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Hey, my name is Sina and I’m 17 years old.
On 28th August 2021, I left Germany, my home country, to spend a whole school year in Ireland.
Ever since I was a toddler, my parents would always take my sister and me to foreign countries and I got to enjoy every second of it. We would learn about their cultures and traditions in which I would always be very interested and motivated to learn more about.
When my family and I went to Ireland during my summer holidays, I instantly knew that I wanted to go to this country again. I was already planning on doing an exchange year and Ireland convinced me more with every second I spent there.
Because of Covid, I decided to wait a year until there would be less restrictions.
At the day of my departure, it felt really unreal when I hugged my parents goodbye before going on the plane. I was quite nervous during the flight but there was not one negative feeling. Luckily there were a lot of other exchange students and I sat next to two of them.
The two girls and I told each other all about our future host families, our fears and hopes for the upcoming school year. When we saw Ireland from the plane, the excitement grew in all of us, and we couldn’t wait to finally arrive.
Here is a picture of a beautiful view after climbing one of the mountains here and a warm welcome from my host family and their dog Lily.
After getting my luggage, I met a very kind man who drove me to the train station and helped me to get on the right train. I told him about the reasons why I decided to do this exchange year such as the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and the friendly people. It doesn’t matter where you look, you always see some green with sheep or cows enjoying their life.
So I got on the train and prepared myself mentally for what was coming. The people on the train all talked so fast and I got a bit scared that I would have problems understanding my host family but all of that disappeared the second I met my host father. He welcomed me with open arms and instead of feeling anxious, I felt incredibly relieved and ready for this new chapter in my life.
Soon meeting my host family and the other exchange students that stay in this home, I started going to the 5th year and met people my age.
If you’re like me and you sometimes worry about starting a conversation with people you don’t really know yet, then I can tell you one thing: It’s going to be okay! It’s easier said than done, but if you try to engage in a conversation – even if it’s asking for help – they will welcome you with open arms.
The cliché of people in Ireland being incredibly nice is true and I felt their friendliness the second I got there.