It was early evening when our party of about 12 arrived in Hamburg, having sat on a short flight from Heathrow. Before passing through arrivals we were promptly reminded of our manners and out we went to enjoy the latter half of our German Exchange. On arriving at my partner’s house, I expected to be told that I was to have long day ahead of me tomorrow and this would be the hint for me to eat up supper and get some sleep. Little did I know that I was to be warmly welcomed to the Country by my exchange partner’s four brothers’, two sisters’, and a barking dog. It was overwhelming to say the least.

The following morning I was awoken by a rather loud shout “FRÜHSTÜCK!” Initially I assumed this to be the name of one of the seven siblings but soon recognised this was the call for breakfast. This first day was planned to be spent at my partner’s school, so I quickly consumed my cornflakes with hazelnuts and soon after was enjoying a 2km bike ride to the ‘Gymnasium’ (school), where I was met by the rest of the English group and of course Mr.Underwood. During their school hours we were kindly asked to participate in many of the lessons, including Sport! School finished at 1pm after which we went off with our individual German partners to be entertained for the afternoon.

During the weekend each German family amused their guest in their own ways, whether it be taking the English student sight seeing in the city centre, to the theatre or swimming. My partner had arranged for me and several other partners to visit a major German theme park ‘Heide Park’. Expectedly this turned out to be a thoroughly thrilling and enjoyable day out, in which I got to socialise with many of my partner’s German friends whilst also enjoying the company of my own English friends.

Later on in the week our English group visited two relatively close towns to Hamburg in East Germany. They were Schwerin and Lübeck. These outings provided a fine opportunity for us to experience Germany’s railway and see some historically reputable sights. We were guided round both towns by locally organised English speakers showing us all the significant sights of the towns whilst informing us with historical background.

This exchange not only offered me an ideal opportunity to improve my German language from staying with my partner’s hospitable family I soon became accustomed to much of the German culture. Through outings to towns and sights with the rest of the English exchange group I was able to experience Germany from a tourist’s eye, sighting many well-renowned attractions. All in all, this exchange provided a memorable trip which I would strongly advise any younger boys’ studying German to participate with.

Cheers Mr. Underwood!