A Rewarding Year in Germany ‹ BACK
I am not a good student. I have to admit it. I needed to escape from the HKDSE, so I decided to go and see the world for a year. Of course, I’m pulling your leg to some extent. I did leave Hong Kong for a year, but it was to experience a kind of learning that you can’t find in textbooks. My destination was Germany.

Everything in Germany was different. I lived in a house instead of a flat. I went to school by bus instead of on foot. I slept at 9 o’clock every night instead of 2 o’clock every morning. I was told that I would first experience a honeymoon period, followed by culture shock. However, it didn’t turn out exactly like that. Once I arrived in Germany, I panicked. I missed my family so much. When I came back home after the school day and realized that my family was not there, I felt lost. To be frank, the beginning of my exchange year was quite scary as I had to deal with culture shock and home-sickness. As a result, I kept quiet and nearly gave up. I became somewhat blue and depressed. I didn’t know what I could do. At that time, I began to understand and realize how naïve I was when I was in Hong Kong, thinking that I was always on the top of every situation and could handle every problem by myself.

After my first month in Germany, I made up my mind to be more positive. I tried to do what I was used to doing in Hong Kong -- talking!

Fortunately, all my classmates were very kind and helpful. They helped me a lot in learning German by explaining the troublesome grammar rules and forcing me to speak in German. From then on, my exchange year became more and more colourful. I did a lot with my host family and my classmates, like visiting a Christmas market and watching a concert. I enjoyed every bit of my time with them. I also travelled to many famous cities and appreciated their beauty.

It was really the best year of my life. If I had my time again, I would definitely make the same choice. Seeing the world has not only broadened my horizon, but also has helped me to understand more about myself.

By Natalie Lau 5B

  • Visiting the BMW Museum in Munich
  • Visiting a Christmas market with my friends
  • Looking for treasure in a second-hand book store
  • Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!
  • Can anybody tell me which station I should get off?
  • My best friend EVER!
  • It’s like a photo from an exchange promotional brochure!