Cold Christmas: A First for Ruby

Cold Christmas: A First for Ruby

Ein englischer Text auf unserer GAG-Homepage? Yes, it is true. Hier folgt der Bericht von Ruby Bannister. Ihre GAG-Gastgeberin Julia Barkmeyer erklärt: „Wir hatten den Erfahrungsbericht zu Anfang auf deutsch geschrieben, nur war Ruby damit etwas unzufrieden und fand es besser, ihn auf englisch zu schreiben, da es so für sie persönlicher war.“ Also daher: Go for it, Ruby!

G’day mates! My name is Ruby Bannister and I am an Australian exchange student. I am staying here in Tecklenburg with my exchange partner, Julia Barkmeyer, and her family for two months, which is my entire summer holidays back home.
My plane arrived in Germany on the second of December, just as it started to besome really hot in Australia, so the cold here was a big, but refreshing shock. Germany, especially Tecklenburg, is so different to where I live in Australia. My home, Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is the third most populated city in Australia with over two million people, so it was a bit strange coming to the town of Tecklenburg with its population of less than 10.000. As well as the size, Germany is different to Australia because of all of the old buildings and historical sites you can see everywhere. It´s so amazing seeing all of the old houses that were built hundreds of years ago, because in Australia we do not have much of that because its not that old itself.
Another difference between here and home is school. In Australia there are really only two types of highschool, private and public, but here there are four types. I go to a private all-girls school where everyday is always the same. Homeroom starts at 8.30, two 60 minute classes, then a twenty minute lunch break, then another two 60 minute classes, then a 40 minute lunch break, then one more 60 minute class and then we go home at 3pm – so coming to school here in Germany feels very, very different. I love being able to go home for lunch and free periods. This school also has lots more interesting classes that my school does not offer, like paedagogy and Latin. The teachers here are really interesting and have been so nice and welcoming to me, which I really appreciate.
Since I have arrived here my host family have done so much to make my stay fun and exciting and help me make the most of my time here. We have gone to multiple Christmas markets; gone on a trip to Berlin, where I saw snow for the very first time and it was like something out of a movie; we have spent a week in the Black Forest, where I saw more snow and experienced temperatures I have never experienced before. We also celebrated Christmas together, which was very different to Christmas back home. In Australia we give presents on the 25th and most families have plastic Christmas trees, so the over-2-metres-tall real tree was a bit weird for me.
All in all, I am so lucky to have been able to participate in this exchange and hope many of you take part in programs like this as well and experience a completely new country and lifestyle like I got to.
Ruby Bannister (rechts im Bild) aus Brisbane besucht im Schuljahr 2018/19 für knapp zwei Monate die Jahrgangsstufe EF.