“Georgia” on Exchange in Germany

… About First Six Months: What a crazy 6 months! Can’t believe I’m half way. This last 6 months has been fantastic, it’s taught me so much, introduced me to so many different people and built my character to twice what it used to be.

I’ve discovered strength within me that I didnt know existed, having to deal with being away from everything that’s familiar did that to me. I’ve learnt how hard leaving your parents for a year can be, but also how capable I am of taking care of myself in many aspects of life (including financial struggles!!). I’ve discovered how daunting not knowing a language can be when faced with the challenge of making new friends (it took a good 3 months before friends at school actually invited me out after school) and also that my mother has a clone in Germany who is in fact my host mum (the similarities are disturbing!). All in all the experience so far has been priceless and it excites me no end knowing that the second six months just holds so much more for me! Let the good times roll!

… Cultural Differences: Wow, Germany and Australia are very different. Well the culture is, especially this year with the World Cup. I tell everyone how amazing it is to be here at a time when Germany is beginning to gain back a sense of national pride. The people are mostly fantastic with the odd rude old man (find me a country that doesnt have those!). Being in a ‘lil country town means that traditions play a big part in the lives of people here. For example, I am in a region famous for its tea parties and the way they decorate their front gardens when an important birthday rolls by. We drink tea at least 3 times a day, which was a shock at first. I’m also in a part of Germany where the older people speak dialect much more than in other parts of Germany (not fun at Rotary when the men tease me by speaking the dialect which I can’t, for the life of me, understand!). It’s a very interesting experience, especially being in the country, for that reason I’m glad I wasnt placed in a big city where traditions have been overridden by i-pods and maccas!

… Relationship With Host Family: Great as always. We even fight like real families now and I get told off for having a messy room. Feels so much like home now!

… Contact With Exchange Students: Copenhagen tour meant 6 days on a boat with 18 other exchange students. Since then a few of us have regular contact, which I love.

… Social Activities: sporting: oh if only there were any (damn german sausages!) social: well it is World Cup time which means lots of soccer watching parties and also lots of people from the northern hemisphere finishing up their exchanges, which leads to going away parties etc. Social calender at the moment is fairly full….
As I always say “Listen to your heart and follow your dreams” … its the key to success!