Finding Beauty in Berlin

By Madison Mackenzie, Foster Senior studying Finance and CISB. Madison is currently participating in an undergraduate exchange with Audencia Business School in Nantes, France 

During one of my free weekends, I decided to go to Berlin. The city was not a ‘pretty’ city by any means, but as you start to look beyond the grunge, you discover a world of beauty. The street art and the remnants of the Berlin Wall depict a city that has a history full of pain and division. I think that my favorite things that I did in the city were visiting the Wall, walking around a hidden modern art gallery, and trying currywurst at a local farmers market. It was particularly interesting for me to see Berlin after going to Munich. It still baffles me how different the two cities are even though Germany is rather small compared to the US. It could be just my opinion, but the two coasts of the US seem more alike than Berlin and Munich. Bavaria is full of beautiful castles and this mentality of class and tradition, whereas East Germany is more influenced by Eastern Europe and modernism.

It also surprised me how different France is from Germany. Even though the two countries border each other, they speak different languages and the people behave differently. Perhaps it’s just an outsider’s perspective, but Germans seem to be more reserved and less outwardly friendly. French people, on the other hand, kiss each other when they meet up and appear to be more outgoing. My French roommate even said to me once ‘je suis fleur bleue’ which means that she thinks she’s romantic.