Posted on February 23, 2016
At the end of November last year myself, five other exchange students and Mrs Chitters travelled to Erkelenz, Germany. We couldn’t have wished for a better trip. I feel like I have developed into a much more independent, global citizen after being able to experience an entirely different culture over in Germany. It is very important for students doing German to have this experience because there is no better way to learn than six wonderful weeks of practise, laughs and embarrassing moments!
As a group we went to several different cities including Maastricht, Aachen, Köln and Trier; which was an overall favourite. Every city seemed to have an amazing cathedral to visit, some being so big we couldn’t even see the top and others being so colourful we were overwhelmed by their beauty. Some other group activities we did were going to school, visiting Kaufland (similar to coles), adventuring through creepy graveyards, celebrating Christmas, going to the disco and wandering the streets. We were very lucky to have such a great group and such a long flight for all of us to bond!
Over Christmas and New Years we all had different experiences. My family, like many others, opened their gifts on Christmas Eve. Afterwards we went to the church for midnight mass where Sienna and I sang in the choir with our host sisters until it was officially Christmas day. On the second day of Christmas (Christmas day) we visited extended family for lunch. We ate many different traditional foods, my favourite was Knödel, which is a starchy potato bread ball; it tastes a lot better than it sounds. It was greatly different to my normal Australian Christmas, especially because it was so cold but unfortunately there was no snow. For New Years Eve many of us went to parties with our host siblings or to a family friend’s house but one common theme was the extreme amount of fireworks, which you can buy at the local shops. Rachael Merritt said “The sky was so full of light, it was beautiful.” The holiday period was definitely the best part of the trip because we got to spend time with our host brothers and sisters and travel to different places.
Overall, our exchange to Germany was a huge success. Each student definitely benefitted from it by learning new words and phrases, experiencing a whole new culture, making new friends and memories and learning what to do when your smoothie explodes in the airport! I’d like to thank Blathnaid Murray, Mitchell Lacey, Myles Carew, Rachael Merritt, Sienna Gerin, my host sister Judith Lesmeister and our wonderful teacher Mrs Chitters for making this trip so extraordinary. I couldn’t have had a better six weeks.
by Isabella Vecchio, Year 10