Bei Ye arrives in Germany

It has already been three weeks since my arrival at the Hamburg Airport on April 8th. I was picked up and driven directly to Stiftung Louisenlund, my amazing exchange school, by the school van. With little time to cool down myself from the excitement of being in Germany, school started right from that Monday morning.

HAD FUN WITH MY EXHCANGE PARTNER FAMILY ON A BEAUTIFUL BEACHLouisenlund is a private school located in Güby, Shleswig-Holstein, a state of northern Germany neighboring Denmark. As a boarding school with over 300 boarding students and 50 day students, Louisenlund has a beautiful campus. It is surrounded by forests and a harbour of the Baltic Sea. Although the school is kind of “in the middle of nowhere” (one hour drive to Kiel and two hours to Hamburg, which are the two big towns of the state), the peaceful and pure environment in this small town for studying, as well as living, is appreciated.

The first few weeks living in Germany was a little bit of challenge, but really cool!

The change in climate made me “suffer.” It was already spring time, but the northern part of Germany was still crazily cold, even compared to the winter in California. It was always freezing and rainy and the strong wind was pushing me back every time I moved forward. Luckily, everyone around told me that I had picked the best time to stay because the weather between April to June is normally warm and comfy, and they just went through a really long winter. Well, it really takes time to adjust to it.

Another challenge I face is the German language. Although most of the students and teachers in Louisenlund are able to speak fluent English, assemblies on every Monday morning and announcements after lunch are all presented in German.  After the meetings I was asking whoever was sitting next to me for translation. (Hope that didn’t annoy them too much…) Whenever I was sitting straight and pretending to listen carefully when they were speaking in German, I understood nothing.  A voice raised in my head all the time —— I should have learnt some more German beyond “Guten Morgen”(Good Morning) and “Danke”(Thanks).

IN HAMBURG WITH KRITIKA FROM INDIA(THE DAILY COLLEGE)Thanks to the “geographical advantage” of the school and with many of the students boarding in the school, going off campus became luxurious for me. Within these three weeks, I luckily got to go to Schleswig and Hamburg. Schleswig is a town 15 minutes away from the school and it is where my exchange partner lives. Led by a history teacher, Mr Thiele, Michelle (an exchange student from Canada) and I visited the Viking Museum and were amazed by all the ancient architecture.  Hamburg is the biggest town in the state of Schleswig-Holstein and has served as the central harbour city for centuries. Buildings with emerald green rooftops are pretty and everywhere. There is one more thing that I would love to mention–the “Döner”, a kind of Turkey food, that is very popular in Germany. It is pretty much like a taco and it’s super yummy!!!

After three weeks of staying, I got to know more about the school and Germany. Here are some interesting facts.

First of all, very different from Athenian where we queue up for meals, students and teachers here have their seats assigned, normally by the houses or classes, and they have lunch in family style.

Second, to me, having a own sailing team and their own harbour for practice are really special. It is just like we Athenians are building up great airplanes. Here at Louidenlund students are building amazing sailing boats.

SAILING TEAM WORKING AS A GROUPAnd there is always something fun going on at the school every Friday evening, despite the fact that we still have classes on Saturday morning. Students hold school-wide parties (which is called “Shülerhaus” in German) every Friday night, dancing and having fun. In addition, there was a play produced by the school drama club last Friday. Although I didn’t get most of the actor’s lines which were in German, I was impressed by the all those talented students and teachers who made much effort to put on this brilliant show.

In short, I am getting more and more comfortable living in the school and in Germany because of all the nice people and the fantastic things I have seen. There is only one more month left for me to enjoy the school and German culture. I really appreciate this chance of coming to Germany for exchange. I know that there is going to be a lot more new and fun stuff coming up and I am so looking forward to it!