Bye bye, wild college life ...
Letter from .... California! Louis Potthoff has arrived in Berkeley.
Sep 23, 2015
I’m finally here! After months of waiting eagerly, I’ve now started my year abroad. As I move into the dorm, I say goodbye to any sense of privacy and to much of my independence as well.
The apartment consists of two double rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. It is cleaned weekly, when the toilet paper and soap are also replenished. Combined with a meal plan for the dining hall, this means you’re free from pretty much all of the bothersome aspects of everyday life. If you decide to go without a social life as well, you can devote yourself – completely uninhibitedly and without interruptions – to ambitious studying. One of my three roommates actually does that. He is studying applied mathematics and computer science – I don’t think I could cope with a program like that any other way, either.
Still, it wasn’t long before I noticed that I will probably have to hit the books significantly harder in the future, too. I am taking four classes to start out: an introduction to macroeconomics, a class on the history of the Middle East, an introduction to classical music, and a course on the international currency system.
The professor for the latter course, Galina Hale, is only visiting here; the actual professor, Maurice Obstfeld, has been tapped for a position on the Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in Washington, D.C. Hale also holds a senior position working for the Federal Reserve, and she has also taught at Yale and Stanford. My fellow students don’t seem particularly impressed by that – but I certainly am. When she presents the syllabus, including all of the required readings, graded assignments, and tests, I inwardly bid a final farewell to the idea of wild American college life.
In our campus.leben series "Letters from ..." six students, two doctoral candidates, and an apprentice are reporting on their experiences abroad. Here we introduced the nine travelers.