This summer I was given an amazing opportunity to spend six weeks in Berlin, Germany doing missionary work. I’m involved in a nondenominational Christian organization at Purdue called CRU or Campus Crusade for Christ and it’s through this organization that I was able to go on this incredible adventure! It was an amazing experience!
I went to Berlin with a team of 16 other people, 10 students and 6 staff, whom I had met in Chicago for briefing 3 days before we left the country. These 16 people became my family for the summer and we became close very quickly! While in Berlin I got to see some amazing historic moments such as the Brandenburg Gate, the TV tower, the capital building, and even pieces of the wall. Berlin is the 2nd largest European city and it is so big!! Every day during the week my team and I would go to two of the universities in Berlin and talk with students about religion and share our faith. It was tough some days but overall it was a great experience and I met so many people while in the city.
I had never been to Europe before so it was a definite culture shock for me! In Berlin I had to learn how to use the public transportation systems such as the U-bon (subway), S-bon (train), and the bus! I also learned that you have to pay to use the public bathrooms; crazy, right?! We also ate out a lot as a team so I got to experience so many new foods. Not only did I have German food but also Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, and even Australian. Berlin is a very diverse city! On campus my team and I spoke to students from 37 different countries in the 6 weeks that I was there.
At the end of the project we went to Salzburg, Austria to debrief as a team. It was so beautiful there; there were mountains everywhere! I got to see some of the places where the movie The Sound of Music was filmed and I even got to climb a mountain that was about 5400 ft above sea level. I had a wonderful time in Europe this summer and I would never trade the experiences for anything!
-Alyssa Major, Psychological Sciences