From snow to Spring - Anicia’s two weeks in Torquay

Over the last two weeks, we've had the pleasure of welcoming nine students from the Kaiser-Karl-Schule in Germany. One of the participants, Anicia, has kindly shared her experience of living and working in England:

I was staying in Torquay for 12 days and it was a big achievement for myself I would say. I got to know so many new people from different countries and with different stories, but also I got to know the life in England and the atmosphere of it. I remember how scared I was just a few days before we left Germany and I just kept telling myself I need to do it. So 12 days ago I was nearly crying because I was so scared of this new chapter and now after 12 days I’m nearly crying because I don’t want to go back and leave all these lovely people.

When we arrived on a Sunday a miracle did happen. Snow all over Torbay and the streets. We thought we couldn’t reach our host family that day, but at the end we did. When I think about it, this was the first adventure for me, but actually it wasn’t bad, actually it was special and exciting. Together with two girls from my group and a girl from the Spanish group we had a great first dinner with our host family.

We started hanging out with each other or going in a restaurant with others or going out some times in the town centre which was only 10 minutes away just like my work. We started working on Tuesday because of the weather and this was another adventure for us. So we had a meeting at the TTPL office in the morning and after that they did take us to our work, we were not a minute alone, so there was nothing to worry about. This was all new to us and when we came back we were just talking about our work and how it was for us.

That evening we had a meeting at the Rock Garden in Torquay (Which is really nice, you should visit it) with other students from TTPL and that was just good to go out and talk with others and have a drink. The next days went fast even at work, you just got used to the work you do. We also got used to take the bus and go to the shops quickly. Every day when we came home we spent the time with each other and soon dinner was ready and then we went to go in the town or just spent time with the family and I can’t speak for the others from my group but I was really happy with my host family. There were always friendly and laughing and making jokes, I really enjoyed the time with them. But I think the best night, was the karaoke night in their living room, I never had that much fun.

Even speaking English wasn’t strange after a few days. I was thinking so quickly and remembered words I didn’t know I knew. I started really enjoying to speak English with the family and the others or just in a restaurant. I was surprised and proud what I could do and that made me feel at least a little more confident. I just couldn’t get the English out of my head and accidently started speaking English with my German friends.

We always had contact with TTPL and every Tuesday and Thursday we had a TTPL meeting like in the Rock Garden or Paignton Zoo. They were always friendly and if we had any problems it was easy to talk with them. There was never missing a possibility to do something around Torbay.

It is such a good possibility to surround you with English and just speaking English and just listening to English, it’s just such a difference to what you can learn in a lesson. You just get to know the way they speak and the way they are. Your horizon keeps growing just like your confidence. You can’t get this experience by waiting for it. I learned so many things I can’t learn anywhere else. I wish I could stay longer and I wish could do it again. If you ask me if you should do it, I say you definitely should.