For those who have the desire and will to cultivate professional interests even more.
Sarah Fristsche and Regine Oinask, both pre-IB students, and Lærke Boserup, 1st year STX-student, explain about the experience.
“You speak English when necessary,” Sarah says. “You learn to be open and just talk with them.” “Yes, exactly,” says Lærke. “Even if it is not on your own language.” Regine agrees that it is a good thing just to be thrown into it. “And the families we visited where very keen to teach us German.”
“They were very welcoming and a very nice stay,” Lærke says.
“Together with our hosts we made presentations about exchange programmes,” Regine explains. Lærke continues: “Ideas for how to stay in contact and establish friendships between Germans and Danes –well, between Europeans.”
“There were of course also some activities to help us get acquainted,” Sarah says. “Among other things, we talked about what is good and not so good about Grenaa and Lübeck respectively. Many of them would like to move away from Lübeck. They think that Lübeck is a small city and want to go to Hamburg, only 40 minutes away.” The girls smile. Grenaa is so much smaller than Lübeck and the trend here among young people is exactly the same.
“You learn about their way of life and culture. For example there are stricter rules at school. Zero phones and you address the teachers by their surnames. It feels like there is more discipline. Everybody is ready when the teacher talks and if you are late, you don’t enter the class room,” Sarah explains. “I think that in Denmark manners are less formal and teachers and students can make fun and laugh together.”
The three girls also noticed differences when it comes to the gender role pattern in the families. “It is more traditional,” Regine says. Sarah gives and example: “In my host family the mother was a full-time housewife. She cooked, made lunch packs, drove the kids to school. One didn’t see much of the father.” In Lærke’s host family there was no father, but nonetheless the mother cooked twice a day and there was a lunch pack for the bus ride back home to Denmark.
Lærke finds that Lübeck is a lovely city. “It is really beautiful. And so tidy and clean.”
Sarah would have liked to do the canal tour and maybe she will get the chance later, for it looks as if it is going well with regards to staying in touch. Some of the students were visited by their new German friends during Easter and others have been invited to go to Lübeck again later this year for a festival.
In August 27 students from Thomas-Mann-Schule will visit Grenaa Gymnasium and be hosted in the families of some of our students. We look very much forward to having them here.