AIS Global Experience: Germany

This two week trip abroad will take us to Berlin, Germany where we will immerse ourselves in the rich contemporary art scene while also diving deep into Germany’s complex history. Through artistic
approaches of memorialization, protest, and reimagination, we will experience the social impact that art
has provided Germany in response to injustice. Students will also learn about the history, geography, politics, culture, art, and literature of the region throughout the course.

Read the student reflections on their experience below, which will be updated throughout their trip.

April 18, 2023

Student Author: Lucia Lee Golden

Hello, Porter’s community! 

Today we woke up at 8:00 a.m. and had a very European breakfast. Then, we took public transport to get to our boat tour of Berlin in the Nikolai district! On the boat tour, we saw a lot of street art under the bridges. We finished the tour and walked to lunch, it was Indian, and it was delicious. I got a very scrummy mango lassi. Then we met one Hübsch German lady named Kelly who taught us about German culture and language. Next, we went to the thrift store to get six articles of clothing to screen print on (and I got eight pairs of socks because I forgot to pack any) and brought them over to the screen printing studio. The studio was very cool, and they had forty-two colors to screen print with, which is the most in a single studio in Europe. At the studio, we all drew drawings, and then Madelyn Port’s dog got screen printed, and also my sneaker. We got a chance to screen print the designs on the clothing that we bought from the thrift store, and also some of our personal belongings. Maya elected to put my sticker on the back of her shirt. Then, we split into our cohort groups and made our way to dinner. Cohort A got Vietnamese food at a Vietnamese restaurant, and Cohort B got Italian food. I got a pizza, spaghetti, and sauce, and some of Yvonne’s salad. I did not get dessert, but I did get pickles. Then after a very long day out on the streets of Berlin, we arrived back at our hotel, and now I am writing this blog.

April 18, 2023

Student Author: Mia Vasson

Hello, Porter’s Community! 

These past two days have been a lot! First, with the flight to Berlin (side reminder to bring LOTS of snacks), I ate a ton of Twizzlers and salt and vinegar chips. Then after landing, we met our tour guides for our trip, and I can gladly say they have made these past few days very memorable. We went to our hotel and settled down, then went to lunch and the orientation. I had a delicious wrap and a drink and journaled some. Afterward, we went to an amazing chocolate shop with chocolate sculptures! I personally bought little chocolate bears. Side note- we are using the train system around Berlin, and it is very well made. Nice job, Germany. Later we went for a traditional German dinner, which included homemade pretzels and tons of food—now wrapping back up to today, Tuesday. We woke up and had breakfast at the hotel, then left for a relaxing boat ride around the city. Saw some great buildings and areas and learned more about where we were staying. Next, we visited a thrift store, bought some clothes, and got some stuff for the screen printing lesson that was coming next. Also, for lunch, we got Indian food and enjoyed a mango lassi- first time trying it and it was very tasty- I highly recommend it. Though before the lesson, we went to the park and relaxed a little. We met a few German citizens and learned more about their life and culture. Later at the lesson, we watched a presentation from a local artist and got to screen print some clothes from the thrift store! Some people even put the screen print on their jeans; you can ask them about that. Then, we ended the day with nice Vietnamese food. I had chicken skewers with sauce and rice and played Uno with our group. Lastly, we had a short walk back to the hotel for everyone to get some rest and head off to sleep.


Traveling the city with curiosity and excitement,

Eating delicious chocolate from local stores,

The artists we see painting their life with words,

And exploring a new world to us unknown.

Tasted food from the heart of the city,

Gaining a global mind,

We treasure our memories here with love already,

And can’t wait for more of the German life!

I hope you enjoyed a day in the life of a porter’s student in Germany! 

April 19, 2023

Student Author: Audrey Harrell

Hello, Porter’s community! 

Today our group started bright and early with breakfast, followed by a tour of the Berlin Wall. We began in the Alexanderplatz Square, and then traveled over to the Berlin Wall Memorial, where we learned about the logistics of the wall and how it functioned. We were able to see all of the different barriers leading up to the wall in East Berlin and how it restricted movement between West and East Germany. One of the attached images that I took shows an untouched part of the Death Strip in East Berlin, which was the area in front of the wall that was heavily guarded and had watch towers. Afterward, we got lunch and then headed to an art gallery, where we spent time journaling. We then ended off the day with a trip to an art store and a delicious Thai dinner!

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April 19, 2023

Student Author: JP Perez

Hey, Porter’s friends!

Today, we started the day by having breakfast at the hotel. Later on, we went to this really sick art store, where groups of three picked 2-4 art supplies to be used later on. My group purchased markers, chalk, and pencils. I purchased a new sketchbook and a pen with some tape for scrapbooking! After, we took another transit to this absolutely beautiful garden, where we journaled and used the art supplies that we had chosen! After, we went to lunch at a Turkish restaurant — it was SUPER good. I could not stop eating the bread. After, we walked along the East Berlin Gallery, where there were hundreds of murals painted on what is left of the wall and lots of graffiti on the other side near the river. After, we headed back to the general hotel area, where we had breakfast at this super yummy Italian place, and after, we went to a gelato place! I got almond gelato, and it was super duper scrumdiliumtious! I cannot wait to continue some more adventures tomorrow! 

students in Berlin
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April 20, 2023

Student Author: Ivana Fernandez

CONTENT WARNING: Mentions of genocide, anti-semitism, homophobia, and racism.

Hey Everyone!

Group B started out the day with some delicious breakfast at the hotel. We then headed to the heart of what was once East Berlin, and toured the House of Statistics, House of Materials, and looked over the House of Teaching. We had an amazing tour guide who had been living in Berlin for 30 years. He is currently part of a project that focuses on reusing and recycling old buildings and converting them into creative and innovative spaces. We had the opportunity to walk inside the House of Materials and saw the numerous creative labs full of projects of various origins and styles. We saw fashion, architecture, art, and even engineering projects in the process of creation. Despite the different projects, all of them shared the characteristic of being reusable and ecologically conscious, as well as using materials that were recycled.

After our tour, we had lunch at the Mall of Berlin and spent some time shopping in the area. Then, we split into pairs to begin the next activity, which included visiting the most important monuments and memorials around the area. We were assigned the monuments in pairs and learned some background information on them, and then we taught the group about what we had learned. 

First, we visited the Brandenburg Gate, followed by the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered Under National Socialism, and Memorial to the Murdered Members of the Reichstag. These memorials were all extremely impactful and emotionally difficult to come to terms with. Despite this, we were able to process and learn together and be sensitive, empathetic, and respectful in the face of these important memorials.

After the tour of the memorials, we observed a protest against anti-semitism on the street and went to dinner. We had amazing burgers and chicken sandwiches and got ice cream before heading back to the hotel.

Note: The students of group B have declined to provide photos of themselves to accompany this entry to underscore the solemnity of their experience today.

April 20, 2023

Student Author: Piper Hunt

Hey, Porter’s friends!

Group A started our morning with our first 8:00 a.m. breakfast, bright and early. We took the tram to meet our tour guide for our 3-hour walking tour of the Berlin Wall. We had a great time exploring the different streets of Berlin while being educated by our tour guide on the history and the art of Berlin.

We ended our tour at an exhibition where we were able to explore different historical moments. In the same building, we walked up MANY flights of stairs to a platform where we had an amazing view of a big portion of the Berlin Wall, along with other buildings. We took a bunch of pictures, making the walk-up worth it. After the tour, we broke off into small groups to go out to find our own lunch.

My group got a traditional German dish: a Döner Kebab. We then went to a little German bakery, where we got various macrons, croissants, and other delicious treats.

Our afternoon activity was a movement workshop with our instructor, Johnathan. He led us in a workshop where we did stretching, a timing/communication activity, and finally, a partnership trust activity. We learned a lot about ourselves through this exercise, including how we can let go and trust our bodies. We ended the night with a delicious Thai dinner and journaling in the hotel as a group. Overall, we had a great day, and I’m excited to see what tomorrow holds. 

April 21, 2023

Student Author: Mari Lee

CONTENT WARNING: Mentions of genocide, anti-semitism, homophobia, and racism.

Hallo! It’s Mariiii.

I hope everyone had an AMAZING Friday because I know I did. Today, we went on a tour of the House of Statistics, but it’s not what you think. We had a tour of construction sites and warehouse spaces where people in the community could come together and use the space together. After that, we went to the Mall of Berlin, where my friends and I tried some German McDonald’s, and I had nuggets and waffle fries. The sauces were so good and different from the ones back home, and it was delish! Nyla and I went shopping afterwards and did a bit of vlogging, and I spent more money once again. I bought some flower Legos and souvenirs for my family and looked around at some socks and sneaker stores. We headed to our next activity to the monuments in the city of Berlin. We saw the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, the Memorial to the Persecuted Homosexuals under Nazism, the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma, the Memorial to the members of the Reichstags, and ended with a poem called, First They Came. I presented on the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma where I learned the story of Czech boy, Sàndor, who was able to survive the Nazi persecution because of his musical talent and the soldiers liking the music he played. Learning about all the different forgotten stories was very moving and made me reflect on the stories that weren’t mentioned at the memorial. We ended the day with dinner at Max and Friends, and overall was a great day! I can’t wait to share the rest of my experience with everyone!! Miss you all (especially twin) and see you soon!! 

Mari Loves You!! 

April 21, 2023

Student Author: Jamie Ng

Hi, Porter’s Community!

We started our day off with a delicious hotel breakfast where I had delicious tomato-burrata skewers, bread, ham, and earl gray tea. After breakfast, we headed to the East Side Gallery, a 1.3 km stretch of the Berlin Wall that is now painted over with murals by independent artists. The murals were incredible and were about global topics that are likely still relevant today: freedom, racial discrimination, and more. After taking some hilarious photos recreating a few of the murals, we journaled and reflected on how the murals resonated with us and connected to the themes of the class. We then headed to a thrift store for half an hour, where I got a beautiful leather jacket and a couple other cute items (sorry, mom). After that, we headed to lunch, where I had a delicious hummus plate with the best sourdough bread I’ve ever had (it was absolutely delicious). Our last planned activity for the day was a contemporary movement class where we did exercises relating to our consciousness and awareness of the world around us. We ended our day with dinner from a Vietnamese restaurant near our hotel, and I had a bowl of pho with a cup of amazing guava juice. Overall, this was a great day, and I’m looking forward to spending time in the park tomorrow. 

Have a great weekend!

April 21, 2023

Student Author: Elliot London

CONTENT WARNING: Mentions of genocide, homophobia, and racism.

Hello Everyone! 

How to commemorate a genocide – this is the question that my group explored today as we visited Holocaust Memorials in Berlin. We considered the responsibilities of these artists and commemorators to create works that capture the emotion and enormity of the persecution and violence faced by different groups including Jewish People, Roma and Sinti People, the LGBTQIA+ community, and members of the German Reichstag. Each memorial was extremely unique and utilized different methods and techniques to engage the audience, from the blank, winding maze of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe to the individual testimonies of the Memorial to the Roma and Sinti Victims of National Socialism. As we felt the weight of these stories and emotions, we also discussed the responsibilities and movements of visitors through memorials; showing respect while celebrating the resistance and beauty of survival, remembering the past while encouraging progress, and being conscious of the impact we as visitors create through our actions. By the end of our experience, we had expanded our knowledge of commemoration through art, as well as our opinions and knowledge about social interaction with public art. 

April 22, 2023

Student Author: Savannah Cox

Hi everyone!!

Today was an awesome day for Group B! We started off our day with a delicious German hotel breakfast – I couldn’t get enough of the Nutella packets. After breakfast, we met outside the hotel at 9:30 a.m. and hopped on the m4 train heading toward Alexanderplatz. We arrived at Tempelhof Airport Park around 10:00 a.m., and took a walk along the runway.

The weather was perfect for this type of adventure, with a nice breeze and plenty of sunshine. We stopped at the community gardens inside the park and relaxed in the sun. I got the chance to read my book for the first time in a couple days. After some personal downtime, we then got to enjoy a nice picnic lunch in the gardens. Then we strolled down the runway some more, passing dozens of rollerbladers and skateboarders. We ended up bumping into Group A along the way.

After enjoying the Tempelhof Airport park, we walked through West Germany and browsed some of the cute shops and cafes. At 3:00 p.m., we attended an Argentine Tango class taught by our tour guide, Alex. The dance lesson was over around 4:30 p.m., so we were able to spend our free time prior to dinner walking and shopping in the surrounding area.

We ended our day with a nice dinner at a breakfast and lunch place as a group. I got the lentil bowl and vanilla dream smoothie — both were delicious. On our journey back to the hotel, we split up. Some went to get ice cream and others headed to the bio market by the hotel. I chose the ice cream group. Unfortunately, the ice cream place was out of chocolate ice cream, so I decided to go out on a limb and I got one scoop of vanilla and one scoop of mango ice cream. The combo was delicious.

We arrived back at the hotel at 9:00 p.m. precisely. Can’t wait to tell you all about our experiences in person!!! See you all very soon!!!!

April 22, 2023

Student Author: Caroline Cohen

Hi Porter’s Community!!

Today was one of my favorites of the trip so far. We started off the day with a lovely breakfast at the hotel, which consisted of bread and various fruits. After leaving the hotel, we hopped on the tram to Tempelhof Airport, which is an abandoned airport that was last in full use during the Nazi reign. 

At the park we were able to see the history of Germany in another light that we can’t see in modern Berlin. Walking through the park we saw a wide variety of different aspects that come together to repurpose a space that was heavily involved in Germany’s past. Some of them include basketball courts, softball fields and community gardens where individuals have their own plots to contribute to its beauty.

For lunch, we preordered the day before so that we could have a picnic in the park. I had an egg burger which was not what I expected, it was like eating a highlighter. We finished up at the park around 1:00 p.m. and walked around the surrounding areas until our next activity. We were able to try a margherita pizza from a local pizza shop and look through different thrift stores. At around 3:00 p.m., we did a mapping workshop with Vero at Kottbusser Tor. She is from Venezuela and she led the workshop where we made maps of important landmarks to us in Berlin. 

Following the workshop we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant and it was delicious. I had chicken fried rice and I loved it, highly recommend. Can’t wait to update and see you all soon!!

April 23, 2023

Student Author: Ainsley Hoekzema

Today we went to Museum Island, and my group went to Bode Museum. There were a lot of sculptures and paintings, such as ones from the Byzantine Empire. The museum was so big that we got lost a couple of times, and there was never a shortage of things to look at. For lunch, we went to Green Finch, which is a vegan café. Most of us got the banana pancakes, which were good. They also had a hummus bowl and grilled cheese. Then we got to do our laundry, which was a bit hectic, but clean clothes were welcome. Tonight’s dinner was Vietnamese pho, and it was pretty good.

Looking forward to more museums tomorrow! Gute nacht!

April 23, 2023

Student Authors: Sara & Ella Babigian

Guten Abend!

Yesterday was our seventh day here in Germany. After an early breakfast, we took the M4 tram and walked to Museum Island. This island, in the middle of the river Spree, contains six large museums, all with a unique collection of art. Both of us started with the Neues Museum, which displayed Egyptian artifacts, while others went to the Alte Nationalgalerie. A few hours later, we ate a yummy lunch at Cloud Eatery. Then, we wandered through a nearby flea market called the Berlin Art Market. Many of us bought gifts for friends and family. Our last activity of the day was a map-making workshop. We reflected on our time in Berlin so far and highlighted the most significant parts in our maps. It was a very relaxing and thought-provoking experience. Ella’s most memorable spot was the Brandenburg Gate, and Sara’s was the Berlin Wall Monument. We ended our day at Ming Dynasty, a Chinese restaurant. It was delicious! We are so excited for the last few days of our trip. 

Auf wiedersehen!

April 24, 2023

Student Author: Nyla Liburd

Hallo and guten tag from Berlin! It’s Nyla!!

I have been having a fantastic time trying new foods and art styles. Today after breakfast, we boarded the tram to a fun workshop on tape art with the other group, which was very exciting. The organization was called Tape That, and they have traveled all around the world to Bangladesh, Japan, Palestine, and other places creating art as a way to connect and learn from local communities. After that, we had some free time in the mall to choose our own lunch. Me and some other members of our group got döner kepabs! After a yummy lunch, we had some time to explore the mall. I went to a fun toy store to get gifts for some friends, and after we slid down a slide in the mall that goes down three floors. After our group came back together, we made our way to the Studio of Wonders. The whole group took a lot of funny pictures, and it was a great time! After a fun interactive experience, our tour guide, Robn challenged my roommate and me to guide us back to the hotel. We guided the group onto the train, walked a bit, and took the tram back to the hotel, all without a map! We had a bit of free time before dinner, and then we went to an Italian place down the street. We all ordered different pizzas and pasta for dinner, and it was delicious. I’m not ready for bed and excited for our day trip tomorrow.

April 24, 2023

Student Author: Suhaani Rao

Hi Porter’s Community!

This is Suhaani coming to you live from Berlin! Today’s breakfast started at 8:30, for our early morning start to a very fun tape workshop in Napoleon Komplex, which contained a Mall. I, however, woke up late (as usual) and had to quickly grab my banana and some Nutella bread and then run towards the M4. Thankfully we all made it on time and walked a few blocks to the tape workshop, where we met up with the other cohort, which was a pleasant surprise. The workshop itself was loads of fun. Everyone was getting their creative juices flowing and were making some amazing creations. I myself made a bright banana singularly floating in a colorful abyss (sadly, I forgot to take a picture of it :=( ). 

 After the workshop, we were given free time to go explore the great unknown (the mall and the street nearby). I went to a “Fritten” (fries) place with Sid and Lucia, which was very good, then I made my way back to the Mall. We then made our way to another mall, the Mall of Berlin, which we had visited earlier in the trip. We went to a place called The Studio of Wonder, which was essentially a place to take aesthetic/cute Instagram pics. Because of our lack of phones, I was curious as to how the experience would be (my camera was almost dead as well) without the incentive to post these pictures on social media. The experience, however, was filled with a lot of laughter and joy. The studio consisted of a ball pit (that I was very much buried in) and SO MANY FUN AREAS (as you can see in the pictures:)). After a very fun 45 minutes of pure shenanigans and giggles, the group broke off and explored the mall more. When it came time to leave the mall, we decided to go out with a bang and went down a 50-foot spiral slide which was so much fun (Sid went down twice). 

We made our way back to the hotel, and let me tell you; it was a mad rush. It. Was. Laundry. Time. It was crazy, it was wild, and it was a rush. I have never felt that way before. Let me set the scene: 15 people, 10 washers, and 8 dryers. Pure Chaos. Let’s just say I left the laundry mat very, very hangry. Thirty minutes late to dinner, Ariana and a group of us were speed-walking to the restaurant. We were having a robust conversation about hangriness. Once we arrived at the Vietnamese place, I was enveloped in the warm smell of food. Instantly I knew it was going to be good. To sum it up I ate the most delicious lemongrass chicken and also ate the equivalent of one wanton soup (which I stole all from my friends :)). The night ended with a swift walk back to the hotel and a giggly goodnight. Overall it was super fun and chill! Another day missing all of you!

P.S. I Miss you so much Mama, Papa, Paavni, and Pluto (and Alex)!!

April 25, 2023

Enjoy this video from the students in Germany!

April 25, 2023

Student Author: Helen Sharp

Hi, Porter’s community! We had a great day here in Berlin. We had a day trip to Leipzig today! First, we got on a train and headed to our first workshop of the day. It was a graffiti tour around Leipzig, and some of us got to pick up a can of spray paint and make some cool designs! I’m looking forward to doing more spray painting tomorrow! Then we had lunch before heading to a tour of the *Museum of Books and Stuff*, which was super informative. After that, we had small group dinners at the train station (my group had McDonald’s – we can confirm it tastes the same as in the US). Now we’re heading back to the hotel on the train!

April 25, 2023

Student Author: Eloise Palkimas

We began the morning with a hotel breakfast, heading out for the day at 8:25 a.m. Directly taking a tram ride to the train station, where we took a train to Leipzig. As soon as we got to the city, we took the tram to our first activity of the day, where we met Patrick. Who showed us the graffiti art seen throughout part of the city. Later giving us all a quick demo in which a couple of us could experiment with spray paint. For lunch we walked to a Moroccan restaurant. We then were given a tour of the Museum of Books and Writing, which was all about the history of symbols, books, writing, and more. Learning about the amount of craftsmanship and time used to create the first few books ever was mind-boggling. After saying goodbye and thank you to our tour guide, we took the tram back to the train station to get dinner, took a train ride back to Berlin, another tram ride, and a quick walk to the hotel for the night.

April 26, 2023

Student Author: Yvonne Huang

We started our morning with the daily video from Ruthie and Ella while enjoying breakfast at the hotel. Instead of immediately rushing off to attend tours or workshops as we usually do, we spent some time brainstorming and sketching designs in preparation for our zine workshop tomorrow.

We then hopped on to the M4 and, in a whirlwind of organized chaos, arrived at the former border between West and East Berlin for our sustainability tour. Our first stop was a cooperative housing community. As we stood on the roof overlooking the buildings, gardens, and playground, our tour guide explained the concept behind these spaces, which centered around the benefit of the masses instead of the profit of a few.

We also visited other spaces in the neighborhood, including the Young African Art Market, where we had our graffiti workshop in the afternoon. After the Berlin Wall fell, a lot more space became available, which allowed these creative spaces to exist. Much like the East Side Gallery, small segments of the Berlin Wall were kept in this area and covered in graffiti. These communities transformed the Berlin Wall from a method of dividing Germany into a place where people come together to create art. We also got the chance to experience the power of collaborative art in our graffiti workshop after lunch.

Overall it was an amazing day, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it in person!

April 26, 2023

Student Author: Anika Alschuler

Today’s blog is brought to you by Anika! To start the day off, we had an 8:00 a.m. breakfast and left the hotel at 9:00 a.m. to take public transportation to a graffiti workshop! The graffiti workshop took place at YAAM (Young African Arts Market), which was also a stop on the tour we went on, and the tango workshop we did, which I will talk about later. At the graffiti workshop, we first learned how to write graffiti and did some sketches; then, in two groups, we decided on a concept and had a chance to spray it on a wall!

After the workshop, we had a DIY lunch, then had some time in a cafe together before our next tour. We were given a sustainability tour that taught us about how Berlin repurposed their buildings and spaces to make room for housing and community spaces. I thought it was really cool that these cooperatives used geothermic heating and produced their own electricity! It was also interesting to see the contrast between those cooperatives and the tipi community, and the similar, but also very different, squatters that build their homes out of other abandoned buildings. He also brought us to Holzmarkt, which was a whole marketplace built out of reused materials on land near the river that was empty after the wall fell. It was so cool to see because I don’t think I’ve ever seen (or ever will see) a place like that in the United States.

After the tour, we went back to YAAM to participate in a tango workshop with Alex. I was not looking forward to it that much, I really don’t like to dance, but it turned out to be kind of fun! There were steps you followed, and it was mostly stepping and walking with a partner, so it wasn’t as uncomfortable for me as… other dance forms. Tango was all about trust, listening, and vulnerability, and I think those things as we learned applied to tango, can be implemented in other parts of our lives as well. The connection with the ground and the transfer of energy was very cool.

To end the day, we got dinner at a Japanese restaurant. It was really good! I know a lot of people enjoyed it (including me) and even said it was one of the top 5 of the meals we’ve had so far. 

April 26, 2023

Student Author: Madelaine Port

8:40 a.m. wake up. 8:45 a.m. breakfast. 5 minutes to get ready? No, no, no; breakfast at this time and anytime in the Old Town Hotel always allows some leeway. After many brötchen (bread bun) breakfasts from the previous days, I decided to switch it up a bit. Yoghurt and muesli was today’s call for two reasons: quick and tasty.

We started off today’s journey at our all-time favorite bahnhof (train station), Alexanderplatz. We got off a couple of stops to meet our lovely guide, Jann, and his nephew. Jann took us around parts of Berlin that were particularly creatively sustainable; cooperative housing, renovated industrial buildings, and previous no-man’s-land were all seen on this tour. In the middle of the tour, the nephew’s French friend from the south of France came in; this was a mere coincidence!

Hunger was on everyone’s mind afterward, so, we got our gelb (money) for lunch and split our separate ways. Being rejuvenated from lunch helped us show up for our graffiti workshop in the afternoon. Willy was our mentor and an energetic man for all things graffiti. Our group of thirteen split into two to create two different designs. My group made a superb octopus with our names around it. It was really interesting to see how one requires a certain skill set to do this type of art.

Because I almost froze many limbs off, I was looking forward to our last workshop with Robn at the hotel. In this workshop, we created postcard art for our own postcards that we will get sent to our homes. It’s crazy to think this trip is slowly wrapping up. Anyways, we are at an Italian restaurant right now, it is so good! Why? Well, because there are Italians here and the food is to die for. That is all for now, thank you and guten nacht (good night)!

April 27, 2023

Student Authors: Aizah Ali & Sissi Li

Cowabunga Porter’s people😜, this is Aizah and Sissi reporting live from Berlin.

On this lovely Thursday, the weather was partly cloudy (with a chance of meatballs🧆), but when the sun was out. Cohort A had a late breakfast, so we got to sleep in a bit before heading downstairs to feast 🍽. After our hearty breakfast, we walked down the street and took the M10 (tram line) to the House of Poetry in the Culture Brewery, a space we rented to do our reflection on the trip 🤔.

The Culture Brewery was a brewery in Berlin was turned into a community space for a variety of activities, so there was no alcohol, don’t worry, guys. During our reflection, we connected our activities and workshops to the central themes of this class: art and social justice. We had some pretty tubular talks 🤙  about what we got out of this trip. We discovered the meaning of life, guys. 🤯

After approximately 90 minutes of productive and meaningful reflection, we skedaddled 🏃💨 to lunch. Today’s lunch was DIY, so the gang (Aizah, just her) got bagels🥯. It was scrummy. Sissi fought some pigeons for stray fries🤺.

After our tummies were satisfied, we popped on the tram and headed to the screen printing place we went to last week to make a zine of our trip and social justice themes, which we brainstormed on Monday. Aizah and her partner made a design based on Roe v. Wade, and Sissi and their partner did theirs on healthcare🏥. The process was tedious, but the results were rad. Devastatingly, Robn had to leave in the middle to set up for our next workshop😖. She abandoned the ship, but we still had Maya and Cathie to bother. It’s okay because we are BFFs 👯‍♀️.

After the zine workshop, we hightailed it back to the hotel, following Cathie and Maya’s lead. Once we arrived, we met up with Robn again to do her postcard workshop. ✉ The workshop was to use different mediums to create a postcard that reflects our time here, and we also wrote a letter to ourselves about the highlights of our trip and what we want to remember. I made mine with stamps, and Sissi made theirs with newspapers and magazines and cut-out images. It was a lot of fun, we really enjoy activities where we can relax and be creative.

Finally, it was dinner time!!!!!! Yippeeee!!! 🥳🥳🥳 For dinner, we went to an Indian restaurant where we had to trek through mountains and piranha-infested waters to reach🥵. Aizah had chicken korma and Sissi had chicken tikka masala. 💪 We headed back to the hotel after dinner and got straight into our super comfy womfy pajamas. We slept like Victorian children (except our beds weren’t infested with a deadly incurable disease🦠) (we think🫨). Okay, love you guys, bye 🫶.

Be sure to like and subscribe, smash that bell, and comment on your favorite part of our day down below.👇

April 27, 2023

Student Author: Audrey McDaniel

With the final days in view, our group started to reminisce on all of our journeys, discussions and travels during the past two weeks. We started off by going back to the printing studio with our beloved friend, Alex. Here, we worked to create a zine that commemorates our time in Berlin. After that, we endeavored to a converted culture brewery to discuss all of the things we have learned! Our group then got to have a special activity with a film writer where we asked questions about the film industry and how it is just starting to pave the way for female producers. We had an early dinner at a Japanese restaurant- where I had the best sushi roll – and ended the day! 

April 28, 2023

Student Author: Aletheia Lin

Today was the last day of this trip. Last night, I talked for a while with my roommate before going to bed, wished them happy birthday (happy 17th Anika), and slept later than usual. In the morning, I woke up naturally at almost 8:00 a.m. and had bread with Nutella before hearing that we would leave later, at 10:00 a.m. Our team leader Alex decided to lead a group for a walk outside in the meantime, and I decided to go as the weather was nice. We found a playground a few blocks away, and I jumped on a trampoline for half an hour. 

In the morning, the group traveled to a space called House of Poetry, where we had a reflection time on topics like social Justice, social justice with art in Berlin, social justice spaces on campus, and changes we would like to make in that regard back at school. After that, we traveled for lunch to an Indian place nearby. After that, we had planned to go to a memorial for the 1933 Nazi Book Burning, but there was an accident on the road, and a section of the city was blocked.

Ultimately we split up into 2 groups; one for souvenir shopping and another went back to the hotel early just for packing or napping if we were tired. I chose to take a nap as I started feeling nauseous and dizzy. Again, we had transportation struggles as there were roads that were blocked, and we got back at 5:00 p.m. I still slept for a bit and woke up at 6:00 p.m. in time for dinner, for which we left the hotel at 6:30 p.m. For dinner, both groups ate German food together for the final evening. The students were at 3 tables, with each table playing cards of some sort, and we celebrated Anika’s 17th birthday with a little singing during dessert. As we left the restaurant, the whole group split one more time with whether people wanted to go back and finish packing or visit the book memorial, for which I chose to go back again, to pack and hopefully rest early before the 5:00 a.m. morning call tomorrow.

April 28, 2023

Student Author: Margo Clough

Today our day began at 10 am. We first ate some breakfast as a group, then followed up with a creative workshop led by Robn. We were given large pieces of paper that had two letters each on them, and when joined together, spelled “Berlin.” We were assigned different main ideas of the trip as a whole, such as art, social justice, transportation, history, environment, and more. My partner Mari and I were assigned the Art section, and we created a drawing on the letter R surrounding different art mediums such as photography, graffiti, painting, and dance. The purpose of this activity was to reflect on all of the topics we were surrounded by and remind each other of all of the positive times we shared together.

Then, we had a delicious Mediterranean meal for lunch. I had a sandwich with hummus, chicken, and vegetables and paired it with lemonade. We then took the tram to a popular location in Berlin, Alexanderplatz where we shopped for souvenirs for our friends and families. Then, we returned to the hotel and had some time to pack for our long flight home tomorrow morning. For dinner, we had authentic German food, I ate a large meatball dish with fries and a drink. We also celebrated Anika’s birthday with a song in the restaurant.

To finish off the day, we visited multiple book-burning memorials. We reflected on the things we saw, such as a large hole in the pavement covered by a sheet of glass that displayed many empty white bookcases. Another memorial was a large white building with windows everywhere and a single stained glass window in the middle. The last memorial displayed a sculpture of a man sitting on a stool in a large, empty brick room, surrounded by tall metal bars protecting the space. These memorials were very impactful to me and many others, especially the bookshelves in the floor. I was very intrigued by the construction of this, but I learned that people had built it underneath the ground and then built the ground over the space. Overall, this was a memorable and historical ending to our last night in Berlin as we closed this chapter of this trip.

April 28, 2023

Student Author: Mae Fourticq

Today we started off the day later with a very much-needed sleep-in. Several trips left throughout the day to do last-minute tourist shopping and collect snacks for our journey home. I purchased some gifts for my family, including some German chocolates. We also spent some time reflecting with our group leader Robn and created art signifying the main themes and ideas that were central to our experience in Berlin. I drew the Berlin Wall and depicted the division between East and West Germany. For the afternoon, we busily packed and prepared for our travels home tomorrow. I stuffed and crammed my suitcase until it was full to the brim. For dinner, we enjoyed authentic German cuisine, such as schnitzel, pasta, and German meatballs. The waiter brought out a surprise cake for Anika’s birthday, and we all sang happy birthday! It was a very fun and celebratory night to end our eventful trip to Berlin.

April 29, 2023

Student Author: Sid MacPhee

Suddenly I was awakened by a knock at the door. The time: 4:45 a.m.! I rushed out of bed, put on two pairs of pants, and ran downstairs. We waited for our train, the M4, in the darkness for half an hour, everyone tired and hungry. We got our train, said goodbye to our hotel and made our way to Alexanderplatz. We waited for another half an hour, and I got a croissant. We hopped on the train to the airport. It was a boring trek through the airport… 

I got patted down, and my bag got searched; that was the only exciting part. We went through a SECOND security, then sat waiting to board. I ate another croissant—the end.