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Schulbesuch


"I liked attending Young High School. It was different than going to school in Germany, but that’s clear. That belongs to exchanges: you want to learn something, see something different and want to know how other people live."

Tobias Morell (Dinslaken), Kingsvale/NSW (2004)

"Alecia’s class was studying Germany before World War 2. I think I was able to add a lot and I think the class was very curious to hear me, a German, talk about the rise of National Socialism, World War 2 and the Holocaust in my country. In the beginning I could tell that the class and the teacher felt uncomfortable asking me questions about my attitude towards this difficult issue. But this did not last long. I knew a lot about that time in Germany, but I also learned quite a few new things."

Julia Heckmann (Bremen), Warragul/VIC (2004)

"Another thing that I liked on both schools in Australia was the school assemblies. They were for me such an unfamiliar and interesting event, because I liked the idea very much. Pupils got awards as a reward for their efforts and they were praised for their success for example in athletics, hockey or debating."

Sevana Manas (Elz), West Pennant Hills/ NSW (2004)

"I wore a school uniform like all the other students. (..) A lot of my German friends ask me now, after I had a school uniform, what I like better, the German system without one or the Australian system. After a little while I missed wearing my own clothes because I thought it was boring that everybody has to wear the same clothes. Furthermore I think you can still tell who has money and who isn’t so good financially situated because there was an older school uniform and a newer one and you could still see who wears expensive jewellery and accessories."

Felix Fröhlich (Mannheim), Woronora Heights/NSW (2004)

"In addition the patriotism of the students for their school is an essential difference. Every Saturday there is a sports competition between different schools. All schools have their own school songs and there is always a great atmosphere. You are able to buy school scarves, cups and so on."

Malte Genz (Hamburg), Melbourne/VIC (2004)

"In Australia the teachers are kind of friends with the students and that is what I really like. The teachers notice everybody and if they see somebody who doesn’t feel alright, the teachers talk to him. The teachers take care of you, because they know, that they are part of the students’ education (..)."

Frederik Hornof (Aschaffenburg), Melbourne/VIC (2004)

"I was really excited because there is no school in Germany where the students wear school uniforms. I looked so forward to it! When I looked in the mirror for the first time I was impressed, surprised, fascinated and I needed to laugh. I looked so unfamiliar."

Natalie Jahn (Dinslaken), Eastwood / NSW (2003)

"My favourite subjects at school were art and studio art as I really like drawing. And here in Australia you have the freedom to do whatever you want for your artwork. That is a really good way of doing art, as you can be creative. During my time in Australia I painted one big oil painting picture of the Twelve Apostles, one of my sister and some smaller paintings. I also spent some afternoons in the art room with some of my new Australian friends. There was always a very nice atmosphere."

Evelyn Konrad (Stuttgart), Williamstown / VIC (2003)

"But I think the atmosphere at school is stricter, because you could get into trouble by only little things nobody in German schools would care about. These are things like your appearance and the way you treat a teacher."

Stephan Kordel (Meschede), Eastwood / NSW (2003)

"At home games lots of Newington students came to school, to cheer at the Newington team. The students were very proud of their school teams and supported them with applause and sang the school songs. The school had a big Newington flag which some students waved and the students made a lane through which the first team entered the field. That was really different to a German school. We don’t have so many school sport events and all the Newington boys were a community."

Christian Lessmeier (Leopoldshöhe), Pennant Hills / NSW (2003)

"On the one hand school uniforms and the additional things are quite expensive (but the price also depends on the reputation and quality of the respective school) and on the other hand the solidarity and the sense of community are strengthened and the danger of bullying is reduced."

Pia Schmittmann (Bäsweiler), East Malvern / VIC (2003)

"I chose Australian Football, and I didn‘t regret that decision. (..) After only two or three weeks, I did not only participate in the training, but also got the chance to play matches for the school. Our team was an interesting mixture of people. Apart from me, there were at least six or seven overseas and exchange students in our team. On the one hand that was lucky, because that meant that half of the group couldn’t play any better than me. On the other hand, it was a bit frustrating, because we didn‘t win one single game."

Jonas Nonnenmann (Altensteig), Ivanhoe / VIC (2003)

"It was an amazing feeling, how fast I integrated at school and I will never forget how friendly and open all these students were towards me from the first day on."

Manfred Sorauf (Ainring), Hirroul / NSW (2003)

"One sentence I will never forget was " If you wear your school uniform, you are not a private person anymore, but a representative of our school! So please behave like this! " Indeed, the teachers had a really close look how we wore our school-uniforms and it was not rare, that teachers asked the students to tie up the socks."

Natalie Jahn (Dinslaken), Eastwood / NSW (2003)

"Most of the students said that they didn’t like the assemblies. I can say that they are in my opinion very interesting and you really feel as a community. (..) When the time was over I was really sad to leave the school. I found so many new friends there and learned a lot. I also got another point of view to my school at home and realized more how important a good school education is for us."

Anja Philippeit (Köthel), Melbourne / VIC (2003)

"A thing that I really loved was going on an excursion with the drama class of my year. We went to Sydney to have a workshop with the writer of a play called "The seven stages of grieving" and later on we got a tour of the Wharf Theatre and in the evening we went into the Opera House (yep, I didn´t only get to see it from the outside) to see that play ("The seven stages of grieving"). I can honestly say that it was the best play I have seen so far in my life because it dealt with the situation of the Aboriginals in Australia, back then and today and I had been pretty interested in that before."

Hannah Melchers, NSW (2002)

"The students, for example, care for older people or they fundraise for handicapped children. Of course, those examples of good will do also occur in Germany but the students, in contrast to those in Germany, are officially asked by the school to do some social service. In my opinion this is good, because you are really encouraged to take some responsibility for your environment."

Philipp Peter Nießen, VIC (2002)

"I noticed that, having the choice between so many subjects, I spent more time thinking about myself and my interests and finally, I learned most in Photography and Visual Arts, because I have always loved doing it in my free time."

Maren Reimer, NSW (2002)

"One unconvenient thing about the uniform was that we had to wear it even on our way to school and back home. When it was cold in the morning, we froze, because we had just the jumper. There were jackets available, but they cost a lot of money, so only a few students had bought them. Another disadvantage is, that the uniform shows the school you attend. Everybody can see how much money the parents have. But this may be a wanted effect."

Victor Brasch, VIC (2002)

"I just found out that school plays a way bigger role in Australia than it does in Germany which I thought was really good because consequently school is much more of a community than it is in Germany."

Hannah Melchers, NSW (2002)

"I looked forward to my first day at school, it was not such a normal feeling that you have before going to a new school. The school I was going to the first week was the school Jinty goes to, a girls high school. I was really excited, not only because it's a girls school. There were so many things to be excited about, the foreign language, the uniforms, how the students will react to me and much more."

Martin Kretschmann, NZ (2002)


über das Leben in der Gastfamilie und das Gastland


"Although I am an urban kid I have grown attached to Bairnsdale. Because it isn’t a big city and only has got one main street it was really easy for me to get accustomed. (..) I started to call it "Home”. (..) I also started to defend Bairnsdale when other people called it "out in the bush" or made fun of the "country people”. I remember my first day at school my German teacher Ms. Schönfelder said to me: "I think living in Bairnsdale is experiencing the real Australia, because the big cities are everywhere the same". I admit she is totally right."

Viviane Weinmann (Brühl), Bairnsdale/VIC (2004)

"I watched everything carefully and critically. I learned so much about society and after a little while I started to see my own culture from another point of view. I looked at my environments and I thought Germany and Australia could learn so much from each other."

Felix Fröhlich (Mannheim), Woronora Heights/NSW (2004)

"But what I liked my host parents best for were definitely all the nice conversations we’ve had. Nearly each evening we sat together in the living room with a cup of tea and talked about life in Australia and Germany and so many things else; and I really loved and appreciated this. I felt like they were my own family and it was wonderful being together with them. I think family life was definitely the thing I liked best during this exchange."

David Leßmann (Warstein), Beaumaris/VIC (2004)

"It is difficult to say something about Australian culture because there are so many differences to German culture and it is a mix of nearly all cultures in the world (..). Certainly an important part of the Australian culture is the food. (..) It is rather a mixture of all sorts of foods from all over the world. (..) I noticed these international influences everywhere. Cities or suburbs with foreign names, shops, restaurants and foreign languages can be found everywhere and that makes living in Australia very eventful and interesting."

Sonja Retzlaff (Steinhagen), Gymea/NSW (2004)

"Emma (..) will even come back to Germany next year and live with my family again for a while. She has finished school by then and therefore she wants to have a job in my home town for earning money to travel around Europe. I want to do the same and go back to New Zealand after I will have finished school in 2006. Then I will finally see my new family and friends from overseas again, who have already invited me to visit them."

Anika Regett (Groß Grönau), Timaru/NZ (2004)

"In the evening we wanted to go to Tempe (in the middle of Sydney) (..). After a two hour trip we noticed that we had got lost. We had no clue where we were but instead of getting angry we just laughed. So in this night I learned two things: firstly how big Sydney really is and how Australians deal with stress. They don’t get stressed because everything is an "easy going”. This mental and personal attitude was what I loved in Australia."

Katharina Littkemann (Sprockhövel), Eastwood/NSW (2004)

"I had a lot of chats with my host mother till deep in the night. It was really nice just talking. I sometimes played pool with the boys but I resigned after a few lost games. I will never forget the evenings with my host family."

Julita Sander (Berlin), Auckland / NZ (2003)

"The family applied as a host family because they have a long-lasting connection to GASS. The mother was the first family member who went with GASS to Germany about twenty-five years ago. That’s why the oldest of her children Amy applied for a scholarship to come to Germany a few years ago. She won and came to Germany. Mother and daughter both had good experiences and so Tim, the second child, decided to become a host brother and then he tried to get a scholarship to go to Germany, too."

Stephan Kordel (Meschede), Eastwood / NSW (2003)

"We have had a lot of fun and I did not have any big problems with my English. Of course it was a bit difficult for me only to speak English, because I did not know all the vocabulary, but when I sometimes did not understand what they meant I asked and everybody was fond of explaining it to me. I am sure that my English already improved a little bit in the first week."

Elina Pohl (Elz), Glen Iris / VIC (2003)

"In a very short time I got to know so many new things. I was open for everything that would happen in the future. It didn`t matter what. Good or bad I knew that I was going to experience uncommon things. I was excited and glad that I would learn something about the normal life and also about fantastic things in Australia."

Josephine Tiedtke (Stralsund), Hornsby / NSW (2003)

"I got to know the roots of New Zealand and I really started to imagine what happened. I was so affected by the story that I still remember the historic details. The most important thing I got from this trip, which I really wanted to make, was this part of history because I think you can’t understand a country unless you understand its history."

Julita Sander (Berlin), Auckland / NZ (2003)

"After three hours we arrived back at the harbour and finally had to go home. I missed Dunedin the whole free-travel long. Especially my family and that was because I was just looking forward to come home. But the trip was twelve hours and I was pretty tired when I arrived in Dunedin but happy because I was back in my family"

Hilke Plümer (Schortens), Dunedin / NZ (2003)

"Mr. Leonhardt the President of GASS W.A. invited me and Mrs. O’Connor to his radio show. It is a special German program. I had to answer some questions in an interview. For example: how is life in Perth, what is different to Germany and could I imagine to live in Perth. It was a nice show. (..) Mr. Leonhardt said that the target group is over 60 years. This explained the choice of the music."

Ana Werner (Kleve), Perth / WA (2003)

"Milo, the Australian answer to our common cocoa powder is one of the best things that I've tried in Down Under. It is similar to cocoa but it doesn't dissolve completely in milk and when you eat it from top with a spoon you can hear it crunch between your teeth."

Henrike Behrendt, VIC (2002)

"The second day we went skiing, all in all nothing typical for New Zealand. At night we had the obligatory cup of tea and played monopoly. But the best thing of this trip was that I felt more and more like a member of their family, and I was very pleased with the situation that everything is so perfect."

Martin Kretschamnn, NZ (2002)

"Because of the little knowledge about Germany and Europe I was glad to join different classes to answer questions. They were very interested and it was nice to give them something back for all the friendliness they gave to me. All the teachers integrated me very well during class."

Yvonne Küssel, VIC (2002)

"Three months full of new experiences, happiness, and friendship. "Difference" is the best word to describe my feelings about this country. (..)

I think all the members of our group can say that we have left a part of ourselves there and that we have taken something new back to Germany with us."

Gesine Heinrich, NSW (2002)

"We, who had all expected a quite boring and well-mannered discussion were fascinated at once. I mean, it was ridiculous: Grown-up men and women behaved like a group of kids from the Pre-school. They talked loudly the whole time, they stood up and gesticulated wildly when someone from the opposite party said something they didn't agree with. They interrupted each other and didn't let people finish speaking and one time the chairman, who called upon Mr. Howard to speak had to admonish a man from the other side three times to be quiet."

Henrike Behrendt, VIC
über den Parlamentsbesuch der Gruppe (2002)

"The boat stopped and we had our first chance to snorkel in the real Reef. I couldn't believe it. Everything was so colourful and the there were so many fishes. I thought Fitzroy Island was great but this one was one hundred times better."

Michael Babilon, VIC (2002)

"But I also realised how beautiful Lübeck and Germany is, with its old and traditional houses, and that I also learned to be proud of my country and culture."

Maren Reimer, NSW (2002)


Botschafterrolle


"Before I went to Australia, Europe had been the centre of the world for me. I couldn’t imagine what other countries know about us or read about us. But Australians think the same about Australia. I tried to get a German newspaper in Sydney. I had been in over 16 news agencies to find one, but I couldn’t find one. In Australia I can’t read a lot about Germany or even Europe. Australian news is influenced by Asia and America. But what can you read about Australia in German newspapers? Nothing."

Julian Rydzek (Burgdorf), Killara/NSW (2004)

"In whole we were three exchange students in my year. There was a girl from Brazil, another girl from Norway and me from Germany. All the other students were very interested in us, because many students just know Australia, they want to be informed about our way of life, culture and our every day life. We were something special, because we could speak more than just one language and came from the other part of the world."

Tobias Morell (Dinslaken), Kingsvale/NSW (2004)

"We had very interesting discussions on Germany and international politics and I believe that I succeeded in bringing my culture a bit closer to them. After a few weeks, I visited the year 11 German class and gave them a presentation of life in Germany. I showed them photos and told them how life is different in Europe. They were particularly interested in the normal school day of a German student and in the image Germans have of Australia."

Patrick Mittendorf (Mühlheim), Edithvale/VIC (2004)

"And their knowledge of Germany was quite good and extensive. I was really impressed because for the first time I could see my own countries’ reputation in a country so far away from Europe. It was so interesting, the people in New Zealand like Germany, when they hear you are German, they are very excited and surprised and they ask you lots of things where you come from (..) about what’s going on there now and so on."

Birte Houdelet (Stralsund), Pakuranga/NZ (2004)

"I hope very much that my acting and behaviour improved the relationship between our nations. I got to know how people live in the other part of the world, and so it is easier for me to understand them and their problems."

Malte Genz (Hamburg), Melbourne/VIC (2004)

"Most of the pupils at my school are very interested in Germany and also in German history. (..) All in all, the pupils at my school didn’t know much about Germany and its history. Some didn’t know about the Berlin Wall, but they asked without any prejudices and they weren’t abusive. (..) I wasn’t confronted with any Nazi things at my school but one day I listened to the radio and heard DJ Adolf, which is techno music mixed with speeches of Adolf Hitler. The youths probably laugh about it but I explained them why I don’t think it is funny. This example showed me again that a lot of people don’t know much about Germany (..)."

Felix Fröhlich (Mannheim), Woronora Heights/NSW (2004)

"It is sad to say but some people still had a bad view over our country and I really hope that I could make clear that kind of misunderstanding and to improve their point of view of Germany. I hope that I could make them think different about Germany and maybe wake up their interests."

Friederike Nürge (Varel), Eltham North / VIC (2003)

"That is one of the important aspects about the exchange, it builds up long lasting international relationships and friendships. (..) This principle of exchange (..) helps, thanks to the founder of the exchange, Fritz von Einem-Joosten and its sponsors, to bring a modern, peaceful Germany a bit closer to the minds of Australian people. The idea of this exchange is really worth supporting it, therefore I’m willing to volunteer for the exchange in the future and I thank all the people who made this wonderful experience possible for me."

Manfred Sorauf (Ainring), Hirroul / NSW (2003)

"It was a great time and now, that I am back in Germany I love to tell my friends about my time in Australia. I am happy that I got the chance for all of those experiences and to get to know all those wonderful Australian people. I have learned so much about the Australian way of life and I think I was also able to teach my friends in Australia a bit about the way I live here in Germany."

Evelyn Konrad (Stuttgart), Williamstown / VIC (2003)

"Most of the boys’ knowledge reached to the time of the Second World War, but they didn’t know what happened after the war in Germany, because they didn’t learn that in school. That is the reason why I think student exchanges are very important and in these situations I felt that I was able to improve the relations between Australia and Germany a little bit."

Christian Lessmeier (Leopoldshöhe), Pennant Hills / NSW (2003)

"All in all, the knowledge about Germany and Europe was not so big. I was glad to join different classes to answer questions. (..) They were very interested and it was nice to give them something back for all the kindness and friendliness they gave to me. (..) Most of the girls knew something about Germany because they had taken German for at least three years. Some of them had been to Germany either for the holidays or for an exchange like myself. I also learned that I could be proud of Germany in some aspects."

Josephine Tiedtke (Stralsund), Hornsby / NSW (2003)

"Of course some people I met had some prejudices against Germany, usually because of the two world wars and some stories they had heard. But I was able to smooth out the prejudices or reservations. With my knowledge about the Second War and its background I was able to answer all the questions they had."

Katharina Staudinger (Meschede), Balwyn / VIC (2003)

"My host dad was very interested in German history and we spent hours with conversations about the World War II and the former East Germany. For me it was very interesting which opinion my host dad had and the way he was thinking of the things that had happened. We even started argumentations because each of us was convinced of his / her opinion. And we wanted to explain or convince the other one. It has been a really fantastic experience. Though my host sister could not understand how we could talk about such things."

Claudia Hocke, NSW (2002)

"Many of them were interested in life in Germany and asked me many questions which I was more than happy to answer. Most of the girls knew at least some things about Germany because most had once taken German for at least three years."

Angelika Daniels, NSW (2002)

"The relationship to my host father was different. I didn't spent much time with him, but when he was at home I had wonderful conversations with him, till late at night. We talked about our different cultures, the social systems in our countries and what life is like in Germany. We compared the German and Australian school system and talked about politics, the Second World War, the German Wall and the reunification. He hasn't been to Europe yet. Nevertheless, he was interested in everything that I told him about our continent. That was great fun and I tried to do my best, because I wanted to give him an idea of my life and my home."

Gesine Heinrich, NSW (2002)


persönliche Weiterentwicklung


"Now I see it isn’t important that you do what other people expect; it is better to stand up for what you believe in. You can’t say the others did the same. You have to be responsible for your own action, you have to be confident to say: ”No” if you think it is false. I believe the eleven weeks in Australia helped me to have this abilities. I hope I will have the courage to go my own way not influenced by others."

Julian Rydzek (Burgdorf), Killara/NSW (2004)

"The absence of my German friends made me think about them regularly and unconsciously I also thought about very old friends (..). The absence also makes you realising who you are missing most."

Lukas Schneider (Köln), Melbourne/VIC (2004)

"Every exchange student had the opportunity of going on an independent trip together with some other exchange students. (..) The trip helped me to become more self-confident and independent because we had to organise the whole trip ourselves and it worked very well."

Sonja Retzlaff (Steinhagen), Gymea/NSW (2004)

"Another thing is, that I became more relaxed, which is very good for me. In Germany I have sometimes a "to-do-list” for a day (..). I didn’t change into another person, because of this exchange, I just know that I should see some things now in a different light and should try to do the best out of every situation!"

Tobias Morell (Dinslaken), Kingsvale/NSW (2004)

"After my arrival in Germany a lot of people said that I changed my opinion about different issues. I think to be alone in a foreign country for a few months is very good for building one’s character. I think I became more objective and self-confident in this time. It was also a good experience, because I saw how it is not to live in my normal surrounding and wtih my family. In the future I will go to another city for studying and there I have to stay on my own legs. I could see how it is in the weeks in Australia."

Julian Berg (Ahlen), Haberfield/NSW (2004)

"During my stay in Australia I experienced positive and negative things. In this time being away from home I became more independent and prospective. I learned to organize myself in a better way than I did before. I am also more self-confident and open-minded now. I have no problems to ask foreign people for help even in a for me foreign language."

Katharina Littkemann (Sprockhövel), Eastwood/NSW (2004)

"The experiences I’ve done had a formative influence on my personality and I think I became more open minded, tolerant, understanding and loving towards different cultures and people. Furthermore my horizon was broadened, especially my knowledge of the English language and I learned to manage things and coping with problems on my own."

David Leßmann (Warstein), Beaumaris/VIC (2004)

"I learned a lot because of this exchange. Most important of all, I learned what it is like to be on your own in a strange country. I learned how to make new friends and how to be open for new experiences. Not all experiences were good, but all of them taught me something. And I hope that I was able to teach the people I met a bit more about Germany and my life over here. Being away from your normal life gives you the distance to actually think about it. (..) Being on the other side of the world made me appreciate all the different people I met. I hope that I will stay in contact with my host families and the friends I made for years to come. Because Australia really means a lot to me now."

Julia Heckmann (Bremen), Warragul/VIC (2004)

"My view of things has changed. Now it is easier for me to understand that different regions or different environmental conditions create different life styles. I am more open now for new things, for other people, their habits, their religion and their problems and also for their languages."

Karin Hubbuch (Ladenburg), Annangrove/ NSW (2004)

"Of course I’ve heard of the term "the time of my life” before I was in New Zealand, but I didn’t know what the people want to express by these words. Now I know and I understand... It was one of my best times I had so far and in these 10 weeks I’ve probably learned more about the world than in the 17 years before. (..) Of course I knew before that there are different countries and different cultures, but at the moment I experienced that on my own, I got curious of all the other things I haven’t seen yet."

Anika Regett (Groß Grönau), Timaru/NZ (2004)

"An exchange can open everyone’s eyes and increase the tolerance for other cultures and mentalities."

Pia Schmittmann (Bäsweiler), East Malvern / VIC (2003)

"I loved the attitude of the people over there. Somebody told me :"You only get out what you put in!" I wrote that sentence down where I can read it every day because it makes me working harder for get closer to my aims. In our daily life we forget our real wishes and dreams and after that journey I was sure that I like to travel and I want to see more of the places the world offers."

Friederike Nürge (Varel), Eltham North / VIC (2003)

"We grew up during the 10 weeks. I am very thankful that I was able to earn this chance and these experiences. I will forever think about these weeks with two feelings: absolute happiness and sadness because I got to know one of the most beautiful countries and I had to leave it for a long time. But I know I will go back."

Julita Sander (Berlin), Auckland / NZ (2003)

"We have learned to work in a team, to listen to the wishes and problems of our mates and to make our own way in a foreign country. This made me much more experienced and grown-up."

Helen Wolf (Meschede), Artarmon / NSW (2003)

"In Australia I had to organise many things on my own without any help for example from my parents like booking our Free Travel including flights and youth hostels. Although my host family tried to support me in many ways I did often had to make my own decisions. (..) Of course, sometimes I had to cope with problems and negative situations but I had to learn how to manage it and now, a few weeks back in Germany, I can say I was quite successful."

Katharina Staudinger (Meschede), Balwyn / VIC (2003)

"I have learned a lot in Down-Under and I am sure that my thinking developed. I am more self - confident now and got my own opinion. The behaviour to other people also changed and I learned to be more tolerant. Thank you very much for that!"

Elina Pohl (Elz), Glen Iris / VIC (2003)

"My preparedness to approach foreign people which had always been a difficult point for me has improved a lot and of course my English is much better than before. I can speak it fluently now, almost like German and that gives me the opportunity to speak with half of the world's population without any language problems - what a wonderful imagination! But the best is that I have even won a whole country. When I now hear the word "Australia" I connect it with thousands of glorious memories and this is an enrichment that nobody can ever take away."

Henrike Behrendt, VIC (2002)

"I even started to think in English and so my spoken English improved and could take part of "normal" conversations and discussions. That is an important thing to be part of a group. And I was part of their group after a very short time. It was amazing for me to experience that you can make friends in such a short time even though speaking different languages and growing up in different societies. (..)

I don't know when or in which context I will come back but I know that I can come back to Australia because I have a lot of friendships now over there. And I know that I can handle a life in this country which isn't that unknown any more."

Sarah Sturm, NSW (2002)

"Now after one month back at home I can say how important Australia was for me. My language has improved definitely and I learned so much about this wonderful country and its people. I got experience which I will never forget. I made friendships with many different people and I am sure that I will keep in contact forever. I am more selfassured and self-reliant, I learned to get along in a new surrounding and with new people. It was the longest time which I was apart from my family and I succeeded."

Magdalena Berg, NSW (2002)

"I have seen all students from Melbourne before at our reception day. It was in a bank building on the 46th floor. A lot of managers of big companies like BMW and Lufthansa were there. They greeted us and every one of us had to held a speech in front of these people. That was a bit scary because I hoped my English is good enough. But it was. My host-parents said on the way home: "We were so proud of you, because you used such great words and you looked so confident." What they didn't know. I wasn't confident at all. But everything went the right way and I could talk to all the other students in Melbourne. By this time we all were already good friends."

Michael Babilon, VIC (2002)


über den Austausch


"Since fours years I have had contact with Australians, because my sister had stayed in Australia, too. So my family hosted an Australian girl from Melbourne and then Tim from Sydney. Also the father of my Australian guest visited us and also a member of my sister’s host family. So step by step I got a lot of contacts with different families in Australia. I think the system of GASS is very good, because you get to know a lot of people during the camps. The atmosphere is very familiar. You get the opportunity to see them all again if you fly to "Down Under”."

Julian Berg (Ahlen), Haberfield/NSW (2004)

"In my third week in Australia GASS organized a camp in Echuca and my host brother Drew and me went there to meet all the other Germans and their host siblings. During this week, we all had a lot of fun. It was good to see how the other German ‘stippies’ got along with their host siblings. Furthermore I was glad to talk to the other Germans, so I could compare what I experienced and see the differences."

Frederik Hornof (Aschaffenburg), Melbourne/VIC (2004)

"I think a big advantage for me was that both my host parents are GASSies themselves and knew how life in a foreign country is. They went to Germany on a scholarship in 1976/77 and thereby got to know each other. So they are still connected to the exchange and have been to Germany several times since that time."

David Leßmann (Warstein), Beaumaris/VIC (2004)

"The war memorial was structured like a museum and it was interesting to look on historical events from the Australian point of view, especially when it concerned Germany as well. That is the right way to understand the opponent view better and to avoid or solve cultural conflicts.
That is the aim of an exchange programme: to bring people from different cultures closer to each other to avoid conflicts in the future and hence make the world more peaceful. I want to thank you as the sponsor of my scholarship for giving me the opportunity to be part of this intercultural exchange."

Patrick Mittendorf (Mühlheim), Edithvale/VIC (2004)

"I’m very grateful for having received the opportunity to experience so many wonderful things which have greatly widened my horizons. You made all this possible for me and that is why I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you very much!"

Lukas Schneider (Köln), Melbourne/VIC (2004)

"I think I am even more open minded as I already was before. Travelling inspired me to open my mind to new ideas. There was always a sort of challenge I had to deal with. I think I have benefited a lot from that. I got a lot more independent. For me it was also a step into adulthood. Or as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said: "Reisen bildet”."

Viviane Weinmann (Brühl), Bairnsdale/VIC (2004)

"I am glad that GDANSA made it possible for me to have this scholarship. It was not only a good experience for that moment I stayed there - I will profit all my life of these impressions and experiences."

Janne Petersen (Cuxhaven), Atawhai Nelson / NZ (2003)

"But as the day of the flight had come, I was suddenly very afraid of going there. Leaving behind my family and friends seemed to be so hard. But as soon as I met the other exchange students who had the same feelings, they gave me strength. Together we were on our way to our big adventure: Australia. And to all of us it turned out to be a wonderful adventure which we will never forget."

Elisabeth von Santen (Alfstedt), Mt. St. Thomas / NSW (2003)

"While I was staying in Australia, I wondered a lot about how much I would be changed by what I experienced. In the end, I think we all have not really changed too much. But what I think happened is that we had a look at our lives so far from a certain distance, that we were taken out of our normal rhythm and could analyse what we were doing. (..) I believe that this is another aspect, besides of learning English and broadening our horizon."

Alena Siegfried (Berchtesgaden), Glebe / NSW (2003)

"Apart from (..) friendships, the stay in Australia has also improved my understanding of the Australian lifestyle and culture. The contact with Australia opened my eyes and enlarged my horizon a lot. Now I know, that the German way of life is not the only way to become happy."

Jonas Nonnenmann (Altensteig), Ivanhoe / VIC (2003)

"I have to confess that, before I applied for the GASS scholarship, my knowledge of and interest in Australia were rather poor. Of course, I had learned certain facts and figures about the country in my English lessons at school, but just reading texts about kangaroos and the Royal Flying Doctor’s service can only give you a very vague idea of what "Down Under” really is like. During the past two months I was given the chance of discovering Australia and the Australian way of life much more thoroughly than the usual tourist would ever be able to (..)."

Sebastian Strube (Dinslaken), Beaumaris / VIC (2003)

"The people I met have taught me several things which I kept for myself, e.g. the way of dealing with foreigners and prejudices. I’ve learned that it is very important to be tolerant to anybody and not to judge someone from his appearance or way of speaking. I think that I have to give back to the people what I’ve received from others in Down Under, meaning tolerance, kindness and heartiness."

Matthias Rittmeier (Meschede), Bayswater North / VIC (2003)

"I think it is very important that in today’s hectic and selfish world we do not forget to pay attention to our neighbours. I would like to get to know many different cultures and to tell others about my culture, my home country, the German history and present situation. I have realized that being German gives you an identity which respects other countries, cultures and opinions. This respect for others becomes more and more important nowadays. That is why I want to help keeping the society alive, so that as many youths as possible will have the same chance to experience such a wonderful time, which I will keep in my mind forever."

Helen Wolf (Meschede), Artarmon / NSW (2003)

"I joined the society immediately when I came back from Australia and I am keen to work for and commit myself to the society. I think that the society`s slogan "Good Will in Action" is even more important nowadays when people are becoming more selfish and indifferent.

I would like to give something back because I owe a lot to the society which has given me so much by granting me the scholarship. The time in Australia has broadened my mind and I became aware of the meaning of Shakespeare`s quotation "The world is your oyster""

Philipp Peter Nießen, VIC (2002)

"Being a member of GASS, I am now looking forward to the following camps. I also hope that with my help I can give another pupil this great chance to get to know these experiences."

Magdalena Berg, NSW (2002)

"During the whole stay GASS Victoria had prepared some program for us, which we all enjoyed. In the first week we had a reception on the ANZ Tower, it was great. There were a lot of business people who it was nice talking to about the exchange, but also about working in a foreign country, which is something I can imagine for myself."

Angelika Daniels, NSW (2002)

"This exchange is a beautiful thing and it is also a good thing to invest in. Thanks again."

Klara Schubert, NSW (2002)

"This exchange gave me the possibility to discover another country and another way of life. I found new friends, and met lots of friendly people. In Australia, I learned to be far away from my family, friends and home. Now, I have a second family at the other end of the world, and I know that I'm welcome to stay there in the future."

Gesine Heinrich, NSW (2002)

"The GASS students had learned more about a country than we could possibly learn in years of study at home and we had experienced a new way of live. We had lived for ten weeks in another family than our own. Together we had made a trip around the world. We had seen our own culture from another point of view. We had met new friends."

Victor Brasch, VIC (2002)

"All in all these 10 weeks in New Zealand were the ones of my life when I had so many experiences and learned as much as never before. It was the first time I felt like being really free and I was able to get to know another style of living by taking part in their daily life. Of course it was not easy for me the whole time. But I learned to handle strange situations like finding the right answer when someone asks anything about Germany because I was responsible for what I'm saying."

Martin Kretschmann, NZ (2002)

"After ten weeks I can say that I developed in many ways. I could never have had all these experiences in Germany. Coming to a foreign country where everything is new was not that easy and of course, you are very nervous at the beginning. I have participated in various exchanges with my school but only for one or two weeks and not that far away. So you cannot compare those to an exchange to the other end of the world for that period of time. You have to adapt to another household for ten weeks, handle problems on your own and communicate with people you have never met before. (..)

But the most important thing you can only learn by going to foreign countries is to get more independent. I did so many things on my own, for example booking our free travel. I did many things for the first time in my life without the help of my parents. Of course, your host family is always very helpful and supports you in many ways but you often have to and want to decide by yourself."

Yvonne Küssel, VIC (2002)

"I want to thank you a million times for giving me the chance to experience a far-away country's culture, landscape and very friendly people as well as showing the New Zealanders a bit of Germany."

Luise Druckrey, NZ (2002)


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