My experience in Berlin, Germany has been memorable. From the morning seminars to the afternoon excursions, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. It will be sad to leave this country and its culture. I feel like I have become accustomed to the city.
I would like to start my final reflection on the morning seminars. We first became introduced to the topic of intercultural communication on the first day of the program. I still remember that it is the discipline that studies the communication between different cultures and social groups. From that topic, we branched out and talked about the 5 R’s of cultural change. They are routines, reactions, roles, relationships, and reflections. The class really delved deep into the cultural changes we were experiencing.
The second part of the class was about global health. From that topic, we talked about transnational research on actions to promote health for all. The class was mainly about world health. I remember us going over infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases. Non-communicable diseases are diseases that cannot be passed on by personal contact. Some examples are cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. We also spent a day talking about how health policies are made. The process is long and consists of agenda setting, formulation, implementation, and review. Policy making is complex, highly political, and a continual process. The policies are implemented by several health organizations. The main organizations are the United Nations and the World Health Assembly.
Our days typically ended with excursions. In two weeks we’ve been to the Berlin Wall Memorial, Technical University, Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Robert Koch Institute, Charite Medical Museum, and German Red Cross. My favorite would have to be the Berlin Wall. I was really astonished by how the Germans mourned their history. They did not want people to forget what happened so they made a huge memorial out of the event. Their history will continue to be memorated and that is what I appreciate about German culture. They don’t forget about their history. They take it as lessons learned and forge a better future.