so hi everyone!
I have just under 10 days left in this country and i can’t believe how fast the time has gone. It is crazy! I will be creating a post in a few weeks with a massive debrief about everything I have learnt this year and all the highlights but I thought for now I would just share my rotary presentation that I did a few days ago. Everyone told me it was wonderful and that I should be proud so I was very happy. But my presentation is in german so I will copy the text into google translator so that aussie people can read it. This isn’t all of it as I thought I would cut it down a bit for you guys but enjoy. Hopefully it makes sense!
In the beginning I start with a question: “Why did I do an exchange year?” There are three reasons.
Because I wanted to get to know a new culture,
wanted to become more mature and open
and finally wanted to learn a new language.
Now I think that I have achieved every goal! I spent a great year and learned so much. In this talk I will show you many pictures of many exciting things that I have experienced this year!
I start with Rotary and Rotex events. I had 5 Rotex Weekend this year and a Rotary Language Camp.
The language camp was in Switzerland during my first two weeks. I stayed in Bischofszell with the other January inbounds for 10 days. We had a lot of German lessons but also free time and a few days we were in other cities. These first pictures show the whole group of January inbounds at the Rheinfalls and the bottom one is a picture of my German class and our teacher. I also have a little video from the other exchange students, they sing our national anthem. It was a beautiful camp and so I learned so much, met so many people and ate so much food!
Rotex had a weekend for each season, first I had a winter weekend! We went to the Virgin and went to sleep in a youth hostel. We were allowed to spend most of our time in the snow and tobogganing, but I did not bring any ski pants or jacket! I was so cold! In the evening, we ate a special dessert: every exchange student and exchange student had brought a sweet meal from their home country! I ate so much cake and biscuits! The picture on the left is from a few Australia January Inbounds and on the right is a picture of us eating on the snow!
My next “weekend” was just for a spring day. I met the other exchange students at the Noiraigue train station and then we hiked for two hours to Creux de Van. We ate lunch with a nice view! After lunch we had taken a lot of pictures. Here are a few!
In August, all the students who had been in Switzerland for one year went home again. Their last weekend was in Ticino and we had done camping. We just stayed by the lake so we went swimming and playing beach volleyball both days. On Saturday night, we had time to sign the flag and swap pins for our blazers. It was a sad night because it was the last night along with the oldies. An exchange student made a song about her exchange year and she played it on a guitar.
The next weekend was fall weekend. We stayed in the mountains, in a big house with all the pupils. We danced a lot and played some fun games so we had to laugh a lot! On sunday we had to get up very early to do a little hike because we wanted to see the sunrise. Here is a picture of the sunrise and also a picture of us next to the lake!
And finally, my last weekend, the Matterhorn winter weekend. For this weekend we went to Zermatt in a youth hostel. First we played a game in small groups. We were given a paper with 6 tasks and we had two hours to complete all tasks. An example of a task was to bring us a mirror egg, but you can not buy it with money ‘. And another was, Find a man called Walter. I found this game very exciting and my group and I did all the work! In the evening we ate fondue and afterwards we made a disco! On Sunday we took the train to Gornergrat. There we had a nice view of the Matterhorn and of course we took many pictures! Here are a few:
Second, I talk about my host families. I have had three very different host families, but I love them all!
At first I lived with the Mettler’s. Ella was my host sister and Markus and Nadja were my host parents. I liked the time with them very much. Ella and I made many rips to Zermatt, Zurich, Appenzell and more! Nadja, Ella and I once went to Chamonix in France for one day. It was very nice but super cold! During the spring break, I was allowed to live with the family for a few days in a small village next to Appenzell. You have a big house in the mountains, in a nice place. The house was very old, but it had a lot of space and a beautiful view!
My second family was Kate and Molly. I’ve just lived with them at Lake Biel, with Neptune! I was there for the whole summer so I could get a boat everyday
drive and go swimming! It was so nice! I also had two cute dogs and a cat! In the autumn holidays we went to Spain, to El Cotillo, a small island of the Canarary Islands. I am in love with this! The holidays were perfect! We were at the beach every day, swimming and surfing and in the evening we ate seafood! I also found the culture in Spain very cool!
And finally, my last host family, the Köhlis. I have three younger sisters in this host family and my host parents are Kurt and Barbara. I fell in love with the younger siblings because we play so much together. In Australia, I have a younger brother that I used to play on trampoline and wrestling and I missed that a lot, but I had a chance for that in this family! My parents are so cute and nice and I learned so much about Swiss culture!
Now I come to the last topic that I want to talk about. It is Europe tour! In June, all exchange students made a Europa Reisse. We traveled for 17 days and could see 10 cities and get to know a little! I have a video here, which is about 7 minutes long, it shows pictures from the Europa Tour!
I really had a wonderful year in Switzerland and there was nothing better for me. But sometimes my year was very difficult and I had days to cry, but it was still the best year of my life. I can not be thankful enough for everything I was allowed to do and experience this year. I’m so happy with who I am now and everything I’ve learned. I have to say a huge thank you for Rotary Club Biel-Nidau for these past 12 months. You are a great club and I loved my time with you all! I also want to say ‘Thank you very much’ to Franz my Counselor for his great help with every problem I had, especially in my first days and to Karin for her help too this year! And many thanks to every host family! They are the best and I am so thankful that they helped me.
I am very sad that I have to leave soon but I know that I will never forget this year and that I can use everything that I learned this year later in my life! Thanks again, thank you to every person and family who helped me this year. I am forever thankful!