My name's Joshua and on the 1st of January I flew to Niedersachsen, Germany. My exchange lasted 10 weeks and I can honestly say it flew. Luckily I was matched with a student with similar sport interests as me. These included swimming and water sports in general. I tried out skiing for the first time but originally I guessed my weight (badly) and couldn't ski at all because the skis were far too heavy! The second time I tried it everything went a lot smoother and I realised I was actually quite okay at skiing. I found it similar to surfing and naturally coming from west Sligo I have surfed a good bit before. Watching my exchange student surfing will be interesting... Throughout my exchange my family catered for all my needs, from getting food I wanted to try out to bringing me all the way to a famous racetrack called the Nürburgring. Although the track itself was closed there was still loads to do over there. We went to lots of different touristic locations including,
-Goslar (An old German town)
-Autostadt (Lots of cars)
-Harz hanging bridge
-Shopping (Where I realised I can't control spending). As for German cuisine it wasn't too different to the food I had in Ireland. But I'd like to say that there was a wider variety of food in Germany, for example more fruit and veg in our diets over there. I think generally speaking Ireland is quite behind in the healthy eating scene. I tried this meat called Leberkase which I've never tried in Ireland before and I loved it. My exchange student didn't like it at all. Lots of sausages and stuff of course too. We also had a Turkish Döner which seems very popular in Germany. It was one my personal favourites if not the best food I had. We only had it two or three times though because it was definitely not the healthiest. School was also pretty interesting. Seeing as I attended a class for high achievers called "Hochleisterklasse" sometimes I was a bit discombobulated but generally I was able to understand what was going on. I also found English class more difficult than expected, because I kept getting asked for my opinion which wasn't too bad but we got a vocabulary test every week and I found that difficult because I was doing German a lot less time than the other German students have been learning English. My parents came up with some diseased rule that implied that I only had a phone for an hour a week which I obviously wasn't too happy about but in the end I think it payed off and helped me better my language skills because if I was on the phone the whole time, I would only be snapping my friends at home which wouldn't help my integration and definitely wouldn't help my German. Exceptions were made for taking photos, videos, etc. Over all my exchange worked out perfectly good and my German skills have without a doubt improved significantly.


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