be appreciated by the people you are talking to.

Stay on top of your course work

Do not forget that your classes are an important part of your studying abroad experience. There is obviously value in the act of living abroad by itself, but in the best case your classes allow you to grow in your believes, opinions and knowledge. Studying abroad can put a whole new perspective on familiar issues. Some tips on how to stay motivated for your course work can be found on our blog here. 

Don’t travel too much

Especially if you have never been to Europe before, it might be tempting to spend every weekend in a different city. Understandably, you want to make the most of your four months in Europe (so little time), but don’t let this take over your Berlin/Germany experience. You made Germany your home base, so go out and explore the country that you are calling your home for the next foreseeable time.

This issue is exactly what one of our former FU-BESTers experienced and here is what she had to say about it:

What makes Germans so orderly? - BBC Travel

I wish that I had explored Germany more! I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to spend most weekends in Berlin. To truly live abroad for a semester, you need to learn your city and discover what it is like to be a true Berliner! I do feel like I spent a good deal of time in Berlin, but not enough throughout the rest of Germany. While I traveled to places like Paris and Rome, I missed Schloss Neuschwanstein and Hamburg. There are so many wonders located right in Germany a mere train ride away, and I wish I had been able to see them all during my time in Berlin; however, I have decided that I simply must go back and see everything that I missed.

Travel enough

Having said this, Berlin’s central location makes it perfect for a quick getaway to France, Italy or Spain and you should definitely take advantage of this. Just pick the destinations you are most desperate to see. This way you can still spend quality time in Berlin and will also keep your budget in check.

Go grocery shopping and buy what you usually would not buy at home

Maybe you are the adventurous shopper when it comes to food anyway, but if not, try to get out of your comfort zone. Can you spot food that you usually never buy at home? Now is the time to try stuff. Look for new German inspired recipes that are worth trying. Pinning down a traditional German food is hard, but we would confirm that Germans do like their potatoes. So we suggest trying this recipe.

Go cold turkey on Starbucks & Co

This goes along with our previous point about trying new things. You get accustomed best if you shop and eat locally. And although you will definitely find a Starbucks or McDonald’s easily, it is so much more fun to test local coffee shops (for example Five Elephant in Kreuzberg, which is also famous for the best cheese cake in town!) and local burger joints (for instance Kreuzburger in Kreuzberg and other locations).

Berlin: Inside Five Elephant's New Mitte Cafe

Do not get sucked into the international bubble

This is an easy trap to fall in to. Since you are being surrounded by international fellow students all the time, you can easily get lost in your international bubble that might prevent you from having a true living abroad experience. You can find our attempt to give you a little ‚how to‘ (get out of the international bubble) on our blog here.

Get to know the Berlin way of life

Or better: get to know and be open to a new way of life that you will be living abroad that sometimes might be less comfortable than what you are used to. This sounds like an obvious given, but some students are still surprised by how much they need to adjust to their new environment.  For instance, a common complaint is the „commute issue“: most students in Berlin have a pretty long commute. One hour from door to door is nothing out of the ordinary. It is not ideal, but accepted by everyone. Living close to campus is not the reality for most students, since the vast majority prefers to live at more central districts. In Germany, and Berlin specifically, life does not happen on campus, but in the city itself. This might be different from how things are going at home, but don’t stress about your daily commute. Take it as an opportunity to ease in to and out of your day, read, listen to podcasts, observe Berliners, … .

Don’t stress yourself and have fun

We think it is a good idea to be aware of all of these points and also maybe implement one thing or the other in your daily life in Berlin. This being said, stressing about any of these issues would have quite the opposite effect. You have decided to study abroad, because you want to have an experience. This experience will most likely consist of both ups and downs, which is part of studying abroad. This lets us believe that the best tip of all is not to stress yourself out too much and go with the flow of living abroad.

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