Lior Oppenheim tells about his time in Germany


Lior Oppenheim in front of Schloss Sanssouci near Berlin

Lior is from Israel. He studies physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

"One seldom has such an experience, which he can later acknowledge as a defining moment of his life. For me, the two month I spent in Berlin during the summer of 2016, as part of "Dr. Gustav Winkler Scholarship” by the DAAD-Stiftung for foreign students, were definitely one of those rare experiences.“

This scholarship allowed me to study German at one of DAAD’s language course partners, the Carl Duisburg Centren (CDC) in Berlin, in a 2-months Intensive Language Course Program (ISK). In addition, the scholarship also gave me the opportunity to live with a host family during my stay at Berlin. These three features: the language course, the host family and the city of berlin, are the key elements, which made the time in Germany so special for me.

When I first came to Berlin, I had almost no practical knowledge of German. Eight weeks later, I felt as if all of the language barriers that I formerly had, have been completely removed. For this accomplishment, I give the full credit to CDC. In my opinion, the Berlin branch of CDC holds some of the best teachers I have ever met. Aside from the formal study program, CDC had also provided us complimenting language workshops and extracurricular activities: historical walking tours, museums visits and trips to nearby towns such as Brandenburg and Potsdam, which led to an immersive experience of the German culture and language. Furthermore, the language course framework had allowed me to be acquainted with many other students, both local and foreign, from various academic fields.

Regarding the family that hosted me throughout my course of stay in Germany: I simply cannot stress enough how cherished was the time I spent with them. Not only did the daily interaction with native speaking Germans had surly advanced me in term of my language skills, but my host family had also helped me to be familiarized with the German culture and the German people. I believe there was simply no other way for me, in such a limited amount of time, to have this unmediated encounter without them.

Last but not least, the city of Berlin. This city has something to offer for everyone: from all-night techno party, to an open-air concert of the Berliner Philharmoniker; from a lively graffiti scene spread throughout the city to an overwhelming amount of pieces of art and culture packed in the Museumsinsel. For me, living as a “Berliner” has been a long-time dream, which has been gladly fulfilled this last summer.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank Dr. Gustav Winkler, with whom I had the privilege to meet during my time in Germany, for his kind support of this scholarship. I am extremely grateful to him.