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How I forgot Orientation Week and still managed to link it with my super fun vacation trip

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The Berlin TV Tower with a Pretzel.

Isn’t that a good start to my UWC career? And what a good impression I could leave right away!

Actually, I’ve involved UWC in all my current decisions. And yes, I actually did so when planning our (a good friend and I) spontaneous vacation to Berlin. The week before UWC started was the only one where we both (okay, me) had time, so this was supposed to be our travel week.


Wasn’t there anything about Orientation Week from the Boarding House? I’ll write an email and ask.

And by writing the mail, the topic was mentally ticked off. Let’s book the train!

The plans were fixed and at some point I remembered: Milena, you did not wait for the answer regarding Orientation Week! So I asked Julia personally (she works in the boarding house for the next few months and was a German UWCSEA scholar a few years ago) and faced a problem:

Orientation Week takes place. All-day. The week before school starts. At the same time as my vacation. Better: With my two holidays, because my siblings travelled just as spontaneous on Lake Garda.

And especially now that everything is online, it is especially important to attend orientation and to get to know the other students. After all, I will take part in the lessons remotely for an indefinite time and it would be easier if I already knew a few people.

However, it is more than unright of me towards my friend when I stay on the computer all day, when we are actually on holiday.


A long chat and an equally long phone call with Julia (thanks again!) made me see things more clearly, find compromises and simplify the story. I attend the main program points (speed dating, information about school, Singapore…) while my friend deals with herself for an hour. And thanks to her cooperation, it really became a super fun vacation trip (as one person named it), which I started every morning with a video call to Singapore and the whole world.

Now I don’t want to miss to inform you about my summer experiences!

On Monday we were at the Berlin Story Bunker with the very well prepared permanent exhibition “Hitler – How could it happen?”. In this exhibition, all events around the Second World War are critically considered: Was Hitler already evil from an early age? Why did so many people follow him?

One answer surprised me: Hitler appealed to the people as “national male comrades and national female comrades” and was seen as particularly advanced.

In the evening we went to the open-air cinema Kreuzberg and looked at “Jojo Rabbit,” a satire about National Socialism. There are many funny scenes, but I wasn’t always sure if we could laugh at the jokes and the exaggerated but still reproduced anti-Semitic utterances, because they might weaken the cruelty of the events too much?

Altogether we were rather calmed, strolled through the streets, looked here and there into the shops or enjoyed a day of excursion by bike at the Havel.

Thursday evening we went home by train so that I could travel with my siblings to Lake Garda the next day. That was very nice!

When I attended the final session of Orientation Week on Saturday afternoon (in a camping chair, of course), I was glad that I attended at least a few program points.

I was not really happy about starting school remotely. But now I was finally looking forward to the next two school years. Julia created a wonderful image that motivated me to accept remote learning and take the best of it:

Although we students are seperated and sitting at our laptops at home all over the world, this is precisely how we form a huge net around the earth that connects us as a community.



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