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The Tempelhof Airport was a major airport in Berlin. In 2008, it was closed and the vast space that the runways used to cover was transformed into a public park. The terminal building, however, was left empty, and the goal of this Tempelhof Challenge was for us students to design an adaptive reuse project to turn this building into something valuable for the community. Before the trip, this unusual experience was the one I was the least confident about for several reasons.

My main concern was because the activity included conducting a survey by talking to strangers, something I have never been comfortable with. On top of this, I would be in another country of which I didn’t speak the language.

The fact that the Challenge would be conducted in teams reassured me a bit, but even then, I didn’t know many of the participants of the trip well. On the day, however, I formed a team with three friends, which allowed us to collaborate more easily. We communicated in a respectful and constructive way, which greatly benefited the design of our survey and our final idea. We used to our advantage the fact that each of us was more skilled in different things like public speaking or project leading. Personally, this meant that I could rely on my teammates to interview the locals, because, as I said before, this is not my strong suit.

Still, I got to observe how they did it, and I am confident I will be able to do it in the future thanks to this Challenge. Since we had to design a project for a cosmopolitan community, working with teammates from different countries allowed us to take into account the potential reactions and feelings of all kinds of people. I am glad I got to practice these teamwork skills in a non-graded and not too stressful project, so I could focus on doing it right. I knew what the skills were, but it can sometimes be hard to apply them well.

Thanks to this challenge, I will be able to keep doing what I learned for the rest of my IB programme because working together with other people is an important part of IBDP.