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The right decision to take this chance - Christina’s blog

For the last ten weeks, we've had the pleasure of welcoming German student Christina to our office. Here's Christina's story about her experience living and working in Torbay:

Hi! I am Christina, 17 years old and from Bavaria, Germany. I have been here in England for almost three months, now slightly starting to think and dream more in English and sometimes struggling to find the right German word :D. When I travelled to the UK in September, I was a bit nervous because it’s my first travel alone (and my sense of direction can be really bad!) also I was afraid that I wouldn’t like it here.

But now that I am here, I can just say I made the totally right decision to take this chance. The people here are lovely and very talkative. I noticed that on my second day when I went to the Babbacombe beach in the evening to see the amazing view and to look around my area where I live. I met a very kind man who told me something about the seals - we actually saw a seal, which came unusually close to us. We had a nice conversation about half an hour and we fed the seagulls with little fishes.

The first two weeks I had a language course where I met people from Sweden, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Germany. I really liked the classes and the other students. In these two weeks we did paintballing, a boat trip to Brixham and we went to Newquay to go surfing, which was already a lot of great experiences in this short time. Now I work at TTPL, the organisation itself and I am really happy with my work placement. I am helping in the office, doing a lot of different tasks and I can help planning some upcoming events. The people in the office are all very kind, funny and helpful.

On Tuesday and Thursday, we always have our student meetings organised by TTPL. They are great to get to know new people and to do some free activities. On the weekends I am always out with my friends, doing different trips or we just meet to talk or to go shopping. We are a group of some girls from Spain and Germany, which is perfect because you also need to speak English in your spare time, but if you’ve had enough of speaking English, you always have someone to speak in your own language :D. But actually, wherever we go, most of the time we spend eating too much food or drinking too much coffee. So the first thing we did in the zoo, was going in the restaurant or when we went to Plymouth, first we went to have a drink, then we ate in an “all you can eat” restaurant (not a good idea!) After that we were so full, that we needed a rest and a cup of tea.

I can’t even choose the best trip, because we did so many different things. For example the very windy boat trip (with a very small boat) to Shaldon, to see the bonfire and the fireworks, the crazy trip to Dartmouth and Totnes or our regular shopping trips in Torquay, Exeter or Plymouth.

But of course not everything can be perfect. I remember my second weekend when I went to a nearby Town called Chudleigh to do horse riding. When I wanted to return in the evening, it rained a lot, I was freezing so much and I couldn’t find the bus stop in the middle of nowhere, so I waited for one hour, but the bus kept passing me. Besides it was my second day in a temporary host family, because my other host family was on holiday. Therefore I couldn’t remember the new host address and my phone, where I saved the address, had no battery.

After being sent from the bus driver in the wrong direction, I had absolutely no idea where I was and I also didn’t know where I need to go or where I live. But somehow I found the way back. Everything can’t work always perfectly but often you need to deal with situations or problems like this teach you to stay calm and how to handle things in a better way.

Now, as I leave for home, I already miss these wonderful people I met here. But all in all it was a great, challenging time with lovely people, amazing adventures and I didn’t only improve my English, I also can take a lot from this stay for my future.