An unforgettable experience
As my school offered us the opportunity to travel to Denmark for a week, where we would stay in host families, the first thing I thought was, that this could be my chance to make some experience with other cultures. The good, or bad thing for some people, was that we just had to stay there for a week, so I wouldn't miss too much course material. From the beginning on I was very convinced of the offer, it wasn't even hard to hand out a small application to my English teacher.
A few weeks later there was a small group of 18 people of our school who wanted to take part in the exchange. So the first thing we had to do was to make a short presentation about ourselves. By this way my teacher could send the characteristics to the school in Hobro, Denmark.
Through these profiles the school in Hobro was able to set the places in each familiy. A few weeks later I got an e-mail from my exchange student. He was very nice and answered very quickly to my questions. Although our teachers thought we would write by e-mail, my exchange student and me - his name was Lasse Pablo by the way - agreed to write by Facebook. Both of us believed that e-mail is a bit old-fashioned for our generation. This was the first time I noticed that he is a normal teenager like me. So my nervousness held a bit back. I really looked forward to the day of the arrival.
On September 20th at 3 pm we arrived in Hobro after a 10-hour trip. As we arrived at their school the first things we saw there were the flags of Germany, France and the USA. So we immediately felt welcome. The other flags were there because the school had visitors from France and the USA at the same time, too. Our host families were also there so my exchange student and his mother picked me up. They took me to their home and showed it to me. Then we set down at a table and talked about the way of living in Germany and the difference to the Danish way of living. There aren't many differences but it was just nice to tell them the newest things from Germany and hear some news from them. So I could say that from the first day I felt good in my host family.
The second day I met my classmates from Germany at school.There we had to go to the assembly hall where we watched a film about terrorism. Afterwards groups were formed, mixed with Germans and Danes. With these groups we had to solve some tasks which were pretty easy so we had much time just to talk or to do something with our group. Especially my group showed me their city centre. As our time was over all of us came together in the assembly hall again where we were listening to the music of some school bands. I just need to notice that they were really good and they had many school bands which all were very talented. In the evening the Danes thought we could go and meet in a Chinese restaurant.
The third day was a Wednesday for which we had planned a trip to Skagen without our exchange students because they couldn’t miss much school because of us. Skagen is the most Northern town in Denmark where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea get together. It was really awesome because you could clearly see how the waves went from the Baltic to the North Sea. Nevertheless you should always pay attention because of the strong current there. That’s the reason why swimming is forbidden there throughout the year. After this trip we all met together with the Danish class. A girl from the Danish class invited us to spend a movie night at her house. She bought many snacks and the atmosphere there was really cozy.
The last day there we went to the school again, but this time we first had an English lesson with our exchange class where we could prove our skills in English grammar. Afterwards we took part in some other classes where they were taught in German. I think it was just really nice to take part there just because we could help them with their homework. I have never had the opportunity to sit in a class where students learn our language in the school, so I realized how hard it was for them just to speak a few words in German. We wondered why it is so hard for them and they explained that we would have some letters they do not have which make the words harder in pronunciation.
But we also tried to speak some tongue twisters in Danish and I’m able to say that it was not as easy as expected. It was clear that they found it as funny as we did. Shortly after the lessons we had to leave the school. So we all said goodbye to our host families and to the friends we found there.
On our way back home we visited the museum ArOS in Aarhus. The museum had a breathtaking view over the city. To the grand finale we all had the opportunity to spend some time for shopping in the big city.
In summary, I can say that this exchange was a great experience for me and my further life. I learned a lot there about me and my language skills and improved them at the same time in just five days. It was really nice to watch and to take part in the life of another person in another country for a slightly longer period. I would recommend it to everybody who is thinking about doing an exchange in a foreign country for a longer time. After this you should clearly be able to say if something like this would fit to you or not.
(Angelika Malsam, WG 12)