It continues seamlessly with part 2: New Year to now, the beginning of February:

My new host family

The new year continued in an eventful way. I changed host families on 6 January.

I’ve really enjoyed the one month I’ve been living there. I get on really well with my host mum Klára and have had some really good conversations with her.

There are also some small but really cool improvements compared to the previous host family: for one thing, I now live much closer to the city centre (it’s still 50 minutes to school, but at least it’s only one bus). Secondly, I much prefer my new room to my old one. It’s cosier and more to my taste (more shelf space for all the little things that I’ve collected over time, etc.).

Another bonus, which I didn’t expect to be a bonus, are the three cats I now have at home and as partly invited and uninvited guests on my bed and in my room. So overall really really good.

However, the change of host family is not the only interesting thing that has happened so far in the new year.

Maturitní ples

For example, I went to a kind of prom at another school in Prague. Of course, they don’t call it prom here, but Maturitní ples (Maturita is the name of the graduation at the Gymnázium here). I was invited by a friend who was also a member of the graduating class. It was in a large, old and festive hall and I had to buy a shirt and borrow a jacket as I hadn’t brought a suit so as not to be completely underdressed (at least the black jeans I was wearing didn’t stand out).

But it was a really nice event. There was a band, 3 singers and several numbers rehearsed by different classes. The highlight was the small choreographies rehearsed in small groups, each with a song of their choice, when they collected their school sashes. It was definitely very interesting to see.

Prom in Prague

Czech style prom

Rotary Meeting Třebíč

There was also another Rotary weekend where we visited the beautiful and perfectly easy to pronounce town of Třebíč and organised a small talent show where everyone had to perform something. This will then be performed at a later event (the so-called district conference, a meeting of all Rotary people throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia).

To this end, many people performed and/or danced to songs in their own language or in Czech in groups organised by country. However, as I was the only German speaker and, together with another girl who had already been part of a group, the only European, I had to think of something I could do on my own. I would have liked to sing some cool German song, there are plenty that would be really good, but I don’t have the confidence to do it all by myself.

Meeting with the inbounds

Winter Třebíč

How I breathed some German air again…

Another extremely interesting event was that I actually spent a day in Germany again. I have to explain a little more how it got to this. In Australia, the summer holidays are over Christmas and their exchange year starts in January accordingly (South America doesn’t do it this way and orients itself to the holidays of the host country, but never mind).

As a result, we now have four new Australians in the Czech Republic in mid-January, one of whom is also in Prague. The connection with Germany – yes, there is one, don’t worry! – is that they had to go to the German-Czech consulate in Dresden for something with their visas. Rotary turned this into a little day trip, where we other Prague exchange students could also come along and explore a bit of Dresden. 


Inbounds in Dresden

Yannick in Dresden

And now we have arrived in the present. This is what has happened so far in terms of events and stories. Now for the larger picture: How am I doing? How is my Czech progressing? How much have I settled in here now that I’m almost halfway through my stay?

In a way, I’m living a completely different life here: Speaking German face to face with native speakers has become a rarity that I look forward to every time. I have a completely different kind of social life: from a rather quiet one with a few school friends in Germany, a few close friends with whom you occasionally do something (which is generally enough for me as a rather introverted person), to weeks in which I sometimes have a full programme almost every day with the other exchange students here in Prague. I’ve formed a kind of gang with them, who I see at least twice a week – and with whom I almost exclusively speak English.

I’ll try to make sure that another three months don’t pass before the next post, but I know myself and therefore can’t promise anything. Until then!

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