Bella Fraim

Hamburg, Germany

Direct Enrolled through Smith College in University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany during Spring 2016

Favorite Place:

"It was so cool to see people surfing on this river that flows through the English Garden. I've read about it in classes so I loved seeing it in person."

Favorite Weekend:

Fish Market
"Every Sunday morning, there's a fish market starting at 5:30am. As the sun rises, boats come in from other countries bringing the freshest food imaginable and live music."

Faorite Restaurant:

Cup'n Go
"This sounds a little bit ridiculous, but they sell takeout cups filled with mashed potatoes and allow you to choose toppings. We'd get one every Tuesday before a 2 hour class."

Helpful Tips:

Befriend the locals
"We became friends with this group of Germans, who had a ton of advice on things to do and what not to do. We still Facebook chat!"

Common Ground

"Anyone who is a student in the city of Hamburg can live in the dorms where I was situated, so there were German students, several exchange students from Yemen studying medicine, and other students in my program. I felt immersed because, for a lot of us, the only common language we shared was German, so I got to learn a lot from the people around me."

Breaking Down Barriers

"I'm definitely much more proficient in German. I feel like you learn a language in a more holistic way outside the classroom. While I was in Hamburg, my laptop broke, and I had to go to the Apple Store and explain to them in German what went wrong. I became a lot more confident in my language skills, and willing to make an attempt and learn rather than sit there quietly."

In Hindsight

"For the first month, I felt homesick and spent a lot of time FaceTiming my friends in other places. In retrospect, I wish I had thrown myself into it a bit more. Once the weather warmed up a bit, everything improved; it sort of hit me where I was, and time flew by after that."