High school student, Gabriella, reports and reminisces about her amazing time in Germany on a 6-week SAGSE exchange. Here is her fascinating first-hand account …
Earlier this year we reported about the latest SAGE exchange in Germany with information and photos – click here.
Now it’s time for the students themselves to have a say about this life-changing experience.
Brisbane School of Distance Education student, Gabriella, reports:
“My trip to Germany, with 10 other students, was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The five-week homestay experience along with the six-day tour with the other Australian students, was the perfect mix of experiencing the German culture with a family and sightseeing in the southern part of Germany and Austria.
The opportunity to go to school with my host sister was a once in a lifetime experience. It allowed me to fully understand the differences between the Australian and German school systems and provided me with the opportunity to meet many other German students. As we stayed with our host family over Christmas, I was also able to partake in many German Christmas traditions, such as finding and chopping down our own Christmas tree. This was quite an ordeal as every Christmas tree was either the wrong shade of green, too dense, too sparse or the height wasn’t exactly right, but after two hours, we finally found a suitable specimen to take home! The German food was also delicious, especially the homemade Christmas cookies. My entire host family, including the extended family, were all extremely kind and generous, making me feel right at home.
The six-day tour was one of the highlights of my trip. Although I didn’t know any of the other Australian students prior to the trip, I quickly became extremely close to all of them and we are still all great friends even after returning home. We saw so many different sites in southern Germany and Austria and took part in multiple guided tours of places such as Schloss Neuschwanstein, Salzburg Salt Mines, The Sound of Music Tour and the Nightwatchman Tour in Rothenburg ob der Taube. Most afternoons we were given free time to explore the towns in which we were staying, which usually included wandering around the local Christmas Markets and making a few too many souvenir purchases!
Overall, I would definitely recommend this trip to every student of German. Even over the relatively short time period of six weeks, my German language skills improved immensely as a result of being immersed and surrounded by the language and its culture. The friendships I’ve made will undoubtedly last a lifetime. “
Register your interest in the 2017-18 SAGSE Exchange here .