My name is Nele, I am fourteen years of age and from Germany. I spent five weeks in Ireland staying with a host family, attending school in Portlaoise College from February 20 to March 27.
Many students asked me why was I doing this. I wanted to improve my English skills but mainly I wanted to have new experiences.
My first two weeks, I would say were not easy: I was alone in a different country, with a foreign language, staying with strangers, I needed time to settle in and get used to everything. I was not alone in school, which helped me a lot.
It was interesting to see all the differences between schools in Ireland and Germany. At home we do not wear a uniform but in Ireland you have three months holiday in Summer, we just have six weeks.
The school is really well equipped, it was interesting to use a tablet instead of carrying many heavy books with me to class. Also my two optional subjects, Art and Home Economics, were pretty interesting. We do not have Home Economics in Germany so it was new for me. I had great fun making pancakes and pizza.
The staff and students are very friendly, I always felt welcome and they cared about me. It wasn’t hard for me to make friends. I was lucky to experience St Patrick’s Day and Seachtain na Gaeilge. Although I had very little Irish, all the activities were interesting.
Some highlights were the History trips I went on to Dublin and to Wexford. It was great that I was given the opportunity to see some other parts of Ireland!
I made new friends, learned a lot and had a really good time! Thank you very much, Portlaoise College.