Hello my name is Natasha, I am sixteen and I am from Redland City Australia which is forty five minutes away from Brisbane and no we don’t ride kangaroos sorry to disappoint. I am attending Gymnasium Am Löhrtor for two months as an exchange student and I will be in grade nine.

One thing I love is to make music. I play my clarinet in various bands in Australia like my school band and Young Conservatorium Symphonic Wind Ensemble. I have also earned a leadership position as a Music Mentor in my school. This is where I basically help anyone who needs help or guidance with their chosen instrument. My school in Australia is called Alexandra Hills State High School.

I have been wanting to come to Germany since I started grade eight. The reason I wanted to travel to Germany is to experience the culture and the schooling life in another country. I also wanted to experience how German people celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. The Christmas Markets are amazing to go to and definitely something we don’t have in Australia.

I know some of you have been asking what are some differences between Australia and Germany? One difference is the meals, in Australia we have cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and a hot meal for dinner. In Germany you have bread for breakfast and dinner and have a hot meal at lunch. Which leads into how the school day is different as well. School starts at around quarter to eight and finishes around quarter to two. In Germany you also have breaks between each class, two twenty minute breaks and the other breaks are five minutes. In Australia we start school at quarter to nine and finish at three. We have a class called Form Class at the start of the day to hear what is happening at school and if there are any meetings that people need to attend. We have two breaks, the first break is fifty minutes and the second break is twenty minutes. The last difference that I will mention is that in Australia Senior School (that is year 11 and 12) we only have six subjects however in Germany you have about fourteen subjects.

I would like to thank my host family the Göbel family for taking care of me for the next two months. Showing me different parts of this wonderful city Siegen and different parts of Germany like Wuppertal and a trip to Switzerland in the school holidays. I would also like to thank the organisation The Department of Education International Services for allowing me to be a part of this exchange. This is definitely an experience I will never forget.