Miriam Albert Klasse 10F – Austauschschülerin an der Henley High School - unserer Partnerschule in Australien
I don’t know where to start because there’s so much to tell. I’ll just start with the first days in Australia or how the students in the school taught me ‘straya’. In the first days we mostly had introduction days where the international program coordinators showed us around and how everything works. We got to know the other international students which are coming from all over the world e.g. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Brazil, China, Thailand, Japan and Sweden. After 2 days of introduction we finally went to our first lessons. They don’t have classes here but courses and in every subject you have someone else in the class. That are the subjects I did for the first Semester: English, History, Mathematics, Physical Education for Girls, Science, Visual Art and Digital Media. I was surprised that I nearly understand everything in the lessons. The teachers are pretty young compared to Germany that’s why there’s a more comfortable atmosphere in the class. I had a really good and funny teacher in Digital Media where we learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and Premiere. We had to produce a short horror movie as well. The equipment that the school has is unbelievable for Germans. Every student has a laptop which you need for every lesson, every room has a white board and a beamer with a screen, every room has air conditioning and a heater, in Digital Media and Design you’re working with acer touch screen computers and the school has a variety of (video) cameras/equipment.
I can say that my English has improved a lot even though I don’t really learn the grammar but how to use English in the daily life. I became more independent, open-minded and learnt to appreciate the world around me so much more. Also, I got to know so many people and their cultures and it helped me a bit to figure out what I want to do in the future.
In Adelaide you can’t find as many tourist as in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne so you kind of get to the ‘real Australia’. I love Adelaide because it’s not too big and not too small. My school is only a 5-10 minutes walk away from the beach and it’s all really close to each other. I’m looking forward to see more from Australia in 2 weeks because my family will visit me and we’ll travel to Sydney, Brisbane, Great Barrier Reef and Melbourne.
There are many differences between my life in Australia and Germany. In school we have to wear school uniform and they are strict with that everyone is wearing the uniform properly. School always starts at 9:00am and on a day we have three 100 minutes lessons, 20 minutes recess, 35 minutes lunch and school ends at 3:10pm except Mondays at 2:30pm. The school has a variety of subjects for example Food and Hospitality, Dance, Photography, Woodwork and Design. It's not like in Germany where you always stay in the same class. Here they have courses and there are always different people in the class. In my history class we figured out that only 3 of 20 families are originally from Australia so I can say that Australia is really multicultural.
When it was warm I went to the beach after school everyday because it's only 10 minutes away. Sadly you can't do much after school with friends because most of them work.
I reckon the biggest difference for me is the time difference I can only skype with my family and friends on weekends and mostly not so long but I appreciate every minute I can talk to them. After a while it is a bit weird because you'd rather just talk in English.
Another difference is the left-hand traffic. I remember when my hostmum picked me up from the airport and I wanted to get into the car on the right. My hostmum had to laugh and said that it's normal.
It is also a bit confusing with the seasons. Most of the students have never seen snow in their lives before and couldn't imagine a cold Christmas. It's normal to celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve at the beach with 40 degrees.