The past few days have been very interesting. On Friday, I ventured away from home with 16 other EMU students, Moira, and our helper Salomé to discover the people, cultures, challenges, language, and great aspects of Germany. The plane ride was great relaxation and gave us some preparation time for our adventure ahead. We then arrived at 7am on Saturday in Frankfurt, Germany, and hopped on a train ride to Freiburg which was a lot of fun. The most nerve wrecking part happened when we arrived at the train station in Freiburg and our host families were waiting for us. We then parted and went to our new, beautiful homes. Some of us, for the rest of the day, either went shopping in the big city or went to sleep exhausted from our long journey.
Meeting my family was very interesting. The son came and picked us up from the station and then when we got to our home, we met our mother, Gabriele, and the Japanese exchange student. The next morning the first challenge arose- I set my alarm wrong so we were late for breakfast and most often, Germans are never late for anything! Our host mom was not happy at all and then pulled out the “rule book” and began explaining every house rule. The most exciting part of the first day or so was being able to explore the city. There were so many beautiful sights to see and little shops to venture into.
On Monday we started school. Class is 3.5 hours, which is very long, but the teacher is fun and does a fantastic job at teaching us the important things needed to know about Germany and the important vocabulary needed to communicate.
Team building, Freiburg history tour, and reflection on the mountain are a few of the many activities we have done as a group. This allowed us to learn many things about this amazing city and gave us a view from the sky lift we took to the top of the mountain. That was breath-taking.
Communicating with Germans and learning their customs have been the biggest challenges but get better by the day. All of these experiences have allowed us to grow as individuals, a group, and as more diverse people. I am so grateful to be a part of this group and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. This cross-cultural has been, is, and will be a life-changing experience for me and hopefully for everyone else.
– Jackie Collins