Hello, I’m Grace (back, 3rd from right ). I recently just spent four months in Germany in a town called Recklinghausen in the Nord Rhein region. One of the best decisions I have made so far is going on an exchange. The experience isn’t comparable to any other experience of mine.

First off, what I didn’t realise what would happen, which I found the one of the best parts for me, is that you make so many amazing friends with the other exchange students. I now have amazing friends from all over the world that I have stayed in contact. I know they are people that I will keep in touch with and definitely try visit.

One of the first things I realised in Germany is that the German they teach you in school different from how they speak and conversate. We had learned verbs and names of shops and things like that. I found that the German I had wasn’t enough to have a conversation and that when I made friends in school I would have to expand my vocabulary. I couldn’t always ask what kind of series they watch and what kind of music they liked. You develop friends like you would when you speak your mother tone but just slower.

When I started school, I was in shock because everything was in German. I mean it goes without saying that everything would be in German but I didn’t realise how much German there would be and how much I didn’t know. For making friends I would recommend just trying to talk to everyone and show an interest in what they are doing I would say the same for making friends with your host family.

I also thought that when I started school that everyone would come up to me and introduce themselves, but they didn’t. I had to put in the work to make friends and go up to people to make introduce myself but it definitely pays off. The friends I made in school were so helpful and made sure I was invited to everything and that I wasn’t left out. I would recommend asking people in you grade to hang out after school or to go for ice cream or to the cinema. I found that was the best way to make friends. I have made such great friends in Germany, that I am still in contact with. I still talk to my host family. It took time but I feel like I have developed I great relationship with my host family. Show interest in everything you do and take every opportunity you get. I am already planning my return trip.

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