The West Bridgford School

The ‘German Exchange 2019

Luc Davies 11D

Was nothing like I expected and that’s why I loved it!

Waking up at 5:00am on a Thursday morning is never something that is easy to do. Nevertheless, on that Thursday I hauled myself out of bed and dragged my luggage and myself over to the school for a 6:00am coach departure.
Setting off promptly, we travelled towards the Channel tunnel; the first of many new experiences for me. After having made several stops in France and Holland, we finally made it to the German school where we were met by our exchange partners and their wonderful families.

As this was my first time on the exchange, I had only met my partner, but my lovely exchange family were about as hospitable as it gets. I spent the first night conversing with my partner and their family at a beautiful pizza restaurant.

I could tell from the outset that this trip was going to be once in a lifetime - and it was just that! The next morning was started with a refreshing bowl of Müsli and a scenic route to the German school where I sat in the first lesson of the day - Erdkunde (Geography). It was fascinating to see the differences in education between both countries. Following shortly was a day trip (Ausflug) to a historic castle in Paffendorf and a fun game of soccer golf. While I enjoyed this and the bowling that we did later, the thing that I most adored was the atmosphere of being there and being able to speak with other people in another language. That is what is truly memorable.

In all honesty the weekend was freedom from the norm, not being around English speakers on day trips was my way of being able to dive further into the experiences. Even just visiting Köln with my partners’ friends was amazing. I experienced a different culture whilst making many new friends who I promise to keep in contact with.

Of course we visited the Kölner Dom (Köln’s most famous ‘Sehenswürdigkeit’) and I braced myself for the 30 minute journey walking up all 500 steps - truly incredible.
As the days went on I became immersed in events, constantly speaking to any German speaker I came across! I made more friends and went on many adventures, ranging from an actual ‘Haribo’ shop to a Minigolf game in which a German professional looking Minigolf Player came over to us and gave up tips on how to play each course depending on the ground and the wind etc.!! Perhaps he took it just a bit more seriously than we did !!J

From the food to the sights, everything was truly unbelievable. I do, however, have to say that personally my favourite thing was venturing away from speaking English and being a part of my partner’s group of friends and being treated as one of their own.
Diese Woche war unglaublich! Ich habe so viel Deutsch gelernt und gesprochen. Ich würde bestimmt diesen Austausch empfehlen. Man kann viele neue Leute kennenlernen und es ist ein echtes Abenteuer!!