Ulricianer abroad [7/x]: Megan’s “Mission Briticism” in Cornwall/England
Megan was in year 11 at our school until the end of December when she decided to leave our marvellous English course and go to Cornwall/England instead. What a pity for us, but obviously a good decision for her: Thanks to Megan who devoted some time to write to us about her experiences and thanks to Jörg who sent her a couple of questions so that we learn everything about her state of being on the other side of the Channel.
Hey guys, how are you doing? My name is Megan and for the last two months I have been living in Liskeard, a little town in the middle of Cornwall, UK. That’s why I want to write some facts about my gap half-year, hopefully you don’t get bored while reading my article. I’ve got four months left but I certainly can say that I have made and will make amazing experiences.
I decided to do spend some months in England because I had several reasons. The main reason was improving my English, the second having the experience to live in another family, seeing a new country and getting to know a new culture. The last reason was having one year left and making as many experiences as possible before I finally start my A-Levels (Abitur) in Aurich.
I chose to go to the UK because I love to speak British English. Also, I know the law isn’t that strict as in the USA. I only had the choice between the USA and the UK because I decided to do an exchange spontaneously. Furthermore, I hadn’t the option to choose the place and the family. I’m definitely pleased that I live in Cornwall. I think it’s the most beautiful part of England. The seaside is amazing with its cliffs, the beaches are huge, the water is turquoise, and you have as well mountains as forests.
Also, I’m pretty happy with my family I stay with. The first days it was kind of awkward to be around people I didn’t know but after one week I felt like I belonging to the family. Moreover, another German student, who has been living here for five months, stayed with me in the family for one month. The good thing was that she explained me everything like using the washing machine and went with me to school but the bad thing was I only talked in German because it’s quite weird talking to Germans in English. Finally, I think it’s better to be the only German in the family because then you can make your own experiences and don’t get influenced.
I would describe my family as open-minded adorable persons who don’t know how to get angry. They’re Christians, pray at every dinner, have housegroup (a meeting where you do Bible studies and talk about life) and go to church every Sunday. It sounds a bit boring and weird but it’s totally different to Germany. The church is called ‘clap-your-hands-church’ and is actually more a concert. When going to church and during housegroup I met interesting lovely people. Also, my family has a lot of younger friends because they’re the friends of their children, my three host siblings who are 24, 26 and 28. At home I live with my host parents and our housemate Freya who’s 28. She is like a big sister for me. In addition, I need to say that the prejudices of the English are true, they’re all really polite and always queue up. Also, they use to speak in a lovely way like ‘You’re alright my love?’, ‘Thanks sweetheart.’ and ‘That would be cute!’, which means ‘That would be nice!’
In school I’m together with two German students, Ben who stays until the beginning of April and Leonie who’s with my organization and stays as well as me until the beginning of July. The funny thing is that I’m the only German who can’t speak English fluently because Ben has been living here for six months and Leonie could already speak English fluently because she has English friends and family, loves to watch English series and youtubers. I’m so happy to be here with Leonie because she is such a funny, crazy and lovely person. I can definitely say we became best friends.
In addition, the school is completely different compared to Germany. I’m in Year 12 Sixth Form. That means we don’t have to wear a uniform, have our own break room, called common room within a kitchen and don’t have to queue up in the cafeteria. Apart from that, I have four subjects (Photography, Media, Drama and English Language).
In Photography we’re taking and editing pictures and doing researches about artists.
In Media we’re doing film analysis and are looking at different genres.
In Drama we’re learning monologues and performing a whole play.
In English-Language we’re doing text analysis like the way people speak together.
And this is Megan herself
The school starts at a quarter to nine and certainly ends at a quarter past three, in other words we have mostly five periods with many free lessons. I only have six periods twice a week. The people in school are pretty nice and lovely and I do really like them all. To be honest, I would describe the school as lazy but as more social than our school in Germany, I haven’t seen one person who sits on its own. The first school day was a bit weird because it seemed like you’re kind of a geek, can’t speak about the type of music, youtubers and series. Apart from that the hair and clothes they’re wearing are pretty nice but reminds me of a hipster. I think it took me two weeks to immerse myself and talk more than small talk.
On weekends I normally go with my family to the seaside or go with my friends to the nearest bigger city. In the week my typical day is getting up, going to school, chatting after school with friends, meeting someone or going home watching some films or doing some school stuff. We have dinner around half past six and after that I watch a film with my family or on my own, we are sitting together in the living room but certainly I skype with my friends.
I definitely enjoy my gap half-year but I’m pretty upset that I’m here only for half a year and I appreciate it so much that my parents made this exchange possible for me. Furthermore, I hope you enjoyed reading my little article so far, I’ll have plenty more to write. If you’re interested or have questions, just let me know. We can chat on Facebook or you E-mail me. At last I need to say that I decided to love One Direction and becoming kind of a hipster.
See you soon, Megan