MY EXPERIENCE AT THE GERMAN SCHOOL:
My 4th High School year was a bit different, I decided to participate in a project, named “One year in L2 [the second language]”, that gives you the opportunity to change school for one year to attend a German one, in order to improve your social, cultural and language competences. I think it is an interesting initiative, an experience that I would suggest. I found myself in a “new world”, with new teachers, new classmates, a new timetable and a new working method. At the beginning I felt as if I was “alone”, in fact I didn’t know anybody in that huge school, I was even unable to find my classroom the first day I came in, the big it was! I remember perfectly the first time I entered the classroom and all the students turned round and started looking at me as if I was an “alien”, at that point I took all my courage and in one fell swoop I said; «Hallo-ich-bin-die-neue-italienische-Schuelerin», some started to smile and even to laugh when I realized that I wasn’t the only exchange-student, among them there were at least 8 more Italian students coming from a different Italian school. I started to socialize not only with those Italian students, but also with the German ones. I began to speak German with them, although some of them could speak my language very fluently. I was pleasantly surprised by the quick integration I had with my German classmates, they were open-minded. The teachers were also very nice, expert and excellent in their subjects, but also quite demanding. I found some difficulties at the beginning, not only with the language, but also with the burden of work. I wasn’t always able to understand the terminology of the texts or some difficult concepts, but I worked hard in order to reach good scores, I was a little stressed. Fortunately, I had also a tutor that helped me during the week, after school with my homework and with the comprehension and the elaboration of what I had to study. She was a very nice person, we almost became friends. I remember, during the Christmas-Holidays I was uncertain because I had to choose if I wanted to go on with that school until the end of the school year, or if I wanted go back to mine. Some Italian students returned to their school and finally, after having given it some thought, I decided to stay. I worked harder during the second term, I was determined until the end and I succeeded. The positive aspects of this experience are, for example, the improvement of my German language, by speaking with my new friends, this helped me to reach the B2 German Certificate. I knew a lot of new people, especially “friends of friends” and I had a lot of fun. I developed my capacity in adapting to different social contexts, and I improved my determination in the achievement of my goals. I think all this was worthwhile.
© Melanie Paro