Wednesday, August 21, 2013

days > 10 -- adjusting

advice for future exchange students #8:
 DO learn the language before you come. Lots of American (USA) people say on Facebook that they didn’t practice anything and they learned the language in the first month. Yeah. Either they’re delusional, they’re lying, or they went to Australia.*

Sorry I've been MIA for the past couple days. I meant to post every 10 days, I really did, but unfortunately I didn't take into account that I would be busy with so many things. The first 10 days have been undeniably a part of the honeymoon stage.** I've been to more places than I can count and my days are sort of blurring together, which is why I only just now realized that I should be updating. So here I am (right now I should be eating breakfast, but instead I am writing on my blog. this must be quick.)

The language immersion has actually been much easier than I thought it would be, hooray! I would definitely recommend learning the language before your exchange, because I do think it's harder for the exchangers who haven't... people in Switzerland do speak English, for those of you who are wondering. That said, I think it's rather annoying to keep asking people to speak English, and learning German is part of what I came here to do, so why not just work hard at it in the beginning when you have time?

anyway, things that have happened in the past 10 (ish) days:
  • a few days after I got here, we went to Rheinfelden and walked across the bridge to Germany! It still boggles my mind to think that I am so close to so many other countries... Switzerland is much smaller than the USA.
  • I started my Deutschkurs (German course) shortly after my arrival in der Schweiz. So far it's been fairly good, although the lessons are pretty easy. A lot of it is review of what we were supposed to learn in Rosetta Stone, but it's helpful to get in some practice I suppose. It's also nice to spend time with the other exchange students in my area.
  • After my first day of German class, I asked my host mom to speak mainly in German to me. After the first 10 days, my YEO told my host parents to only speak German to me. So far it's been a little confusing, but really good as far as language immersion goes :)
  • I went to an FCB (Fussball Club Basel) game the first week of my stay. It was SO HOT in the stadium, but the game was exciting. We were sitting less than 20 rows away from the players, which was also pretty amazing... my host family and I all wore FCB shirts and hats, and the people in the stands were going crazy.
  • Went to Augusta Raurica and saw old old OLD Roman ruins. We also went to a restaurant in Augusta Raurica and had pizza. It was delicious.
  • I met some of my host sister Alessandra's (she's my age, but spending her exchange year in Australia right now) friends. They're super nice, and they'll go to my school so I may see them more often.
  • I now have a class list. Unfortunately it's in German, so I only sometimes remember which classes I have. Hopefully I'll remember enough to get to my classes on time.
  • We went to the Basler Munster last Saturday and explored the rest of Basel as well. Pictures to come soon, I just haven't uploaded them to my computer yet :)
And that concludes my rather rambling, hard-to-follow post. Bis bald!


*I do think that Australia is an awesome exchange destination, and I would love to go if it were offered in my district. It's only that I don't think you learn another language there if you're from the USA. Just to clarify :)
**if you're wondering what that is, I mentioned it earlier in this post.

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