Friday, December 9, 2011

13 Weeks in Germany

It's been about 3 months in Germany and the longer I stay here, the more I'm liking it. Everyday I get to do the things I came here to do: meet people from other countries, backgrounds and who are different from me live in a new country, learn a different culture and speak a different language all the time. I couldn't even count the number of nationalities I've met and gotten to know in my time here. I've met people from Latvia, Russia, Finland, Danemark, Norway, Turkey, Poland, Estonia, Kosovo, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, China, Thailand, Korea, Brazil, Venzuela, Honduras, Mexico. I'm happy to say I have people from these countries as friends. I've been in a room of people where everyone speaks a dozen different languages. I've practiced my Spanish, my French and learned some new words in other languages. I've also met other Americans from all over the US. All that is in addition to the myriads of Germans I live with and attend school with. When I reflect on it, I am so happy to think about how many different people I can engage with. In the US, in my Catholic prep school its about 99.9% American. I interact mainly with people in the my grade. The fact that now I associate with people from all over the world, in varying age groups, from all over the world makes me grateful to be here.

It finally clicked in my head that I'm in a foreign country, a country with people who think a lot different from me. I can't expec them to change their behaviour or way of thinking because of me. I'm in their country.
My German has gotten a lot better in the last 3 months. I've started reading a lot in German. I can understand almost everything that people say. I've read a lot of full books in German. I've started reading, which is something I only do for school in the US. I've read Harry Potter 1, The Alchemist, and I'm almost finished the Golden Compass in German.

I like school in general, but I like it here since I get to do everything I do at Prep in Philly, in German. These last 2 Weeks we've been taking our end of term exams since winter break is coming. It's fun to take them in German. I do all of the questions just like my classmates. I do get to use a German-English dictionary for the tests though :)

Everything is looking up here and I can only see it getting better. I'm glad to spend the next 6 1/2 months here.

1 comment:

Zyanya Torres said...

Hi! I'm from Venezuela and I'm planning to go to an exchange year as soon as I can. I was searching up about someone's experience in Germany as an exchange student and then I'm here :) Well, I would like to have a talk with you, you know, I have so many questions, I want to learn so many stuff and I'm just at the beginning, so since you already went through this experience, it would be great if it were possible to get in touch to talk about this, about advice, tips, the culture, the people, the country, the language (I know it's very hard haha) and everything that you want to tell me about it. I don't know, I just thought it would be nice and interesting to do this through a more dynamic way than only read posts (which is also very helpful but I hope you get my point). Thank you!