The UK and Germany have a turbulent history. There’s rock n’ roll vs. techno, the 1966 World Cup win against Germany which the Brits still bring up in conversation, and a couple of big wars… But the past fades for every new generation, especially when people like Natalie Schleich - the young author of this article - actively seek out cultures that differ from her own.
Natalie is a German student who succeeded in completing our Internship Programme. For a few weeks, while doing an internship in administration, she stayed with a family in Harrow, North West London, and by the sound of it, she had no problem adapting to the peculiarities of British life! These are her impressions of her time with her hosts.
The day we arrived, our host family welcomed us and drove us to their house, ten minutes away from ADC College. They introduced us to the house rules and put our bags upstairs. The rooms were smaller than what I’m used to in Germany, but it was okay. You don’t need much space and the view from our room was wonderful!
2. Have a cup of tea
In my host family’s garden lavender grows next to the apple tree and there was a pond and a little table where you have tea. Germans tend to have bigger gardens with a hedge or a fence, where everything is neat and in order, which I now find a little boring.
3. Dinner time
In the afternoon, we took the tube to central London and saw the London Eye, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. But we could not stay there for long as we were expected to have dinner at home around 7.30 pm. We ate fish and chips and talked to the host family about living and working in England. The food was very good. People at home joke about the British food, but I’m telling you, they’re wrong!
4. The local pub
In the evening, we wanted to go to a traditional English pub. Our host family told us about The Harrow, explained the way there and reminded us about the time we needed to be back.
5. Small talk
In the evenings, we were often at home and spent time with our host family. They asked us about our day and our plans for tomorrow and we asked about theirs. But we also had fun and made jokes; I have never laughed so much before in my life! I think the English are generally very friendly, helpful and polite. If someone bumps into you by mistake they always apologise, for example.
6. Speaking English
After the first day you’re not shy anymore and will be able to speak English more fluently. The host family sometimes corrected me, which was very helpful. I have learned a lot. Sometimes the French student who was also staying in the house, joined us and told us about French culture. When I think back on it, it’s remarkable; there were three different nationalities in one room and everyone could communicate in English with each other!
Natalie visited London with our Internship Programme, a project eligible for EU funding. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.