Erfahrungsberichte - Irland

Austauschorganisation Xplore

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Heya fellow, you're thinking of going to Ireland for studying in High School? Well, that's exactly what I did – and believe me, I didn't regret the choice.

It was a tough decision whether I'd go to Ireland or somewhere else. I'm sure you've been wondering as well what place to go to – the opportunities are infinite. But why did I pick Ireland, and why should you pick Ireland? To answer those questions, I will now look back at the last 8 months I've spent over here.

As an exchange student, the first people you're dealing with after your arrival are – of course – your host parents, your new family. I personally was really nervous before meeting them. Would they be as welcoming as I hoped? Or would they rather treat me like a guest in a hotel? Ringing their doorbell, my heart felt like it would explode the next second and I just wanted to run back to Germany – but then, my host dad opened the door, smiling at me and giving me a welcoming hug. From that moment on I knew: it's gonna be a great time! And indeed, it was. My host family, consisting of my host parents, three host sisters and my 9-year old “host niece” left no doubt from the very beginning: I was now part of of their family and no stranger from elsewhere. I think that this warm atmosphere is unique in Irish families. Sure, host families that are excited about you living with them can be found all over the world – but in my family, everybody showed a really genuine interest in me as a person and the culture I'm coming from, and judging from what exchange students in other countries tell me, I'm sure that I would have found this splendid atmosphere nowhere else but in Ireland (and the food is better than you think ;-)).

The school I'm going to is great in every respect. Not only does the building itself look really fancy (certainly nicer than my old German school), but the school has great equipment as well. There are video projectors in many class rooms (and the teachers actually use them!) and the PCs in our computer room have Windows Vista! A huge difference to what I'm used to from Germany is the massive number of afternoon activities the school offers. You want to try playing rugby, be involved in basketball, or maybe improve your English by joining the debating club? No problem in Ireland! But more importantly, the people are all wonderful. When I came to school for the first time, I was really shy, but the others were all so welcoming and nice that I soon found a wonderful circle of friends whom I'll miss very much when I'm going back to Germany – almost the way it went with my host family.

Right after I came to Ireland, I immediately had an experience both astonishing and funny that I'll never forget. I had gone to a Swing concert – alone, because I didn't go to school and didn't know anyone yet. Standing in the crowd alone and a bit lost, an Irish woman suddenly grabbed my hand and dragged me onto the dance floor where we kept dancing on and on. I never heard from her again – but this experience captures the Irish spirit perfectly: they're a bit crazy, but they're so much fun! Thanks to Xplore I had the time of my life!