This. This. I need this. This is literally me every single second of every single day.
This. This. I need this. This is literally me every single second of every single day.
I’m lazy so I just copy and pasted a translation from google translate and corrected the mistakes. Enjoy this English version of my last post!
I’ve officially survived five months in Germany! February 6th/7th was my exact halfway point. I told myself that from this point on I’ll start attempting everything in German. To all my lovely readers in the States, feel free to use google translate, or bug me to write a follow up post translating everything I’m about to write in english. Either or is fine.
So, it was last week there was a day of no school for all students in the area. It’s called “winter sport day” and each student could choose a sport. Skiing, skating, hiking, swimming (indoors!), and whatever. I went ice skating. I would have rather gone skiing, but I ended up moving schools too late and blah blah blah. Anyway, skating with some people from my class was so much fun! Thankfully, we remembered to take a picture.
Deniz, Derya, Isabell, Lina, Ann, Quirin, me, Lena, and Daniel! (I have practiced names!)
Although I was only 2 weeks in my class, they are so loving and “welcomed me with open arms” :) (I have no idea how to say that in German)
Here I am in my school:
Recently, I learned about the German Abitur. After two hours even I was stressed out. I can not imagine how others have felt. Respect for them.
My host mother baked banana bread from the recipe from my mother and it was delicious as always.
Yesterday I went bowling with my host sister, a friend of hers, a Chinese exchange student and a liaison! It was great, even ccccthough I’m a terrible bowler.
Photo of us!
Janik, I, Hansi, Luna, and Adrian!
I am very happy with my progress so far!
Obviously, I still have moments where I can not explain myself, and I stumble over my own words, and I summarize it with “Diese scheiße Sprache ….”
In my Englisch class we are reading “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. It is a favorite book of mine. We are listing to the audio book in classroom and it is fantastic. It’s a shame, because there is fantastic sarcasm in the book, and it is difficult to understand if you do not have good understanding of sarcasm. I laugh to death while everyone asks me what the joke means. I enjoy the experience.
I have found out that there are books that are both in English and German. There is no translation, but simply a continuation of the story. (Thanks, Johannes!)
My first school day in my new school was very different compared to my first school day of school in September. It makes a big difference when you can speak the language. I had to introduce myself in the front of the class. I was talking with my classmates immediately. I can still remember when I wasn’t able to do that. Sometimes at the same time I forget how much my German has improved. But now I’m here and I’m writing this thing.
I’m not homesick. I realized that I eventually go home no matter what.Therefore, I want to enjoy my time here before it’s over!
I’m learning a third language being taught in my second language and I’m progressing faster in the third language than I did when learning my second language at first.
Either your third foreign language is always easier than the second, or German is just that freaking hard in comparison to Spanish.
I’ve officially survived 5 months in Germany! February 6th/7th was my exact halfway point. I told myself that from this point on I’ll start attempting everything in German. So all my lovely readers in the States, feel free to use google translate, or bug me to write a follow post translating everything I’m about to write in english. Either or is fine.
Also, es gab letzte Woche irgendwelchen Feiertag für alle Schüler im Gebiet. Es heißt “Wintersporttag” und jeder Schüler konnte einen Sport auswählen. Skifahren, Schlittschuhlaufen, Wandern, Schwimmen (im Schwimmbadhalle!), und was auch immer. Ich habe Schlittschuhlaufen gemacht. Ich hätte lieber Skifahren gemacht (oder machen?), aber ich bin zu spät umgezogen und bla bla bla. Sowieso, Schlittschuhlaufen mit manchen Leuten aus meiner Klasse hat viel Spaß gemacht! Dankbarerweise haben wir uns erinnert, ein Foto zu machen.
Deniz, Derya, Isabell, Lina, Ann, Quirin, ich, Lena, und Daniel! (Ich habe doch Namen geübt!)
Obwohl bin ich bloß 2 Wochen in meiner Klasse gewesen, sie sind so lieb und “welcomed me with open arms” :) (Ich hab keine Ahnung, wie man das auf deutsch sagt)
Hier bin ich in meiner Schule:
Neulich habe ich über das deutsches Abitur gelernt. Nach zwei Stunden war ich sogar total gestresst. Ich kann nicht mir vorstellen, wie die andere sich gefühlt haben. Respekt.
Meine Gastmutter hat Bananebrot von dem Rezept von meiner Mutter gebacken und es war lecker wie immer.
Gestern bin ich mit meiner Gastschwester, einem Freund von ihr, einem chinesischen Austauschschüler, und einem Betreuer Bowling gegangen! Es war super, obgleich ich ein schrecklicher Bowler bin.
Foto von uns!
Janik, ich, Hansi, Luna, und Adrian!
Ich bin sehr zufrieden mit meinen Fortschritten bis jetzt!
Offensichtlich habe ich noch momente, wo ich mich nicht erklären kann, und ich über meine eigene Wörter stolpern, und ich zusammenfasse es mit “Diese scheiße Sprache….”
In meinem Englischunterricht lesen wir ” Looking for Alaska” von John Green. Es ist ein Lieblingsbuch von mir. Wir hören das Audiobuch im Unterricht zu und es ist fantastisch. Es ist Schade, weil es fantastischen Sarkasmus im Buch gibt, und er ist schwierig zu verstehen, wenn man keine gute Verständnis vom Sarkasmus hat. Ich lache mich tot, während jeder fragt mich, was der Witz bedeutet. Ich genieße die Erfahrung.
Ich habe herausgefunden, dass es Bücher gibt, die beiden auf Englisch und Deutsch sind. Es gibt keine Übersetzung, sondern einfach eine Fortsetzung der Geschichte. (Danke, Johannes!)
Meine erste Schultage in meiner neuen Schule waren sehr unterschiedlich im Vergleich mit meinen ersten Schultagen in September. Es macht einen großen Unterschied, wenn man die Sprache sprechen kann. Ich musste mich an der Front des Klassenzimmers vorstellen. Sofort habe ich mit meinen neuen Klassenkameraden geredet. Ich kann mich noch erinnern, auf als ich das nicht tun konnte. Manchmal gleichzeitig vergesse ich, wie mein deutsch verbessert hat. Also jetzt bin ich hier und ich schreibe dieses Ding.
Ich habe kein Heimweh. Ich habe erkannt, dass ich schließlich nach Hause gehe, egal was passiert. Deshalb soll ich meine Zeit hier genießen, bevor es vorbei ist!
Gott sei dank, dass ich noch 5 Monate habe!!!
I’m back from hiatus! Sorry, I’ve sort of forgotten to write something and then I’m just too lazy to write when I do remember.
This might end up being a shorter and less detailed post than usual because I am terrible at remembering things.
Where to begin is always the question. Christmas here was great! It’s celebrated on the 24th here and is called “Heiligen Abend”. We went into the city and watched the Christkind get lowered down and everyone in the city square sang songs together. Then we had a wonderful dinner at home. And then of course presents! :D
In the meantime, I ended up switching host-families. Things like that can happen when you’re an exchange student.
I got the chance to spend 2 weeks in Nürnberg with the family of my family’s former exchange student. It was a really ironic thing because I ended up being there the same exact time my exchange student’s friend from the US was visiting… a friend who lives in my neighborhood! It was nice to hang out with someone who grew up where I live for a change. I missed being able to speak English AND use true sarcasm.
Since I was in Nürnberg, I had to of course do some sight seeing. My exchange student, let’s just refer to him as Adrian for now because typing “exchange student” the whole time is annoying, his friend Alex from the US, and I visited the Nazi Party Rally Grounds. It’s huge. Like, almost colosseum huge.
Here’s us two Jersey kids being Jersey kids.
Here’s the 3 of us being the goofballs that we are in the middle of the museum inside the building of the rally grounds.
The next day we toured the beautiful city of Nürnberg and I fell in love. (I wonder how many times that has happened so far.)
Then there was Silvester! Silvester is what New Year’s Eve is called here. I was lucky enough to go to a party and hang out and watch fireworks and even set some off myself. I was warned beforehand that “Germany on Silvester is like Afghanistan”. I don’t know if that was an accurate example, but it was pretty darn loud.
I was able to figure out public transportation and I went into Nürnberg by myself once with the train and subway and I went shopping. Independence is a pretty awesome thing like that.
I also got to see the Zeppelinfeld with Adrian’s parents. It was an experience of a lifetime.
Then it was my birthday on the 10th! We baked a cake, ate Bratwurst, toured Nürnberg for a bit, saw Die Eiskönigin in theaters (aka Frozen), and went to an Asian Restaurant for sushi.
Germany has great Asian food.
Then I moved into my new host family! New town, new school, new people, new everything. I got to start from scratch.
I went to Stuttgart this weekend again! I met up with my fellow exchange students there. Delfi from Argentina, Valentina from Chile, and Laura from Denmark :)
While in Stuttgart, we ate lunch at McDonald’s and sat at a table next to a group of three people. Then I heard this glorious sound. THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE!! They had an accent, but I couldn’t figure out what kind it was. My friends were egging me on to get me to ask them where they’re from. We were having a conversation at a totally normal volume in German right next to these people and they had no idea we were talking about them. It was the first time that has happened to me because usually everyone around here can speak English and German so no matter what language I speak, everyone can pretty much understand me.
I asked them where they were from and they said they were from Canada and they complimented me on my good english. Then I broke it to them and said I was from New Jersey. Then they complimented me on my German because they wouldn’t have been able to tell I wasn’t German. We had a nice conversation and we shared experiences and had a good time.
Then we went to the Stadtbücherei of Stuttgart to my father’s request and oh my god wow
I’ve seen so many pictures of it on the internet and everything and I can’t believe I got the chance to see it in person.
I also got to see the Hobbit last weekend and now I feel really guilty for not seeing the actual Lord of the Rings yet.
I started in my new class on Monday! Everyone is so nice! I’m in the 11th grade so everyone’s a little older but it working out fine.
I had my Halbzeit Camp two weeks ago and I got to reunite with all my international friends again! One night we sung karaoke for 3 hours. Another night I found a guitar and serenaded people for a few hours. Then there was a piano too. It’s always fun with all of us. But it’s always so depressing knowing we can only see each other so much until we all part ways forever. Wahhhh D:
Anyways, this post is really just to say that I’m alive and well :)
I just realized that I went through the same thing you’re going through about this time last year too. I’m going to say just relax. I ended up worrying about everything way too much. It you aren’t sure about your essay answers, I recommend having a parent or someone close to you read it. They know you best and maybe they’re also really good at editing too.
You just need to know that these people are looking for the candidates that fit the characteristics of “a successful exchange student”. Outgoing, sociable, scholarly, humble, etc etc. You need to show some sort of curiosity in learning about Germany’s culture and that are ready to take on the challenge of leaving everything for a year and being on your own. It’s going to be tough, and you really can’t prepare yourself for it, you just need to show that you are trying to prepare.
Good luck! And if you don’t get it this year, try again next year :)
Here’s a collection of food.
The top picture is proof that you can make homemade oatmeal out of Müsli in Germany.
I forgot to take a picture of my first waffle in Germany, but I remembered to take a picture of what was left.
Then there’s a picture of my second waffle. I bought that one on the Weihnachtsmarkt.
Those pies there were for Thanksgiving and they were delicious.
Chinese food in Germany for the win!
The evidence of a birthday party.
Schwip-Schwap is soda that is half Coca-cola and half orange Fanta.
My first crepe in Germany from the cute chocolaterie in the city.
Major German-ness: Bread and meat salad. Deliciousness.
It’s Christmas time in Germany and everything is amazing.
The Weihnachtsmarkt in the city opened on the 30th of November. I love going into the city with people in the Mittagspause and simply browsing the stands. My favorite time to see the Weihnachtsmarkt is at night. The lights are out, the smell of Glühwein lingers in the air, and everything feels like Christmas Eve.
Everything for Thanksgiving worked out amazingly! What we ended up doing is going to a family friend’s house and they were so sweet. They researched the internet for traditional Thanksgiving recipes. They made turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn bread, vegetables, mashed potatoes… everything you’d find on a traditional American family’s table! I successfully made apple pie and pumpkin pie the day before and they were delicious. By the end of the night, everyone was happily overfed and satisfied in a Thanksgiving fashion.
In our engineering class, we got partnered up and we needed to make a presentation on a certain bridge. My partner and I spent our time in the computer lab typing up our presentation and communicating to each other through google translate. When the presentation day came, she gave me a paper with everything written down that I had to say. Full sentences and everything.
Of course I would be the person to lose such a thing.
I ended up just reading straight from the slide, and all went well. Ok, not “well”, but I survived.
I’ve also taken a test in engineering and it was a joke for me because I don’t even understand the material translated into English. Thankfully, I wasn’t even given a grade. I was given my test back with grammatical corrections.
Red Cross Course
I’m officially certified in first aid by the red cross in Germany! My class had to take a 2-Day 14 hour course in order to be allowed to go on our class trip at the end of the year. It was interesting because the man who ran the course spoke the regional dialect and it made it hard to understand
sometimes all the time. I was sitting quietly in my seat, trying to look like I was paying attention, and he randomly directed a question at me. I stared blankly at him, felt the blood rush to my cheeks, and tried to choke out an answer. No words came out and instead I started laughing nervously. My classmates surrounding me tried to explain at the same time that I’m from the US and I can’t speak German well. I finally did get to answer, but I just thought it was an ironic experience to be called on unexpectedly.
I’ve been introduced to German text-slang. I got added into my class’s Whatsapp group chat.It’s ironic that I need a translation from texting German into normal German so I can translate it into English. I’m catching on to it though!
In German class, we were talking about superfluous inventions. “Toe-socks” were listed. Everyone saw the picture of toe-socks that the teacher brought in and they were so surprised that a thing like that exists. They were explained as something that exists but people don’t buy them and they are rare to find on store shelves. I verified that they exist since they were popular when I was a kid. (At least I think they were, because I wasn’t cool enough to want them.) It was funny to get the reactions from everyone. They could not believe they are actually a known thing.
I took my first test in English class. It was a fill-in-the-blank vocabulary test. English sentence with a blank, German translation of the missing word on the side. Piece of cake, right? Hahaha. I really didn’t study that hard for it because I figured I can just use context clues from the sentences. I wasn’t aware that the answers had to be in the exact form from the book. That means that the phrase “other than” is the wrong answer because the right answer is “except for”. Nevertheless, my grade was a 2-3 aka 2.5 or B-/C+. A little embarrassing to get a lower grade than a few of my classmates.
Apparently I’ve learned to write a letter the wrong way. In our English books, it states that we don’t put commas after “Dear (name)” and “Sincerely (name)”. I’ve decided to be a good girl and just sit there and take whatever is thrown at me, even if it’s an English teacher who decides that a book is always right.
Plus, I learned that when you talk about a book or movie, you have to use the present tense. You can’t say, “He was a 12 year old boy who learned that he was a wizard.” You aren’t allowed to simply say, “I liked the movie.” You currently like the movie and that’s forever unchanging and too bad if you liked it in the past and not now. You sold your soul to that movie by liking it.
I’m kidding. But still it’s a little irritating to hear the teacher correct it every time my classmates dare to use past tense.
I don’t say anything if anything she says is obviously wrong. I will only say something if she asks me. Occasionally, I say “Well, we say it like this in the US, it could be different in british English.” Sometimes she’ll even ask me for the correct spelling of something or if a phrase has the correct preposition. Other than that, I have to sit there quietly and learn how to speak my mother language.
Next week I get to put on a presentation of how we celebrate Christmas at home. I also get to present for another English class. I’m really looking forward to making an oral presentation in my mother language for a change.
A birthday party!
My host-cousin had her birthday the other week and it was a ton of fun! She turned 10 and her sister is 12. Their two friends came over and they were little kids too. My host-sister and I had a good time playing board games and prancing around with them making fools of ourselves.
Extended family was there too and I took part in a dinner table conversation. I can understand most things finally! It’s a wonderful sensation. I got a few compliments on how my German is and how good it is for 3 months. Some days it feel like I’ve made no progress, but other days words roll off my tongue with almost no problem. It’s hard to explain the feeling.
The Hunger Games are popular here too! My host-family and I watched the first movie all together (in German of course). It made me want to read the 2nd one again, so my host-sister gave me her Catching Fire book and now I’m reading a German book…and I understand! It’s a huge thing for me. Then we got to see Catching Fire in the movie theater. It was the first time I could understand a movie in German and it was so freaking cool. Plus the movie was amazing and I fell in love with Peeta Mellark all over again.
Advent! Advent is so cool. It’s the time preparing and leading up to Christmas. Each week, for 4 weeks before Christmas, you light a candle. (You don’t keep the candle lit all the time, duh! Fire hazard!) And everyday, kids get a present from their Adventskalendar. Our Adventskalendar is a bunch of stockings on a line with candy in each sock. It’s the cutest thing!
Saint Nikolaus Tag was on the 6th. Saint Nikolaus came in the night and left my host-sister and I each a little Säckchen with chocolate, mandarin oranges, and peanuts. Then in school, the 12th graders all dressed up as Christmas trees, angels, Santas, and other Christmas characters, then ran around the school and wrecked havoc and it was awesome. My english teacher explained how it seemed to be a very American thing to do and I couldn’t help but agree.
The coffee shop
I’m at the coffee shop all the time. It’s bad. But the drinks are so good and it’s like the German version of Starbucks (even though Germany has Starbucks).
There is this one waitress who serves me almost every time. Once time, she came with my tea and said how it was too full and she’d be right back. She came back with a napkin and said something to me and I sort of sat there flustered because she spoke to fast. Then she said,
"The cup, can you raise the cup?"
No surprise, because I was currently there with my liaison and we were speaking English the whole time in there. I guess she caught on.
But most recently was really weird. A new waitress asked if I needed more time and I said that I was still looking and screwed up the sentence really bad even though it was only like 4 words. She came back to take my order, I said what I wanted, and she asked,
"Would you like something to eat too?"
Either the other waitress clued her in, or the Germans are on to me. This is starting to be uncanny.
Just take a look at my fabulous peanut butter cookies. Just look. They were delicious. I was so happy.
Yesterday I got the chance to visit Ravensburg, a nearby city. We didn’t get to see the whole Weihnachtsmarkt but the city itself was beautiful enough. I’m really falling in love with these cities around here.
High School Musical
Last night I jammed out with my host sister until about 2 in the morning watching High School Musical. We watched the first and second movie. We watched them in German with English subtitles… but only so we could sing along. We were being practical.
Now I spend my free time humming Christmas carols and enjoy German Christmas sweets. Bring on the jolly!
I have the option to take French with the rest of my class, but I wasn’t forced to. I have no background in French so it’s no problem if I just skip class. In my school, kids either take Spanish or NWT (engineering) so naturally I went with engineering because 2 foreign languages at the same time is just too much for me.
So I’ve lucked out and got placed in a pretty chill school.