Hi, I’m Anne and I’m a German exchange student—one of the first German exchange students at this school actually, so I really hope I’m doing this right. In this article I am going to talk about how I’m settling in and the differences I’ve noticed between school life in Germany and Ireland.

After I’ve made it through the first very long week, I might even say the longest week of my life, settling in was fairly easy. I got used to the new routine and the school building quickly and luckily found people who immediately took me in.

Not only did I get lucky with my friends but also with my host family. It’s almost scary sometimes, how similar these people are to my own family. I feel like I’ve known them forever, which makes everything significantly easier for me. Time is flying now. I’ve already been here about two months and it feels like one week. The differences I’ve noticed mostly concern the school building. The school I went to in Germany has several floors and a basement, while this has one floor and no basement. What I really enjoy here is that the teachers have their own classrooms and often even dec- orate them. It just adds so much more personality. Another thing is the school uniform. Because I come from a school with no uniform, I now know both sides and often get asked what I prefer. Personally, I like no uniform better, but maybe that’s just me. I just feel like the uniform keeps people from expressing themselves through their clothing. Though, I have to acknowledge that the uniform does prevent bullying and to be honest it takes me much less time to get ready in the mornings now. Another huge difference are the surroundings of the school. The school I went to in Germany was located right in the centre of the city and I was allowed to leave the school premises during the lunch break in order to get food, while the only stores within reach here are Lidl and Supervalu. Speaking of food, I’ve never had as many potatoes as I am since I’m in Ireland. Not only is Ireland known for their love of potatoes, but also for their rainy weather and I have to admit, even though I come from a city in which it tends to rain a lot, it’s nothing compared to the weather here.

All in all I’m very happy with my experience in Ireland and I’m very glad I also came across some musically talented people, which makes me hope that the exchanges between both schools will be maintained for years to come…

Well, that’s a bit of an insight in my experience as a student abroad so far. I’m looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!

Anne Powalowski