Paisley Smith BC’21

Hallöchen! I am a senior at Barnard College, and I am majoring in Ethnomusicology with a minor in German Studies. I am a low-income queer student and the first in my family to attend university. In the summer of 2018, I travelled to Berlin for a month-long language immersion program at the Freie Universität in Berlin. I returned to Berlin in the fall of 2019 and stayed there until September 2020, taking courses on German language and culture, music, and gender studies. I stayed in student housing during both of my visits to Berlin, and I made so many great friends through my residential community! I also participated in a homestay for a month in 2019, and I am still in contact with my host family today. My host parents welcomed me to Berlin and really helped me to feel at home during my first month there. Through BCGS, I took small trips to other German cities such as Weimar and Neuruppin, and I was able to do some solo travel during my year abroad as well to Hungary, Spain, and Turkey. Studying abroad in Berlin not only inspired my senior thesis, which is about electronic music, but also fundamentally changed the course of my life, as I now am making plans to return there for graduate school. Berlin feels like home to me now, especially after being there during the pandemic. I miss Berlin’s amazing museums, public green spaces, and lively neighborhoods, and I miss walking along the river (there’s even a German word for this: Spreespaziergang) and swimming in Berlin’s lakes. If you’d like to chat or have a virtual Kaffeestunde (coffee hour), please contact me.